University Winter Closure

Most University of Arizona departments close or reduce operations between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Three paid holidays fall within this period: Christmas Eve (floating holiday), Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Three or four days, depending on the calendar, are mandatory paid Closure leave. 

Based on critical need, supervisors may request a waiver from the Senior Vice President for Business Affairs to allow their department to stay open, or select employees within a department may be instructed to remain at work. These decisions are made by the supervisor, not individual employees. Those who will be working during the University Closure should report normal work hours and work with their supervisor to use University Closure days at a convenient time before June 30 of the following year.

University Closure Dates

UA Holiday Calendar

University Closure Dates for 2019: December 26, 27, 30, and 31, 2019

Holiday & Closure Pay

In order to be paid for the three holidays and four closure days during University closure, employees must be on “approved paid status” on the day before and day after the closure. This means they must be in the UA Payroll system and either at work or on prearranged paid leave (such as vacation).

University Closure Compensation Policy

Related FAQs

General Questions

Historically employees have used a variety of Vacation, University Closure, and Comp Time to be paid during the closure days. Under the new University Closure Policy, effective May 19, 2017, all benefits-eligible fiscal-year employees will receive University Closure Time to be paid during the closure days.

Time will be automatically entered into your time sheet as follows:

December 24 (Floating), December 25 (Christmas Day), and January 1 (New Year's Day) = Holiday Time

Any days of Closure = Closure Time 

Looking for specific dates for future University closure periods?

Exceptions to University Closure

Departments whose work requires that they remain open during the University closure may request a waiver from the Senior Vice President for Business Affairs.

Since these two employees will not observe the University closure, they will be compensated as they would be on any other scheduled workday and should work with their supervisor to use University Closure days at a mutually convenient time before the end of the next fiscal year (June 30).

No. A department’s management establishes the work schedules for its employees. An employee is not authorized to make an exception to the University closure unless directed to work by his/her supervisor in order to meet departmental business needs.

Holiday Pay

In order to be on an "approved paid status," the employee must be receiving pay through the University payroll system based on regular work or approved paid leave that was scheduled in advance. If the employee is not receiving any pay through the University payroll system, then the employee is not on an approved paid status.

According to the Holidays policy (Classified Staff policy 203.0, Appointed Personnel policy 8.01.02), University employees must work or be on approved paid status on their last scheduled workday before and first scheduled workday after the holiday to qualify for holiday pay. For the annual University closure, this means the employee must be on scheduled, approved paid status on both (a) his/her last scheduled workday immediately before the Christmas Eve holiday and (b) his/her first scheduled workday immediately after the New Year's holiday.

If an employee is called to work on a holiday, an alternate day off given in lieu of working on a holiday must occur in the same time period as the holiday. If that alternate day is one of the University Closure days, the employee can bank the University Closure day.

Non-Exempt: For a full-time benefits-eligible nonexempt employee who is required to work on the holiday, there are two options. 

  1. Option 1: The employee is paid for 8 hours of actual work and receives 8 hours of holiday pay for the University-designated holiday.
  2. Option 2: The employee is paid 8 hours of actual work for working on the University designated holiday and the supervisor authorizes a different day off work within the same pay period as an alternative paid holiday.

Exempt: For a full-benefits-eligible exempt employee who is required to work on the holiday, the employee is paid regularly for work performed and the supervisor authorizes a different day off work within the same pay period as an alternative paid holiday.

Part-time full-benefits-eligible employees are entitled to a prorated amount of holiday pay, based on the current FTE, not on the number of hours normally worked in a day. To calculate pay for this employee, multiply 8 hours by the employee's FTE. 

Example: 8 hours (holiday for full-time) × .75 (FTE) = 6.0 hours of holiday pay.

Under ABOR guidelines University employees must work 20 hours a week in a position expected to last at least 6 months. Non-benefits-eligible employees are those who work 19 or fewer hours per week. Limited-Benefits-Eligible employees may work 20 hours or more, but their position is expected to last less than 6 months. To comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the University offers them medical, dental, and vision insurance, but they do not qualify for other benefits. 

Based on departmental business needs, supervisors may permit these employees to work extra hours in the weeks prior to closure.

University Closure Policy and Payroll Procedures

University closure time is not payable on separation from University service. Any employees who were required to work during the University closure and received a University closure day in compensation should use that time prior to terminating University employment.

Compassionate Transfer of Leave (CTL)

If the employee’s position is subject to the closure, then they will receive University closure time for those days, not CTL.

In cases where an employee's position is not subject to the University closure (e.g. when a department does not observe the closure), CTL may continue for eligible absences since the employee is absent from scheduled work.

Yes. According to the Holidays policy (Classified Staff policy 203.0, Appointed Personnel policy 8.01.02) University employees must work or be on an approved paid status on their last scheduled workday before and first scheduled workday after a holiday to receive pay for that holiday. An employee receiving CTL is in an "approved paid status," because the individual is receiving pay through the University payroll system. For University closure, the employee must receive CTL on both (a) his/her last scheduled workday immediately before the Christmas Eve holiday (December 24) and (b) his/her first scheduled workday immediately after the New Year's holiday (January 1), or must return to work on the first scheduled workday after January 1.

The University closure period and the paid holidays of December 24 (Christmas Eve), December 25 (Christmas Day), and January 1 (New Year's Day), do not count toward FML if the employee's department is closed and the employee would not report to work. 

In cases where an employee's position is not subject to the University closure, such as when a department does not observe the closure, FML should be charged for qualifying absences from scheduled work.

Family & Medical Leave

The University closure period and paid holidays of December 24 (Christmas Eve), December 25 (Christmas Day), and January 1 (New Year's Day), do not count toward FML.

For employees whose position is subject to the closure, they will receive University closure time for those days.

In cases where an employee's position is not subject to the University closure, such as when a department does not observe the closure, FML shall be charged for qualifying absences from scheduled work.

Academic Appointments

Appointed personnel on an academic appointment are not scheduled to work during the academic break. Therefore, their regular pay is not affected by the fact that the University closes. Because these employees would not be at work if the University were open, they do not receive paid closure time.

Retirement

If you are in paid status on the day before closure (i.e., actively at work or on vacation or sick leave), you will be paid for the closure days and the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day holidays, but not for New Year's Day.

Student Employees

No. Any hours worked by student employees must be paid in the same pay period in which they are earned.