University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Voluntary Schedule Reduction Program (VSRP) – Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Will my creditable service for the purpose of seniority, longevity and retirement be negatively impacted if I choose to take unpaid leave time under the VSRP?

A: An employee who participates in the VSRP receives full credit towards seniority, longevity and retirement.  Additionally, for State Employee Retirement System (SERS) participants earnings for unpaid leave taken under the VSRP are not impacted for retirement purposes.  In other words, salary that would have been earned will be added to your actual earnings for retirement calculations if the voluntary leave occurs during your three highest earnings years.


Q2: I currently receive health insurance benefits through my employment with the University of Connecticut.  If I participate in the VSRP, am I still eligible for health and life insurance?

A: An approved leave under the VSRP does not impact health insurance eligibility.  A request for participation in the VSRP will not be granted if it would result in an employee falling below the threshold for eligibility for health insurance benefits.


Q3: I would like to take unpaid leave under the VSRP but I am still in my initial working test period.  Am I eligible to participate?

A: No.  An employee must be in “permanent” status in order to participate in the VSRP.


Q4: I am in a promotional working test period.  If I participate in the VSRP, will the time I take as unpaid leave be counted toward completion of my working test period?

A: No.  Days off which are approved under the VSRP shall not be counted toward completion of a Promotional Working Test Period.


Q5: How do I request to take unpaid leave day under the VSRP?

A: Employees are required to apply for long-term leaves of absence through CORE-CT at the UCONN employee self-service portal located at http://ess.uconn.edu/. Leave requests that must be submitted via CORE-CT include:

  • Family Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA) – Maternity Leaves, Paternity Leaves, Personal Illness, Family Illness
  • Sabbatical Leaves
  • Voluntary Schedule Reduction
  • Military Leaves of Absence
  • Personal/Emergency Leave
  • Faculty Other

Q6: What are my options under the VSRP?

A:  You may take leave under the VSRP as:

(A) sporadic full or partial days, or

Note:  Classified employees (NP-2, NP-3, NP-5, P-2, P-5) are eligible to take consecutive days off only until June 1, 2009 unless the limitation waiver is extended.

(B) a reduction in your weekly schedule, or

(C) unpaid leave of absence for a block of time of more than 5 days.

(Note:  Not available to classified employees (NP-2, NP-3, NP-5, P-2, P-5)


Q7:  I would like to take more than one day off in a row.  May I do this?

A:  Yes.

Note:  Classified employees (NP-2, NP-3, NP-5, P-2, P-5) are eligible to take consecutive days off only until June 1, 2009 unless the limitation waiver is extended.


Q8:  May I take consecutive partial days under the VSRP?  For example, would it be permissible to reduce my hours each day from 8 to 7?

A:  Yes.


Q9:  If I take a partial day of unpaid leave under the VSRP, is there a minimum amount of time I must take?

A:  Yes.  You must take at least one hour in a day.


Q10: I work a Monday through Friday work schedule and I want to take every Monday as unpaid leave under the VSRP.  Will I get paid for a holiday if it falls on a Monday such as Memorial Day?

A: Yes.  You will be paid for the holiday as if you were not taking unpaid leave under the VSRP.  You will revert back to your normal schedule for the workweek containing Memorial Day.


Q11: I work a Monday through Friday work schedule and I want to take every Monday as unpaid leave under the VSRP.  What happened when a holiday falls on another day in the week such as Good Friday?

A: You will take your voluntary leave day on the Monday and you will be paid for the holiday on Friday.


Q12: If I take an unpaid leave day under the VSRP before and/or after a holiday, will this affect my holiday pay?

A: No.  Benefits are not to be diminished under the VSRP so holidays are to be paid in both of these situations.


Q13: If I request unpaid leave under the VSRP, will my request be automatically approved? 

A: No.  An employee’s request cannot be approved if it would result in overtime costs or have a significant impact on critical services.


Q14: If I take part in the VSRP, will my position change from full-time to part-time?

A:  No.


Q15: Can I retroactively change time that I already took off without pay to time off under the VSRP?

A:  No.  Time under the VSRP must be pre-approved.


Q16:  What time code should be used for unpaid leave under the VSRP?

A:  The time code “VL” is used for approved leaves under the VSRP.


Q17:  How will Alternate Retirement Program (ARP) contributions be affected by the VSRP?

A:  Employees will receive full retirement service credit for the time that has been approved under the VSRP; however ARP contributions (employee and employer) will not be made for earnings that are lost under the VSRP.


Q18:  If I take leave under the VSRP now and later am required to take a furlough day, can the leave under the VSRP satisfy the furlough day requirement?

A:  No.  At this time, leave taken under the VSRP may not substitute for any furlough day(s) that may be required in the future.


Q19:  If I request and receive approval to take leave under the VSRP and later change my mind, may I rescind the request?

A:  Yes and no.  You may rescind your request to take leave under the VSRP provided the date(s) requested have not yet passed.  You may not; however, take the pre-scheduled leave off and then rescind your request after-the-fact.


Q20:  If I am sick and I have sick leave accruals available, can I take unpaid time under the VSRP instead of using my sick time?

A:  No.  Time off under the VSRP cannot be used for medical reasons regardless of whether or not you have exhausted your paid sick leave.


Q21:  My full-time schedule is 40 hours per week/8 hours per day and I am approved to work a reduced schedule of 7 hours per day.  If a holiday falls during the week, will I be paid for 7 or 8 hours? 

A:  You will be paid the same number of hours that you would have otherwise received had you not been participating in the VSRP, which would be 8 hours.


Q22:  I have requested and have received approval to reduce my work schedule from 8 hour days to 7 hour days.  If I am absent and must charge my leave accruals, how many hours will be charged per day?

A:  Seven.  The benefit is that you are accruing leave time based on your schedule prior to initiating your reduced work schedule under the VSRP.  However, the deduction from your leave codes is to be based on the hours of work you are missing due to your absence based on the approved (VSRP) work schedule.  The same is true for any absence that is not caused by the observance of a holiday.


Q23:  I am in a training program (Other than Leadership Associate).  Am I eligible to participate in the VSRP?

A:  Yes and no.  As with all employees, if you are in your initial working test period you may not participate in the VSRP.  If you are not in your initial working test period, then you may participate in the VSRP provided you meet the experience and training of the target position at the end of your training program.  Keep in mind if you take more than 3 leave days under the VSRP (or the equivalent number of hours), your training period will be extended by the same number of days, consistent with extensions of the working test period.  Additionally, three year programs cannot be extended.

 

Reviewed 3/31/09