University Administrative Policies


UNM_Policy_Office-L communicates important policy announcements (such as policy approvals, revisions, or campus review-and-comment periods).

UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-2069

Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 3400: Annual Leave

Date Originally Issued: 05-01-1990
Revised: 11-01-1991, 10-15-1995, 02-05-1996, 01-14-1997, 03-21-1997, 01-29-1999, 01-01-2008, 12-12-2016

Authorized by RPM 6.3 ("Privileges and Benefits")

Process Owner: Vice President of Human Resources

1. General

The University of New Mexico recognizes that annual leave provides employees an opportunity to relax for an extended period and to return to the job with renewed interest and vitality.  The University encourages employees to take annual leave each year, with at least one (1) annual leave period of one (1) week in duration. Eligible faculty and staff employees earn, accrue, use, and are paid for annual leave according to the provisions of this policy. Refer to the Faculty Handbook for more information on leave for faculty.

2. Eligible Employees

Regular full-time part-time staff employees who work twenty (20) hours or more per week and faculty on twelve-month contracts are eligible to receive paid annual leave.

3. How Annual Leave is Earned

Eligible employees earn annual leave each pay period only during time actually worked and during any paid leave of absence authorized by University policy.

4. Annual Leave Accrual

Eligible exempt employees accrue annual leave at a monthly rate up to a maximum of fourteen (14) hours per month based on the expected work hours and in accordance with Section 3. herein.  If an exempt employee work less than full-time, leave accruals will be prorated based on the employee's work schedule including any paid leave of absence.  

Eligible non-exempt employees accrue annual leave at a biweekly rate up to a maximum of 6.47 hours based on hours worked in the pay period and in accordance with Section 3. herein.  If non-exempt employees work less than full time, leave accruals will be prorated based on actual hours worked and any paid leave of absence.

4.1. Maximum Allowable Balance

An employee's unused annual leave balance may not exceed 252 hours. 

5. Use of Annual Leave

Annual leave is accrued at the end of the pay period and cannot be taken until the pay period following the date in which it was accrued.  Employees must request and receive approval of leave in advance from their immediate supervisor. While annual leave is normally scheduled according to the employee's wishes, the University reserves the right to schedule an employee's annual leave in accordance with the needs of the University.  It is recognized that in certain emergency situations an employee may not be able to request leave in advance, and the supervisor should give such a request fair and reasonable consideration. 

An employee who requests time off to observe a religious holiday that does not fall on a University holiday (refer to UAP 3405 ("Holidays")) must be allowed to take annual leave or leave without pay if the employee does not have enough  accrued leave, unless granting the request would cause significant disruption in the business of the department or otherwise cause undue hardship for the department or the University.  The employee must obtain such approval in advance.  Employees who work in non-critical areas may request time off due to inclement weather in accordance with UAP 3435 ("Inclement Weather").

5.1. Monitoring Annual Leave

Supervisors are expected to monitor employee leave balances. Where restricted funds are involved, supervisors should encourage employees to use annual leave accruals during the period that were earned during that project. When an employee transfers to another department, leave balances also transfer. An employee is not required to use annual leave prior to such a transfer. Supervisors should work with employees to develop and coordinate annual leave plans so that accruals remain at manageable levels and so that maximum limits are not exceeded.

6. Shift Work

Employees who are "regularly" assigned to shift work are paid for annual leave at their normal pay rate (base pay plus shift differential).

7. Payment for Unused Annual Leave

When employees separate from the University, they are paid for unused annual leave at their regular pay rate including shift differential as described in Section 6. above, and as provided in the following sections. The University reserves the right to require employees to take some or all of their accrued annual leave before the date of separation. However, the employee (except for employees retiring from the University) may not take annual leave in order to extend the termination date beyond the last day actually worked (refer to UAP 3225 ("Separation of Employment")).  If the University provides notice and opportunity for the employee to take annual leave prior to the last day actually worked, but the employee refuses, the leave is forfeited.

7.1. Voluntary Separation

The maximum payment for voluntary separation other than retirement is 168 hours.

7.2. Involuntary Separation, Retirement, or Death

The maximum payment for involuntary separation, retirement, or death is 252 hours.  In the case of an employee's death, the employee's estate is paid for accrued leave up to a maximum of 252 hours.

8.  Reporting and Payment

The department timekeeper must enter annual leave electronically into the Banner HR/Payroll System and the leave must be approved online by the area manager in accordance with UAP 2610 ("Time and Leave Reporting").

9.  Record Keeping

Departments must maintain documentation for each employee of hours worked, leave hours taken, and other information submitted on-line into the HR Banner System for four (4) years or in accordance with grant requirements, whichever is greater.   Employees may view their leave banks, including leave hours by going to Banner Self Service.