THRIVE: Take Your Breaks

A common question that we get in the AAPS New Member Information Sessions is “how do I carry over vacation days?”

The answer is in Article 11.2.1 Carry-over of Unused Vacation Time. You can carry-over up to 10 days of vacation per calendar year. You need to have approval from your manager for the vacation carry-over, but it should not be unreasonably be denied. We encourage all members to check their vacation at this time of year to see how many days you have left and if you will need to carry-over, email your manager/supervisor well before the end of December.

But why not think about how to use those vacation days this year instead?

As we move closer to December, not only are we experiencing the least daylight and some potentially dreary days, you may also be preparing for family and social obligations during the holiday season.

Take the opportunity of using a few of your vacation days to relax, recharge, organize, be outside during the day, or do something fun close to home. A short break may help your mental health and your productivity and focus at work.

Calculating Vacation Time

Vacation time at UBC is calculated based on your calendar years of service. So even if you started working in November or December, that year is still consider your first calendar year of service. See Article 11.2 of your Collective Agreement:

Calendar Year of Employment                      Weeks of Vacation
2 through 5                                                  4 (20 working days)
6 through 8                                                  5 (25 working days)
9 or more                                                    6 (30 working days)

  • During the employee’s first calendar year of employment, the employee is entitled to receive vacation at the rate of one and two-thirds (1 2/3) days for each full month worked.  After the employee’s first calendar year
  • A part-time employee’s vacation entitlement will be pro-rated based on the foregoing and her/his percentage of appointment
  • A term employee’s vacation entitlement will be pro-rated based on the foregoing and her/his term of appointment

Breaks During the Workday

The Collective Agreement does not provide for specifics around breaks during the workday. (But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any!)

Article 10 of your Collective Agreement speaks to Hours of Work. It is an article that each member should review in full.

Your standard workweek is 35 hours, typically 5 working days, 7 working hours per day. There are no paid breaks within those 7 hours. You can, of course, take a reasonable amount of unpaid breaks throughout the day. It might be lunch and a couple of coffee breaks. Maybe an extended lunch hour to go to the gym or participate in an activity.

This flexibility is built into the hours of work arrangement for M&P staff, but when you take your breaks may depend on operational needs. Be sure to take some time each day to step away from your work to take care of yourself, whether that be to eat, exercise or socialize.

If you are not able to take any breaks during your workday or have concerns about excessive hours of work without reasonable compensation, please contact the AAPS Office for a confidential conversation.