Vacation allowance questionnaire

gaps at gaps at
Mon Oct 24 14:32:29 PDT 2016

Dear TRIUMF postdocs,

Your GAPS committee would like to launch a discussion regarding the
current status of vacation allowance for postdoctoral researchers at the
Recently it has come to our attention that the proper rules are not always
fully known to the relevant parties or have not been applied consistently.
 Some issues are highlighted in this letter.
First and foremost we would like to invite you to share your experiences
with the committee via a questionnaire (See link below). This is an
essential first step to beginning discussions with TRIUMF management to
address the main issues surrounding vacation allowance.

TRIUMF currently offers a minimum of 10 vacation days to postdoctoral
researchers upon arrival. This number is set by the BC Employment
Standards Act and Regulation as the minimum that employees are entitled to
receive. The specific number of vacation days (i.e. other than the 10-day
legal minimum) is the amount agreed between the employee and the
supervisor in his or her contract. This agreement is in accordance with
the funding associated with the position managed by the supervisor or
principal investigator. The authority to grant vacation days therefore
lies with the supervisor.

One concern with the current system is travel insurance. For travel
outside of BC, postdoctoral researchers at TRIUMF are only covered if the
HR department has received a Vacation Request Form. Vacation days are then
debited from the amount assigned to the employee (see “Quick Links: Check
Your Vacation Status” on the TRIUMF website). Unofficial vacation days
granted to the postdoctoral researcher at the discretion of the supervisor
may not be included in this amount, potentially leading to a loss of
coverage.  A possible mechanism around this is the use of “lieu days”,
which are often unfamiliar to and therefore unused by postdocs.

Recently your GAPS committee has been informed of incidents where the
human resources (HR) department at TRIUMF has refused to grant
postdoctoral researchers the number of vacation days requested by their
supervisors. We believe that HR should support and respect the wishes of
the employee supervisor, but we need to gather more information before
raising this issue to management.

Postdoctoral researchers contribute a significant fraction of the
scientific output of the laboratory. As a world-leading facility, we
believe that TRIUMF should recognize this fact and act accordingly to
rectify the issues outlined in this letter. To help guide discussions with
TRIUMF management, your GAPS committee invites you to fill out the
following questionnaire so that you can provide feedback on your own

The deadline for the survey is THIS Friday, October 28th, at 23:45.
Please note that all the responses will be anonymous. All respondent
information such as names, email addresses, IP addresses, and custom data
are excluded from the survey results.
Ideally we would like to schedule a meeting to discuss any issues raised
in the questionnaire about a week from the completion of the survey.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Your GAPS committee.

GAPS Website:

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