4.63 Vacations and Holidays


To outline the eligibility and usage criteria for paid vacation leave and paid holidays for university employees.

Policy Statement

The University provides paid vacation leave and paid holidays for eligible staff, which includes Institutional Officials, calendar year Academic Administrators, Professional & Scientific (P&S) staff and Merit system staff. 


Eligible full-time non-temporary staff members earn vacation accruals in accordance with Board of Regents, State of Iowa policy. Eligible non-temporary part-time staff scheduled to work at least 20 hours but less than 40 hours per week earn accruals at the pro-rata equivalent. With the exception of P&S exempt appointments, staff with less than 12 month service schedules will earn accruals at a pro-rata equivalent. Two (2) personal holidays per year are accrued and included in the monthly vacation accrual. Vacation earnings, including personal holidays, have a maximum balance of twice the annual accrual rate. If sick leave is being converted to vacation the maximum balance is increased by 12 days for eligible full-time staff and at a pro-rata equivalent for eligible part-time staff.  If a staff member’s reduction in percent of service time results in an accrual balance greater than the new vacation maximum, the excess will be paid out to the staff member. Per Iowa Administrative Code 11-63.2, vacation shall not be granted in excess of the amount accrued. In addition, vacation shall not be used until after the calendar month it is accrued. Vacation accrues only during a period of service in pay status, and therefore does not accrue during periods of absence without pay. Holidays falling within the period of a paid vacation are paid as holidays and are not charged to the staff member's vacation earnings.

Vacation accrual calculations based on years of service may include prior non-temporary employment history with other State of Iowa agencies. Evidence of former State of Iowa employment must be furnished by the staff member.

A staff member who is transferred, promoted, or demoted from one position to another position among agencies of the State of Iowa, or among Board of Regents institutions may request to have their vacation accruals transferred to their new employer. The staff member must make a request during the interview or employment offer process and must notify the current institution or agency by their last day of employment. Such requests are subject to approval by the receiving employer.

Paid Holidays

The University provides eleven (11) paid holidays per year to staff with a non-temporary appointment of at least half-time and scheduled to work throughout the year (referred to as a 12 month appointment or calendar appointment). Nine (9) of these days are scheduled as set forth below and the remaining two (2) unscheduled days are accrued on a monthly basis and added to the employee’s vacation accrual balance. When a holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday will be declared the holiday. When a holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be declared the holiday.

  1. New Year's Day
  2. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  3. Memorial Day
  4. Independence Day
  5. Labor Day
  6. Thanksgiving Day
  7. Friday after Thanksgiving Day
  8. Christmas Day
  9. University Holiday as designated by the University

Staff eligible for paid holidays serving in an appointment scheduled for less than 12 months (9, 10, or 11 month appointments) will be provided any of the above holidays that fall within their appointment schedule. For example, academic year (9 month) appointments typically do not receive the Independence Day paid holiday. If an employee is not in a paid status their scheduled work day before and after a University holiday, they will not receive pay for the holiday. 

University employees who are veterans (as defined in Iowa Code Section 91A.5A) may request unpaid time off on Veterans Day by following their normal procedures to request time off a month or more in advance. They may be asked to verify their veteran status if there is any question. Those who accrue vacation may utilize accrued time to remain in paid status (utilizing one of the unscheduled holidays incorporated into vacation accrual). The University will continue to operate on Veterans Day.

Additional Resources

Staff vacation accrual rates: https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/absence
P&S Service Schedule: https://hrs.uni.edu/ps/service-schedule
UNI Paid Holidays: https://hrs.uni.edu/mybenefits/holidays

This policy revision is effective July 1, 2017

Human Resource Services, approved April 17, 2017
President’s Cabinet, approved May 8, 2017
President and Executive Management Team, approved June 14, 2017
Updated by the Office of Human Resource Services, August 2019