Conversion to the new University Leave

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 elected to become University and Academic Professionals (University employees) as well as all converting A&P Faculty will be eligible for University Leave 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 University Leave

Upon conversion to the University and Academic Professionals employee group, existing leave balances are credited toward new University Leave balances, though employees in the Traditional Sick Leave Plan will have sick leave banked separately for future use. It is important for employees to understand their current leave plan, as well as their current balances (available in the my.vcu.edu portal), to anticipate exactly how their leave will roll over.

Remember, employees in the University Leave plan receive a full year’s leave balance up front in January of each year. Since the new plan begins in July this year, leave will be prorated; employees will receive six months (13 pay periods) of accrued leave up front, as well as what rolls over from their current leave plan. In January 2019, employees will receive the full year’s leave balances up front in addition to whatever leave balances carry forward.

Requesting leave in VCU RealTime 

  • The new leave code, called University Leave, will be available in VCU RealTime starting July 2, 2018.

  • If leave has already been submitted and approved in VCU RealTime for June 25 or later, VCU Human Resources will update it to reflect the new University Leave code and no action is required by the employee.

  • For more information, see managing leave and requesting leave.

 

Employees in the Virginia Sickness and Disability Plan (VSDP)
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.  

  3. For employees with VSDP disability credits, these credits remain in your leave accounts for future use when eligible. 

Employees in the Traditional Sick Leave Program (TSLP)
Employees in the Traditional Sick Leave Program (TSLP) who 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.

  3. On July 1 the amount of unused Traditional Sick leave you have (as of June 30) will be put into a bank for future use, but you will no longer accrue it because you become covered by the new Short Term Disability plan. If you have an illness of five days or more and file a Short Term Disability claim, first VCU will replace your income out of your banked Traditional Sick Leave. When/if that runs out, the Short Term Disability plan will continue to pay you for the remainder of an approved claim. You can also use your banked Traditional Sick Leave for a family illness under the same rules you use it now.

Carry-forward maximums
There is a maximum annual carry-forward limit on leave in the new University Leave plan (see the Paid Leave section here). However, the carry forward limit is delayed for the first 18 months of the new leave plan as it is intended to provide sufficient time for employees to use leave and avoid forfeiture. 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.

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 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 2019. (May 2019 is 12 months from date of adoption of the child.)

Opting into the new HR plan in the future
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.

This publication is intended to provide a summary of the provisions applicable to University and Academic Professionals at Virginia Commonwealth University, and is deemed to be accurate at the time of publication. In the event of any discrepancy between this publication and the Working@VCU: "Great Place" HR Policies, the latter shall prevail.