Vacation time & COVID-19: A message from your Chief Steward

From UVic-Working From Home-Staff (

Q: I have previously approved vacation, can I cancel or defer it to later in the year or perhaps next year?

A: While COVID-19 has unfortunately disrupted vacation plans for all of us, time off work to recharge is as important today as it has ever been.  Further, with our emerging budget challenges, supervisors and employees are expected to review vacation schedules to ensure that all staff take their full annual vacation during this calendar year. This is subject only to any normal vacation carry forward limits in the applicable collective agreement or terms and conditions handbook.

From the CUPE 951 Collective Agreement:

22.05   Regular employees in their first calendar year of service may, with the approval of their department  heads,  carry  over  a  vacation  entitlement  of  up  to  4  working  days.    Other  regular  employees  must  take  a  minimum  of  10  working  days  vacation,  and,  with  the  prior  approval  of  their  department  heads,  may  carry  over  any  portion  of  an  annual  vacation entitlement in excess of 10 working days from 1 calendar year to the next.  No carryover  of  unused  vacation  entitlement  may  exceed  15  working  days,  except  by  agreement  of  the  parties  in  unusual  circumstances.    Applications  for  such  carry  over  must be submitted in writing by employees to their department head, with a copy to the Associate  Vice-President  of  Human  Resources,  who  will  make  every  effort  to  ensure  that all such applications receive equitable treatment throughout the University.

22.09   (a)  Subject  to  bona  fide  operational  requirements,  the  University  will  make  every  reasonable   effort   to   approve vacations   at   times   which   are   requested   by   employees.

(b)  Within a unit or department, where more than 1 employee has requested the same vacation period and it is not possible to approve all such requests, then approval will  be  granted  on  a  rotational  basis  by  seniority.    Previously  approved  vacations  will have priority over late or amended requests for vacation.  For the purposes of this Article, rotation does not necessarily mean on an annual basis.  Where there is a conflict between two or more employees within a unit or department regarding a  vacation  request,  each  conflict  will  be  decided  by  giving  the  preference  to  the  senior employee on that particular occasion.  The next time there is a conflict, the next senior employee will be given the preference.

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