Vacation and Sick Leave - Classified Staff

Vacation and sick leave benefits are provided to all state classified employees hired into a regular appointment. Temporary state classified employees do not receive vacation and sick leave benefits. (See documentation on page 12 of the Colorado Employee Handbook.)

State of Colorado Employee Resources

Accruals for Classified Staff

Employees must be at work or on paid leave to earn full, monthly accruals. Time taken away from work when paid leave is not available will result in prorated (reduced) leave accruals for the timeframe in question. Leave is not available for use until the beginning of the month following that in which the leave was earned.

Vacation Accruals

Regular, full-time appointed state classified employees accrue vacation at the following rates, based on years of state service. See State of Colorado Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director’s Administrative Procedures, chapter 5, section 5-7 for the applicable year.

Years of Service* Length of State
Service in Months**
Accrual/Month Maximum Accrual
1 – 5 0 to 60 8 hours 192 hours (24 days)
6 – 10 61 to 120 10 hours 240 hours (30 days)
11 – 15 121 to 180 12 hours 288 hours (36 days)
16 – more 181 and up 14 hours 336 hours (42 days)

*The amount of leave that part-time employees earn is based on the pro-rated hours worked during the pay period month.

Permanent part-time employees should be advanced to the next higher annual leave earnings rate based strictly on length of state service.

For example, a permanent, part-time employee who began state employment on June 1, 2010, and who works 40 percent time would earn 3.2 hours for the first through the fifth year (40 percent of 8 hours per month). The employee should be advanced to the next higher annual leave earnings rate as of June 1, 2015. The employee in this example would then earn 4 hours of leave per month for the sixth through the 10th year of service (40 percent of 10 hours per month).

**Please contact your campus human resources department with questions regarding length of state service and accrual rates.

Sick Accruals

The sick leave accrual rate for regular, full-time appointed classified staff is 6.66 hours per month. The maximum accrual allowed is 360 hours (more for some employees with frozen sick leave balances; their allowed maximum accrual will be based upon the employee’s June 30, 1988, unused sick leave balance, plus an additional 360 hours).

*The amount of leave that part-time employees earn is based on the pro-rated hours worked during the pay period month.

Leave Accrual in Human Capital Management (HCM)

Leave accrual is processed automatically in HCM during monthly payroll processing for all monthly/regular employees in an eligible job code series. See the Leave Accrual page for additional information.

Calculation for Classified Staff Vacation and Sick Leave

Full-time employees who work or are on paid leave for 100 percent of the month will accrue 100 percent vacation and sick leave.

Part-time employees who work regular, non-fluctuating schedules earn leave on a pro-rated basis based on the number of hours worked during the month, rounded to the nearest 1/100 of an hour.

Full-time or part-time employees who work less than a full month***, due to docks or unpaid leave taken, earn leave on a pro-rated basis. Docks in pay and taking unpaid leave reduce an employee's accrual rate. Leave is calculated by dividing the number of hours the employee worked or was on paid leave by the total number of work hours in the month. (See FORMULA below.)

***The total physical work time, plus approved vacation and sick usage is less than 100 percent of time of their appointment for the month.


Hours worked (including paid leave) during the month, divided by total number of work hours in the month.


140 hours worked in April
Divided by 168 total work hours in April
=0.833333 (pro-ration factor)

In this example, an employee whose vacation leave accrual rate is 8 hours would earn 6.67 hours vacation accrual for the month. The same employee, whose sick leave accrual rate is 6.66 hours, would earn 5.55 sick leave hours for the month. (8 x .833333 = 6.67 hours vacation and 6.66 x .833333 = 5.55 hours sick leave.)

Recording Classified Staff Vacation and Sick Leave – Usage, Adjustments, Payout

Recording Usage: Leave usage (vacation and sick leave) is entered in Time Collection for hours used during the prior month. Usage can be recorded using the quarter-hour calculation to be consistent with recording work and overtime hours.

For example, if an employee is on vacation or sick leave from 2 - 3:08 p.m., you will round to the closest quarter-hour and report 1.25 hours of usage. If an employee is on vacation or sick leave from 2 - 3:07 p.m., you will round to the closest quarter-hour and report 1.00 hours of usage. Use this calculation when updating an employee's work record, vacation and sick leave balances.

Recording Adjustments: Departmental manual leave balance records are considered the official record of an employee's leave balance, and departments should reconcile their paper records to HCM on a periodic basis. If at any time leave balances shown in HCM appear to be incorrect, they may be corrected through Time Collection. The department must make leave balance adjustments in HCM using earnings code VAA for vacation balance adjustments, and SCA for sick hours balance adjustments. These adjustments can be entered in Time Collection as positive or negative, depending upon whether the system balances should be increased or decreased.

Note: When an employee is transferred to another department, unit, campus or state agency, the transferring department is responsible for providing the receiving department a current and accurate copy of the employee's internal work record in a timely manner.

Recording Payout: Upon retirement or termination, unused, accrued leave for eligible employees can be recorded in Time Collection by entering VCT and SKS. See Separation of Employment - Termination for specific information and eligibility criteria.

Vacation/Sick Conversion for Classified Staff

You will lose any vacation and sick leave balances that exceed the maximum accrual rates on July 1 of each fiscal year. This annual leave sweep takes place after the July monthly payroll closes. For more information, see Time-off Technical Guidance or State of Colorado Personnel Board Rules and Personnel Director's Administrative Procedures, section 5-11.

On some campuses, vacation hours over the maximum accrual may be donated to the Leave-Sharing Program before this balance reduction. Please contact your campus human resources department for leave-sharing information.

After the July monthly payroll closes, Employee Services will automatically convert sick leave balances that exceed the maximum accrual allowed to vacation leave hours, using a 5-to-1 ratio (5 sick hours become one vacation hour). Maximum accrual for both full-time and part-time employees hired after July 30, 1988, is 360 hours. For employees with a sick balance as of July 30, 1988 (referred to as frozen sick balance), the maximum accrual is the frozen sick balance, plus 360 hours. Regardless of the employee’s accrual balance, no more than 80 hours of sick leave can annually be converted to vacation (equal to16 hours).

Note: If an employee has exceeded his/her maximum vacation leave accrual AND sick leave, we will reduce the vacation leave to the maximum amount before converting his/her sick leave into vacation leave. Following that conversion, we will NOT again reduce the employee's vacation leave.

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