Each month, our APSA Advocates answer your questions about workplace challenges, the AD 10 policies and how they’re applied.
Hello, I’m Laya Behbahani, the chair of APSA’s Advocacy Committee. On behalf of the committee, I’m answering your questions about vacation carry over and maternity leave.
I’ve accumulated ten weeks of vacation at the beginning of the year. I know I’m allowed to carry over five weeks to the following calendar year. However, my new supervisor is forcing me to take all my vacation time this year. What should I do?
Thank you for your great question. You mentioned that your supervisor is new, and one possibility is that they may not be aware of the APSA policies. If you feel comfortable discussing this with your supervisor, have a conversation and mention APSA’s policies, which are your terms and conditions of employment.
In AD 10.8, section 4.07 states that:
An APSA employee’s full vacation entitlement for a given calendar year may be deferred for one year but must be taken in the next calendar year. Where an employee is unable to take the deferred vacation entitlement in the next calendar year, the deferred vacation will be paid out.
It’s also important to note that AD 10.01, section 1.03, states that [t]he University and APSA agree that the AD 10 Policies will be implemented and administered fairly and consistently across the University community taking Employment Equity Policies into consideration. This means that when it comes to vacation policy in the AD 10s, you shouldn’t be treated any differently from any other APSA member.
There are a lot of case-specific elements here. If you prefer to get more information from APSA on your specific situation, please contact us. Your questions and our advice are completely confidential.
I’m applying for maternity leave, and I’m a bit confused about when I can take maternity leave, for how long and how top-up works. I need to take some time off due to complications with my pregnancy. Should I take my maternity leave early?
At present, the current AD 10 policies have not been updated to reflect changes to maternity benefits per applicable federal statutes. While the policy has not been updated to reflect these changes, it works as follows:
SFU provides a reimbursement that “tops up” your EI benefits. SFU's reimbursement is calculated based on a 12-month leave. If you choose to take an 18-month leave, your reimbursement will remain the same as the 12-month leave.
We’re working with the University to update the policies to reflect the federal statutes.
You’ll receive your reimbursement when you return to work in a lump sum, so be aware of how this will affect your taxes for that year. You can always join our workshop on Personal Taxes - Tips and Traps to learn more.
You won’t lose your vacation entitlement, pension or extended health benefits. If you’re not well enough to work, you’re under no obligation to start maternity leave early. You can use your sick leave for pregnancy-related illnesses.
If you need further clarification or would prefer not to ask questions anonymously, please contact the APSA office, and we will do our best to help you.