Approved Administrative Committee 401.6



1. The University recognizes the importance of professional development for its support staff and therefore authorizes refresher leaves in certain circumstances.


2. All regular support staff employees can make a request for refresher leave after they have completed four years of full-time service.


3. The refresher leave can be granted in the following circumstances:

  • a) when the employee wishes to rethink or give a new direction to his/her career or professional orientation;
  • b) when the employee wishes to prepare to assume new or increased professional responsibilities;
  • c) when the employee wishes to pursue professional studies or to acquire new work experiences.


4. The interested employee must prepare a development project which sets out objectives, proposed length of absence and salary requirements. The project is then submitted to the faculty or service administration through the employee's immediate superior.

5. The faculty or service administrator adds its comments and recommendations, including all financial considerations, and must refer the document to the Director of the Human Resources Service within four months of one of the following three dates:

  • a) September 1
  • b) January 1
  • c) May 1

6. The Director of the Human Resources Service refers all requests for leave to the Committee on Refresher Leave as soon as possible after the deadlines mentioned in article 5 so that they may be studied collectively by the Committee.

7. The Committee on Refresher Leave then submits its recommendations to the Administrative Committee for approval.

8. The maximum duration of a refresher leave is eight months.


9. An employee who is on refresher leave may receive all or part of his/her regular salary paid prior to the leave, subject to the nature and the duration of the submitted and approved project, as well as to the merits of the project as a whole.

10. A member of the support staff who is on refresher leave may, while on leave, be in receipt of bursaries and, in certain cases, remunerated by another employer, on condition that such assistance has been clearly stated at the time final approval of the leave was given and the total of the assistance provided does not exceed 100% of the salary paid by the University prior to the leave. Details in this regard, however, must be settled in advance and included in the final decision approving the leave.


11. During the leave, both the University and the employee continue to make their respective contributions to the pension and insurance plans. The contributions are calculated on the basis of the employee's full regular salary; this allows the employee to participate in all University benefits, including annual vacation leave which continues to accumulate as long as the employee receives all or part of his salary from the University. When no salary is awarded, vacation leave credits are not accumulated. Employees can include the use of all or part of their accumulated vacation leave credits in the project presentation. The final decision takes into account all these elements and considers the interests of both the University and the employee concerned.

12. A fixed amount of money for refresher leaves is set aside in a central budget account at the Office of the Vice-rector, Resources and Planning.


13. The employee agrees to continue working for the University for a period of time equal to twice the duration of the refresher leave. He/she also agrees to submit a written report on the leave to his/her immediate superior within one month of his/her return to work.


14. A refresher leave is a privilege and not a right. The University reserves the right to deny requests which, in the opinion of the Refresher Leave Committee or the Administrative Committee, are not in the best interests of the University.


15. The amount of direct expenditures (employee salary and benefits during the leave and costs of replacement) authorized by the University for the duration of the leave will constitute a loan made by the University until the commitment period has elapsed.


16. The Director of the Human Resources Service is responsible for the interpretation of this policy. The application of the policy is the joint responsibility of the faculty and service administrators and the Director of the Human Resources Service.


17. The present policy applies to employees and/or situations not covered by provisions of a collective agreement.


18. No exception may be made to this policy without the written consent of the Administrative Committee.

Revised October 19, 1988

(Human Resources)