Vacation Maximums

Managing Vacation Balances is a Shared Responsibility Between Employees and Supervisors

The University provides vacation leave to eligible employees for personal use, as well as rest, relaxation, and renewal.

The University encourages employees to use their accrued vacation leave each year. It is the responsibility of both the supervisor and the employee to monitor their vacation accrual, as the employee will not accrue vacation hours beyond their maximum accrual limit.

Monitor and Take Action

At least sixty days before an employee reaches their vacation maximum, supervisors should notify the employee that the employee is approaching the maximum and they need to schedule vacation. Consider using the Vacation Plan Worksheet.
  • In addition to scheduling vacation, an employee has the option of donating eight or more hours of vacation to employees in need through the UC Davis/UC Davis Health Catastrophic Leave Sharing Program’s general pool. Donations are voluntary.
  • An employee is responsible for being proactive in managing their vacation balance to avoid reaching their vacation maximum. The employee should provide their department with as much advance notice as possible when requesting vacation, be flexible with alternate dates for vacation, adhere to vacation scheduling procedures with their department and balance their personal preferences with the department’s operational circumstances.
  • If an employee does not schedule or donate vacation, accruals will stop when the vacation balance reaches maximum. It is critical that employees are proactive in monitoring and scheduling their vacation to avoid reaching their vacation maximum. Vacation accruals will resume when the balance goes below maximum.
  • When an employee, who is at or near their vacation maximum, requests vacation, the supervisor is expected to grant the request to the fullest extent possible. The supervisor should fully consider if some, but not all of the requested days can be approved for vacation and to explore alternate dates for vacation to avoid the employee from reaching their vacation maximum whenever possible.
  • Denial of vacation requests in such situations should be rare and due to exceptional operational circumstances. Before denying a request for vacation by an employee at or near their vacation maximum, the supervisor should speak with their manager and/or their Employee Relations Consultant to consider alternatives.
  • When exceptional operational circumstances preclude a department from granting an employee’s request for vacation, which should be rare, and they reach their vacation maximum, a request to exceed their maximum vacation accrual limit may be appropriate. The Request to Exceed Maximum Vacation Accrual Limit form must be submitted and approved by the department head for Davis Campus employees or the next level manager for UC Davis Health employees, and also an Employee Relations Consultant. See UCD Procedure 2.210.III.B.   Such requests are approved on a limited basis.
    • External factors that may negatively impact travel plans, such as travel restrictions, flight/accommodation cancellations, extreme weather and natural disasters, do not constitute "exceptional operational conditions" when departments approve requests for vacation; and so would not justify an employee exceeding their vacation maximum.
    • A Vacation Plan Worksheet is developed with the intent of an employee scheduling and taking vacation as soon as possible to bring their vacation balance below the vacation maximum sooner than later, typically within one to two months. The supervisor should consult with their Employee Relations Consultant to discuss how to implement a plan within that one to two month timeframe.
  • On the Davis campus, the approved Request to Exceed Maximum Vacation Accrual Limit form and completed Vacation Plan Worksheet are retained in the department and used to keep track of both accruals and usage.
  • For UCD Health, the approved Request to Exceed Maximum Vacation Accrual Limit form and completed Vacation Plan Worksheet are submitted to the UC Davis Health Payroll Office for processing and copies are retained by the department.
    • In rare instances where non-represented staff are approved to exceed their vacation maximum through December 31, 2020, they will be granted up to two (2) months to do so and will then stop accruing additional vacation until their vacation balance falls below the maximum. 
  • The above information pertains to traditional vacation leave and does not apply to UC Davis Health’s Paid Time Off program, which has a different design and requirements. Read more about the PTO program.