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Service Credit Eligibility

The information provided below pertains to service credit used for vacation accrual purposes. 

Service Credit refers to all service with the University of California and the University’s Office of the President (UCOP), California State Universities, Department of Energy Laboratories and State of California Agencies.

Employment service at 50% time or more (regardless of career/casual/student/academic status) is counted toward the career staff employee’s full-time equivalent service.

Periods of leave with pay, military leave from the same institution, and leave of absences with pay (e.g., extended sick leave) when an employee is unable to work due to a work-incurred injury, or illness compensable under the California Worker’s Compensation Act are included when calculating length of service.

Leaves of absence without pay are not included in service credit calculations. Service credit and leave accrual time cannot be “bought back” if an employee is on a leave without pay.

Service does not need to be continuous to be counted.

Vacation Service Credit may not correspond to the amount of service credit one has in the UCRP retirement system or to one’s seniority points for layoff. (See definitions below)  For retirement service credit questions see:  For seniority point questions, contact your Employee Labor Relations Analyst (ELRA).  To find ELRA contact information see:


Service Credit Types and Definitions


Vacation Service Credit: Used for determining vacation accrual rate and time towards service awards for career staff employees.

Vacation service credit is the sum of all months of qualifying service. A month of qualifying service is a month on pay status at 50% time or more. Service need not be continuous to be counted. Qualifying service includes staff, student, and academic service at:


Retirement Service Credit: Used for determining service credit towards retirement.

Accrues directly proportional to time on pay status (for example, an employee on 50% pay status for one year earns one-half year of service credit). Please see:  for questions regarding retirement service credit.

Seniority: Used for layoff and reduction in time purposes.

Generally, seniority is calculated by fulltime-equivalent months (or hours) of University service. Employment prior to a break in service is not counted. (See individual policy or contract for specific policies.) Contact your ELRA with questions. To find ELRA contact information see:


Staff Human Resources Responsibilities

Change in Vacation Leave Accrual Rate

Staff Human Resources tracks the employee's qualifying service credit.

In addition to receiving a Service Award, employees are given a higher accrual rate for vacation as they accumulate service. SHR contacts the department when the employee has reached a service anniversary date.  These anniversaries are at 5 years for MSP and SMG (and for grandparented A&PS employees) and at 10, 15 or 20 years for all employees for vacation accrual change and awards. SHR continues contacting the department at each 5-year mark after 20 years of service when employees receive awards but no vacation accrual change.

Newly hired career employees or employees that are appointed or converted from a limited to a career position are given the opportunity to provide SHR with information on prior service.  If all prior service is with UCSC SHR will research and validate the service claimed and contact the employee with the results of that research.  If the service is from another campus, CSU, or state agency SHR will instruct the employee about how to pursue that prior service.  When the other institution responds SHR will update the employee record, make a change in leave accrual (if applicable), and send the employee a letter of acknowledgement. 

For Questions regarding vacation service credit: Email

Please note: emails will be responded to within five business days.