Memo: Paid leave for staff between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

On Nov. 21, HR distributed information regarding eligibility for paid leave for staff on the three business days between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

This leave is addressed in the collective agreements with BCGEU Okanagan, CUPE 2950, CUPE 116 and IUOE 115, and the agreement with AAPS. Although there are no official provisions in place for non-union staff, excluded Management & Professional staff, and service unit directors, Human Resources has recommendations regarding paid leave between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day for these staff groups.

Read the memo at https://www.hr.ubc.ca/memos/paid-leave-for-staff-between-boxing-day-and-new-years-day-nov-21-2019/.

Inclusive holiday celebrations in the workplace

This winter at UBC, our community is celebrating events and holidays from around the world. Our students, staff and faculty come from many cultural backgrounds and faith identities, and at this time of year, we have an opportunity to celebrate the cultures that make up our UBC community.

Some celebratory events are coming up in the next few weeks, including Yule (Paganism), Hanukkah (Judaism), and Christmas (Christianity). In February, we will see festivities for the Lunar New Year (Confucian, Daoism, Buddhism). See the Days of Significance list to see all the events and celebrations coming up soon.

Ways to celebrate in the workplace

We have a great opportunity to celebrate the season together, in a respectful and positive way that can help build intercultural understanding.

  • Display a calendar in your workplace to raise awareness of important cultural/faith events and holidays throughout the entire year.
  • Celebrate all faiths present in your workplace.
  • Consider having a New Year’s celebration party instead of a holiday party in December.
  • Be flexible with the needs of staff around faith and/or holiday celebrations.
  • In your workplace or at celebration events, bring together decorations and food from the many cultures in your workplace, and encourage staff to share stories about their favourite traditions.
  • Be aware and respectful of religious holidays when planning events and meetings. Check the Days of Significance calendar for details.

Office decorations

Here are some tips to make your office decorations inclusive and respectful of all cultures and beliefs:

  • Aim for neutral decor in the front-facing areas of your office
  • Ensure your office is accessible and that decorations do not prevent or block access to public services.
  • Consider how your office can celebrate dates significant to all members of your workplace. Invite staff from all faith identities to be involved in the office decorating discussion.
  • Set an agreed upon limit to the number of days that your office will display decorations, and have a discussion about what other times of year you might want to decorate, in celebration of other events.
  • Use the holidays as an opportunity to build community within your office, and with the people your office serves or supports.

If you are feeling excluded as a result of office celebrations, you are encouraged to reach out to a colleague or a supervisor and have a conversation about how you feel and how you would like your culture and beliefs to be included. At UBC we should all feel comfortable to share our culture and beliefs with others. You are welcome to contact the Equity and Inclusion Office or your HR Advisor to discuss.

We hope that this advice provides some suggestions on how to foster community and inclusion at this time of year through encouraging the celebration of our many cultures and faiths on campus.

Relevant links

Next IRP HR call-in session: Top 15 things to know about Workday: Dec. 11

The next Integrated Renewal Program HR call-in session will be Dec. 11, 9:00-10:00 a.m., where the team will provide a recap of the last 15 call-in sessions. Human resources practitioners at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan are welcome to join.


  • Integrated Renewal Program (IRP) update
  • HR work stream update: what has the team been working on and what is planned for the next 30 days
  • Top 15 things to know about Workday: A recap of the last 15 call-in sessions

Not yet on the Outlook invite? If you are interested in participating in the call, email integrated.renewal@ubc.ca to be sent the invite.

IRP HR call-in session recordings

A recording of all previous IRP HR call-in sessions are available on the IRP Website under HR/Payroll Workstream Resources (https://irp.ubc.ca/resources/hr). New recordings are posted within three-to-four business days of the sessions.

Featured Focus on People story: Rethinking teaching and learning at UBC’s Emerging Media Lab

Featured Focus on People story: Rethinking teaching and learning at UBC’s Emerging Media Lab

The Focus on People 2025 website is featuring stories about the great work that contributes to the success of the framework and its four catalysts across UBC.

This week, we feature Rethinking teaching and learning at UBC’s Emerging Media Lab, which talks about this experimental space at UBC Vancouver where people can work, teach and research in an innovative, dynamic and collaborative way.

Please, share the Focus on People stories with your teams and network, and invite them to engage with us.

Stay tuned! We will publish new stories soon about initiatives that are helping to bring the framework to life.

Share your stories

Are you working on initiatives that support the Focus on People 2025 framework? Would you like to spread the word about them? Reach out to Monique Rodrigues, Focus on People Project & Communications Coordinator, to share your ideas.

Register now for HR professional development workshops in 2020

Interested in professional development in 2020? Check out our professional development workshops in January and February to get started:

If you are interested in these courses, you may be able to use your professional development funding. Please visit the page for your employee group to learn more.

Note: If you are logged into HRMS, the above links may not work in your browser. Please try in a different browser or a new private window.

Understanding Your Travel Benefits Information Session: Dec. 11

With the winter months and the holidays fast approaching, many faculty and staff are preparing for vacations both at home and abroad. Sometimes, medical emergencies while travelling can happen – and it can end up being a frightening and costly experience.

Staff and faculty who are enrolled in the UBC extended health benefits plan are invited to attend an information session to understand their travel benefits.

Date: Dec. 11, 2019
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Centre for Brain Health, Room 101 (lower level), 2215 Wesbrook Mall
RSVP: Register now

Mental health supports for faculty and staff over the holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time of year. Some faculty and staff may struggle with mental health challenges related to substance use, being away from family and/or trying to support a vulnerable member in their community. In your human resources role, you may encounter situation this season where some staff or faculty in your unit could use some support. UBC has resources available for faculty and staff, as well as their family members.

Please access and share the following:

It’s important to know that you, as well as faculty and staff, are not alone – that anyone can reach out and that help is available.

Take part in the Seasonal Shutdown

The time is near for UBC’s Seasonal Shutdown. Send in an energy-saving checklist before winter break for a chance to win prizes.

Simple actions like unplugging electronic equipment and turning off lights can save thousands of dollars each year. Before you leave for the holidays:

  • Switch off electronics
  • Unplug small appliances
  • Turn off the lights
  • Close windows and blinds
  • Report any air or water leaks
  • Shut fume hood sashes
  • Shut down non-essential lab equipment

Help us save energy over this year’s seasonal closure by completing some simple actions and filling out the Shutdown Checklist.

Note: It is recommended to leave water coolers and water filters plugged in over the holidays.