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HR Policy and Procedure #83: Holiday Leave Revised July 1, 2020


The University recognizes certain holidays by closing of all departments and offices except where continuous service is essential.


  1. The University recognizes the following as official University holidays:
    1. New Year’s Day,
    2. Martin Luther King Jr. Day,
    3. Memorial Day,
    4. Juneteenth
    5. Independence Day,
    6. Labor Day,
    7. Presidential Election Day (every four years),
    8. Thanksgiving Day,
    9. Day after Thanksgiving, and
    10. Christmas Day.
      Note: Employees of UK HealthCare who do not normally receive the Friday after Thanksgiving as a holiday are provided a “floating” holiday in place of this calendar day.
  2. An employee in a regular position with a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 0.5 or greater is entitled to regular pay on a holiday.
  3. When an employee is scheduled to work on a holiday which falls on a Saturday or Sunday, that Saturday or Sunday shall be considered the holiday for purposes of granting time off.
  4. When an employee is required to work or is normally off on any University holiday, time-off with pay shall be granted on another scheduled work day, within a specified period of six weeks, at the convenience of the department. Departments with special scheduling and staffing problems may extend this period with the approval of the department head and the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations.
  5. An employee who is in an unpaid status on a scheduled day immediately before or after a holiday shall not be paid for the holiday.
  6. An employee on authorized vacation leave shall not be charged vacation leave for a holiday that occurs while the employee is on vacation leave.
  7. Special holidays (bonus days) may be granted by action of the Board of Trustees or the President.
    1. Special holidays shall be taken in accordance with a schedule as arranged by the departments within the period of time outlined by the President.
    2. A department with special scheduling and staffing needs may schedule the bonus days at the department’s convenience, as close to the bonus days as possible, and preferably within six weeks, but no more than 12 weeks.
    3. Only employees who are employed prior to the cut-off date established by the President shall be eligible for the special holidays.
      Note: For UK HealthCare employees who are on an approved leave during a holiday time frame (including bonus days), it is an accepted UK HealthCare practice to administer holiday pay before any other leave during the leave time.
  8. An employee whose retirement occurs during a special or regular holiday period will receive that special or holiday pay.
    Note: Department heads are encouraged to be sensitive to the importance of official religious holidays. Every effort should be made to allow an employee to observe official religious holidays. Possible alternatives for accommodating religious holidays may be to allow an employee to substitute one of the official University holidays (see policy section (1)) for a religious holiday (assuming this arrangement is compatible with the department's operating schedule), or to allow the employee to use accrued vacation leave. If all accrued vacation is exhausted, a department head may grant leave without pay.