Working on a Partial Year Schedule (PYS)
The purpose of this document is to outline the requirements, process, and benefit options for positions where employees 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 employees 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 employees 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
Effective January 2014, this policy only applies to employees in University Central. Medical Center employees refer to the flexPTO policy.
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 employees’ preference. To classify a position as a PYS position, the job code must contain PYS on the end of the regular job code number.
Vacancies for PYS positions should be clearly advertised as such. Employees 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.) This policy provides information about your benefit options. It is not meant to replace the Summary Plan Descriptions, which are the governing documents for Vanderbilt benefits. Offerings and plans are subject to change.
Employees 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 employees in PYS positions to go on unpaid status.
A direct billing packet will be mailed to your home address by the direct billing administrator once you are placed in a Leave of Absence status. It is the responsibility of the employee to make timely payments, even if bills are not received. If the direct billing administrator does not receive payment by the due date, coverage will be terminated. If the employee returns to work, coverage will be reinstated automatically unless coverage is waived and any missed payments will be taken from future paychecks.
Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance
Employees 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, dental and vision coverage in force until they return.
Life Insurance, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability
The full cost of supplemental life, short-term disability and long-term disability must be paid to continue the benefits during the unpaid period.
Because employees are on unpaid leave retirement contributions will not be made or matched.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
During the period of unpaid leave status, participation in a Healthcare FSA will continue through direct billing. Once the employee returns to a paid status, deductions for the remaining annual election will be recalculated to catch up with missed deductions. Only claims incurred during the period when contributions are made will be reimbursed.
Dependent Care FSA
During the period of unpaid leave status, participation in a Dependent Care FSA will continue through direct billing. Once the employee returns to a paid status, deductions for the remaining annual election will be recalculated to catch up with missed deductions. 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 run-out period at the end of the plan 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.
Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
HRA will not continue to accrue during the unpaid period on leave. However, HRA claims incurred during the leave of absence, and in the same calendar year, will be reimbursed if prior accrued balances exist. Participation in HRA will resume once the employees member returns to work.
Sick Leave will not accrue once in an unpaid status. However, the ending balance will remain in effect and is reactivated once the employee 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 an employee 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 employees should check with Human Resources for guidance.
Accrued Leave bank
Accrued leave time 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 employee returns from unpaid leave. During the 9 or 10 consecutive month work period employees may request to use accrued leave time by following the normal procedures set out by their department. If requested, accrued leave time may be taken at the end of the 9 or 10 consecutive month work period before going into unpaid status.
As long as employees 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.
FMLA and Tennessee Maternity Leave Act
Working in a PYS position may impact an employee’s eligibility to qualify for FMLA or Tennessee Maternity Leave Act coverage. To be eligible for FMLA coverage an employee must have worked 1250 hours during the preceding 12 month time period. To be eligible for the Tennessee Maternity Leave Act coverage an employee must have been employed for at least 12 consecutive months as a full time employee.
Other Payroll Deductions
Employees 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 due to Partial Year does not count toward the six month maximum leave amount outlined in the Medical and Personal Leaves of Absence Policy.
Vanderbilt reserves the right to change, terminate or discontinue PYS positions at any time and to the extent permitted by law without prior notice. Employees in PYS positions are, like other employees members, employees at will.
This procedure is in keeping with Vanderbilt’s Administrative Leave Policy and Vanderbilt’s Alternative Work Arrangements Policy.
This policy is intended as a guideline to assist in the consistent application of University policies and programs for employees. The policy does not create a contract implied or expressed, with any Vanderbilt employee, who are employees at will. Vanderbilt reserves the right to modify this policy in whole or in part, at any time, at the discretion of the University.
Approved by Traci K. Nordberg, Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor
Approved by Jerry Fife, Vice Chancellor for Administration
Approved by Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs