Working on a Partial Year Schedule (PYS)
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
SUBJECT: Working on a Partial Year Schedule (PYS) Policy | POLICY #: HR-036
EFFECTIVE DATE: April 1, 2003
The purpose of this document is to outline the requirements, process, and benefit options for positions where staff are only required to work a Partial Year Schedule (PYS), defined as working 9 or 10 consecutive months out of the year. While this schedule is most applicable to staff whose work is governed by the academic year calendar, it may be applicable in other areas as well. The requirements of each department or business unit dictate the availability of PYS positions. Vanderbilt is offering PYS positions because they provide:
• A process for staff to remain in full-time status and keep insurance coverage (as outlined in the policy) while pursuing family or other interests 2 or 3 months of the year and then returning to active employment
• A potentially valuable recruiting tool for the University
• A means for the University to lower costs during non-productive periods
• An opportunity to increase individuals’ quality of work life
Determining Which Positions are Eligible to be PYS Positions
The decision to offer a PYS position is up to each department or business unit and should best meet the requirements of the department. The need for a partial year schedule is dictated by work requirements, not by staff preference. To classify a position as a PYS position a Position Management Form (PMF) must be processed changing the job code by adding PYS on the end of the regular job code number. In the comments section Partial Year Schedule should be noted.
Vacancies for PYS positions should be clearly advertised as such. Staff in these positions will be eligible to continue insurance benefits during the months they are not working provided that they are full time (work 30 or more hours per week) during the months they are required to work. (See information on specific benefits below.)
Staff in PYS positions will be paid during the months they work and will be placed in an unpaid leave status the 2 or 3 months they do not work. When it is time for staff in PYS positions to go on unpaid status, a Payroll Action Form (PAF) should be processed by the department administrator placing the staff member on Leave without Pay. An action code of “LOA” with the reason of “PYS” should be used. Another PAF should be processed when the staff member returns to work to return them to active status.
A “Continuation of Benefits While on Leave” form must be completed prior to the unpaid period in order to continue or terminate any benefits during this period. It is the responsibility of the staff member to make timely payments even if bills are not received. If the benefits office does not receive payment by the due date coverage will be terminated. When the staff member returns to work coverage will be automatically reinstated unless coverage is waived.
Staff will maintain their full-time benefit status by directly paying the amount that would normally be deducted from their paychecks to keep their health care coverage in force until they return. This may be prepaid before they go on leave, or can be paid monthly.
Life Insurance and Long Term Disability
The full cost of life and long term disability must be paid to continue the benefits during the unpaid period. This may be prepaid before they go on leave, or can be paid monthly.
Because staff are on unpaid leave retirement contributions will not be made or matched.
Personal Spending Accounts (PSA)
During the period of unpaid leave status, participation in a Medical PSA will terminate, except where the staff member continues payment of the Medical PSA contributions through direct billing. Once a Medical PSA is terminated staff may not reenroll until the following calendar year.
During the period of unpaid leave status, participation in a Dependent PSA will terminate. Dependent PSA contributions may not be made through direct billing. Once a Dependent PSA is terminated staff may not reenroll until the following calendar year. Only claims incurred during the period when contributions are made will be reimbursed.
Claims expenses incurred during the period for which contributions were made can be placed through the end of the calendar year and will be paid. Claims expenses incurred during a period when no contributions are made due to leave status, are not eligible for payment.
Flexible Reimbursement Account (FRA)
FRA will not continue to accrue during the unpaid period on leave. However, FRA claims incurred during the leave of absence, and in the same calendar year, will be reimbursed if prior accrued balances exist. Participation in FRA will resume once the staff member returns to work.
Vacation will not accrue or be available for use once in an unpaid status. However, the ending balance will remain in effect and is reactivated once the staff member returns from unpaid leave. During the 9 or 10 consecutive month work period staff may request to use accrued vacation by following the normal procedures set out by their department. If requested, vacation may be taken at the end of the 9 or 10 consecutive month work period before going into unpaid status (LOA PYS – see above).
Sick Leave will not accrue once in an unpaid status. However, the ending balance will remain in effect and is reactivated once the staff member returns from unpaid leave. Sick leave pay during the period that would normally be unpaid leave may be available under certain qualifying circumstances. For example, if a staff member is on approved medical leave prior to the end of their normal work year they may continue to be paid using accrued sick leave as long as medical certification exists. Managers and staff should check with Employee Relations for guidance.
As long as staff are on approved leave (e.g. there is no break in service ) they are eligible for tuition benefits in keeping with the Educational Assistance Policy (# HR-013.)
FMLA and Tennessee Maternity Leave Act
Working in a PYS position may impact a staff member’s eligibility to qualify for FMLA or Tennessee Maternity Leave Act coverage. To be eligible for FMLA coverage a staff member must have worked 1250 hours during the preceding 12 month time period. To be eligible for the Tennessee Maternity Leave Act coverage a staff member must have been employed for at least 12 consecutive months as a full time employee. See the Medical and Personal Leaves of Absence Policy (HR-012.)
Other Payroll Deductions
Staff must make arrangements to meet or discontinue their obligations during the period they are on unpaid leave for such items as credit union loans, pharmacy charges, parking charges, and other items which are normally taken via payroll deduction.
9 or 10-month positions may be either exempt or non-exempt positions.
Time in the unpaid status of LOA PYS (see above) does not count toward the six month maximum leave amount outlined in the Medical and Personal Leaves of Absence Policy (#HR-012).
Vanderbilt reserves the right to change, terminate or discontinue PYS positions at any time and to the extent permitted by law without prior notice. Staff in PYS positions are, like other staff members, employees at will.
This procedure is in keeping with Vanderbilt’s Administrative Leave Policy (#HR-020) and Vanderbilt’s Alternative Work Arrangements Policy (#HR-023.)
This policy is intended as a guideline to assist in the consistent application of University policies and programs for staff. The policy does not create a contract implied or expressed, with any Vanderbilt staff members, who are employees at will. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at anytime, at the discretion of the University.
Approved Kevin Myatt, Chief Human Resource Officer
Approved Lauren Brisky, Vice Chancellor, Administration
Approved Harry Jacobson, Vice Chancellor, Health Affairs