Conversion to the new leave plan

Employees hired into Classified positions posted on or after July 1, 2016 are eligible for leave benefits under the Working@VCU “Great Place” HR policies on January 1, 2018. Classified employees who elect to become University and Academic Professionals (University employees) through the open enrollment period (January 1 to March 31, 2018) as well as all A&P Faculty will be eligible for the benefits outlined below on July 1, 2018.

See the Classified employee leave comparison chart

See the Administrative and Professional Faculty leave comparison chart

Initial conversion into the new leave plan

Upon election or conversion of existing VCU employees to the University and Academic Professional employee group, existing annual leave, sick, personal and family leave balances are credited toward balances under this section.

Employees in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Plan (VSDP) who become University employees on July 1, 2018 will have leave from two different sources in 2018:

  1. Any unused annual leave, sick leave, and personal and family leave carried over from the previous year or granted between January 10, 2018 to June 30, 2018.
  2. 6 months (half year) of additional paid leave from the new University Leave Plan for the period of July 1, 2018 to January 9, 2019.

Those transitioning into the University Plan from the Traditional Sick Leave Program become University employees on July 1, 2018, may have paid leave from two different plans in 2018:

  1. Any unused annual leave balances carried over from the previous year or granted between January 10, 2018 to June 30, 2018
  2. 6 months (half year) of additional paid leave from the new University Leave Plan for the period of July 1, 2018 to January 9, 2019.

University and Academic Professionals with leave balances beyond the maximum carry-forward leave hours are not forfeited until midnight on January 9, 2020; University employees will not forfeit any leave as a result of carry-forward limits until that date. For example, a University employee with 10 years of service who brings 300 hours of leave into the new leave plan (from accruals as either A&P Faculty or Classified Staff), would typically only be able to carry over 272 hours (the maximum carry over limit for an employee with 10 years of service) into the new leave year; 28 hours would be forfeited (300 - 272 = 28). However, because implementation of the new carry-forward process is not effective until January 2019, the 28 hours would not be forfeited until January 9, 2020. The employee may add all 300 hours to the starting leave bank in January 2018.

This delayed carry forward limit for the first 18 months of the new leave plan is intended to provide sufficient time for employees to use leave and avoid forfeiture.

Employees in the Traditional Sick Leave Program will have their sick leave balances preserved in a separate “bank” for future use. The traditional sick leave bank may be used for absences in excess of five work days for serious illness or injury or catastrophic or major chronic conditions that prevent the employee from performing the full duties of their job. Additionally, up to six days (48 hours) per leave year of traditional sick leave may be used to cover a short-term family illness.

Effective dates of conversion

The effective dates for leave benefits during the initial conversion are as follows:

  • January 2018 for classified staff hired from job postings published July 1, 2016 or later, who are converted to University and Academic Professional
  • July 2018 for classified staff hired from job postings published prior to July 1, 2016, who elect to become University and Academic Professional during the January to March 2018 enrollment period
  • July 2018 for most A&P Faculty who convert to University and Academic Professional upon expiration of current contracts, or for those with contract dates other than July, consistent with the applicable contract expiration  date
  • For July 2018 effective dates, the leave accrual rate is prorated to reflect half-a year benefit
  • The effective date for leave benefits after the initial conversion is the beginning of the following pay period

Note: Leave for University employees is administered based on employee’s current leave plans; employees who transition to University employees with an active leave claim will remain on the leave plan on which the claim began. Employees will not be eligible for additional benefits related to the claim when they transition into the new plan.

Short term disability

Leave is administered based on employees’ current leave plans; employees who convert to the University and Academic Professionals employee group will remain in their current leave plan until the effective date of their conversion to the new employee group. In the conversion year, employees will be eligible for University employee benefits when they transition into the new plan.

For example, if a current Classified employee gives birth in April 2017 and transitions into the University and Academic Professionals employment group as of January 1, 2018, the employee is eligible to use Parental Leave to cover time off to bond with the child for one year after birth or until March 2018. If an employee adopts a child in June 2018 and transitions into the new plan in July, the employee is eligible to use parental leave beginning July 2018 through May 2018. (May 2018 is 12 months from date of adoption of the child.)

Opting into the new HR plan after the enrollment period ends

Employees who elect to become University and Academic Professionals on dates other than during the initial enrollment period (for example, when accepting a new position), will:

  • Carry forward any unused leave from their current plan (annual, sick, personal and family if in VSDP or annual leave if in the Traditional leave plan). Traditional sick leave will be banked for future use.
  • Receive a prorated allotment of annual leave based on when they enter the new plan. The amount of new leave received will be based on current years of service.
  • For example, if an employee with a September 25, 2015  leave anniversary elects into the University plan on November 10, 2019, the employee will accrue leave at a rate of 30 days per year, the amount for which an employee with four years of service is eligible, because he/she will have four years of service as of September 25, 2019. The employee will be granted the prorated leave amount up front. The employee does not have to wait until January 10, 2020, the beginning of the leave year following the four year service anniversary, to begin accruing leave at a higher rate.