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Vacation and Scheduling Vacation

Amended date: 12/01/2018

The University recognizes the need for work/life balance, and as such, provides a generous vacation time award for all employees who meet benefit eligibility. These banked accruals can be used throughout the year, which allows paid time off for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.


During the first year of employment, employees must complete at least ninety (90) days before taking any accrued vacation time. A vacation day is equal to the designated workweek hours for your position as stated in the HR records, divided by five (5). Employees receive their usual base pay during a scheduled vacation. Full-time, hourly non-exempt employees earn vacation at the rate of 1.25 days per month, which equates to an annual total of fifteen (15) days. After completing ten(10) years of service an hourly non-exempt employee's vacation accrual rate increases to 1.67 days per month, for an annual total of twenty (20) days. Vacation can be taken in partial day, day, or week increments.

Salaried non-exempt and exempt employees earn 1.67 days of vacation per month, or twenty (20) days per year. Those employees who have completed twenty-five (25) years of service begin to accumulate vacation at the rate of 2.08 days per month, or twenty-five (25) days per year. Vacation can be taken in partial day, day or week increments.

Academic year and full-time regular employees accrue vacation at the above rate during the months they work.

Part-time employees receive pro-rated vacation time based on their regular work schedule.

If an employee is hired, or returning to work from an unpaid leave, on or before the fifteenth (15th) day of the month, the employee will receive vacation credit for the month. If an employee is terminating, or going out on unpaid leave, on or after the fifteenth day of the month, the employee will receive vacation credit for the month. Upon completion of the trial period, employees receive vacation accrual retroactive to their first day of employment. Vacation time may be utilized only after the employee has completed ninety (90) days at the University.

Vacation does not accrue during an unpaid leave of absence. Please consult your human resource business partner for additional information.

Scheduling Vacation Time:

Scheduling Vacation: All vacation schedules must be approved by your supervisor. Whenever possible, vacation time should be requested at least three (3) weeks in advance. The work load in your department and, in some cases, your length of service will be considered when setting up vacation schedules. 

Illness during Vacation: If you become sick for more than three (3) days during your vacation, you may use your earned sick time. In some cases, employees may be asked to obtain a written statement from their physician regarding the illness.

When a holiday occurs during a vacation, it is not counted as vacation time.

Carryover: Tufts provides a generous vacation policy and encourages employees to take vacation annually. Vacation provides employees with needed rest and relaxation and allows them to recharge so that they can continue performing at a high rate of productivity.

The University uses a centralized system to track vacation, personal and sick time and enforces a maximum vacation balance accrual. The maximum vacation time that an employee can accrue is equal to the amount of time the employee accrues in two years based on their eligibility. Once the maximum accrual is reached; vacation time will stop accruing until the balance drops below the maximum allowed.

Leaving the University: Vacation Pay upon Separations

If an employee leaves the University and has completed three (3) months of employment, he or she is entitled to payment for accrued, unused vacation.


Staff: any benefits-eligible employee who has standard hours of 17.5 hours/week or more and is not otherwise covered by a collective bargaining agreement.  Postdoctoral scholars’ hiring practices are outlined in the postdoc handbook.  Faculty should refer to the by-laws of their primary school affiliation for guidance.

Related Links and Resources:

Postdoctoral Scholars’ Handbook:


This Vacation and Scheduling Vacation Statement is part of the HR Employee Policies and Procedures that can be found at here.

Disclaimer: Changes to this policy and the handbook in which it is maintained may be made at any time, at the sole discretion of the University and is not a contract. Employment by the University is at will and either the employee or the University may end the employment relationship at any time.