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Vacation Leave Assessment

Vacation Leave Assessments, commonly referred to as VLAs, are charged to the fund-source(s) where an employee is contributing effort to help cover the future cost of vacation leave an employee has earned. Vacation Leave Assessments are the only financial obligation of the unit and the accrual appears as FRINGE on the labor ledgers (DOPE). There is no component of vacation included in CBR and is a separate assessment.

These assessments are pooled in a vacation leave reserve account. When vacation is taken or paid, the departmental account receives a net wash (zero) transaction as the vacation taken appears as SALARY on the labor ledgers, with a corresponding offset appearing as FRINGE.

On the central side, the vacation leave reserve account is reduced. This practice is common across all UC campuses and ensures the appropriate cost accounting treatment of vacation assessments.

Employee Mapping to VLA Groups 

With UCPath, an employee will fall into one of three VLA groups. The assignment of an employee to a VLA group is based on whether or not an employee's appointment makes them eligible to accrue vacation leave. The following table provides some of the common UC appointments and corresponding UCPath VLA groups, and to be used as a general guide, but any specific questions about an employee's appointment vacation eligibility should be addressed to Human Resources. 

UCPath VLA Group Appointment Examples
Accruing Staff and Non-Faculty Academic Career Staff & A VCs (PPS, MSP) 
Senior Management Group 
Research Scientist Series 
Research Specialist Series 
Fiscal Year Faculty Deans 
Acting and Interim Deans 
Assistant Deans 
Non-Accruing Staff and Academic Year Faculty 

Senate Faculty
Lecturers with Potential of Security of Employment (LPSOE)
Lecturers with Security of Employment (LSOE)
Graduate Student Researcher
Student Employees
Post-Doctoral Scholars

Approved VLA Rates

VLAs are charged based on the employee's eligible gross salary, and assessments can be calculated using the following formula: 
Eligible Gross Salary x Applicable VLA Rate 

For example, if a PPS employee has a monthly gross-salary amount of $1,000/month, the monthly assessment to offset the cost of future vacation taken would be $94.50 ($1,000 x 8.1 %). 

Similar to the Composite Benefit Rates, VLAs are subject to annual rate adjustments. Because all VLAs are subject to change, continue to use FY23-24 rates onward for planning purposes until future rates are approved. 

VLA Group F24 VLA Rate
Accruing Staff and Non-Faculty Academic 6.65%
Fiscal Year Faculty 6.32%
Non-Accruing Staff and Academic Year Faculty  0.00%

Budgeting for Contract and Grants

In accordance with relevant personnel policies and labor contract provisions, most UC Merced staff employees accrue vacation leave, including UC Merced staff employees paid on contracts and grants. Departments and research units should encourage staff supported by sponsored projects to use vacation leave in accordance with their personnel program, percentage of appointment, and service. Any questions regarding how VLAs are to be budgeted on a contract or grant should be directed toward Sponsored Research Services.