Personal Leave Policy
An unpaid personal leave may be granted for a period of 7 to 60 calendar days per calendar year because of serious and pressing personal circumstances, including family and medical leave reasons if you have exhausted your 12-week entitlement (refer to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy). You are eligible for a personal leave on the first day of employment.
You may request a personal leave for up to 60 days. Vanguard management will determine if circumstances and the business needs will permit a personal leave. At the discretion of the Crew Relations and Compliance principal, a personal leave in excess of 60 days may be granted in extenuating circumstances.
Request for leave
- Crew member notifies next level of management as soon as possible of the need for a personal leave. For a scheduled absence, the notification should be at least 30 days in advance.
- Crew member submits a Request for Leave of Absence in Workday for unpaid personal leave. If the crew member does not have access to Workday to submit the leave request, his or her manager or a Crew Central™ representative can submit it on the crew member's behalf. It is important that the request is submitted; this is how Crew Central is notified of the leave.
- The next level of management approves or denies the leave request in Workday. If the leave request is approved, Crew Central opens a case and completes the request. If the leave request is not approved, the next level of management sends the Workday request back to the crew member, along with the reason for denial.
- Crew Central reviews the leave request and processes the request if it is for 60 days or less. If the leave request is for more than 60 days, or if the request is an extension of an existing personal leave beyond 60 days, Crew Central will present the request to the Crew Relations and Compliance principal for approval. If the principal gives approval, Crew Central will process the leave request. If the request is not approved, Crew Central will contact the crew member.
- Crew Central sends a packet to the crew member's home address within two business days of the approved effective date of the request for unpaid personal leave. The package includes:
- Copy of Vanguard's Personal Leave Policy.
- Prepaid envelopes.
- Personal Leave Signoff Form.
- Computer Access Suspended While on LOA informational sheet.
- FlexCare Status Change Form. The crew member on an unpaid leave may be entitled to modify his or her FlexCare benefits due to a "change in status." Refer to the Crew Central section below for details.
- Crew member contacts Crew Central immediately if any information regarding the leave changes.
- Your pay will be suspended beginning with the first day of unpaid leave (if administratively possible). For administrative reasons, you may receive a full paycheck even though you did not work the entire pay period. Any amount paid to which you were not entitled will be recovered by Vanguard.
- If you return to work in the middle of a pay period, you will not receive a paycheck until you have worked for a full pay period.
Partnership and bonus
Partnership and bonus payments are not impacted by your time on personal leave. Both Partnership and bonus payments are paid on the normal distribution date.
Once you return, the merit review and appraisal process will take place.
FlexCare benefits and payments: The FlexCare program includes coverage for health, dental, vision, prescription, life and accidental
death and dismemberment (AD&D), long-term disability (LTD), flexible spending accounts, purchased paid time off (PTO), and group legal.
Deductions: If you are on unpaid personal leave, you may cease participation in all FlexCare benefits or continue your participation.
If you elect to continue participation in FlexCare benefits while on unpaid leave, additional payroll deductions will occur when you return to work to "catch up" the missed FlexCare payments.
- Medical, dental, vision, prescription, life and AD&D, LTD, and group legal: Any missed benefit payments for these benefits will be deducted from your first paycheck upon your return to work.
- Health care FSA, dependent care FSA, and purchased PTO: Any missed payroll deductions for these benefits will be made up through higher payroll deductions during the remainder of the calendar year.
If you elect to cease participation in FlexCare benefits while on unpaid leave, FlexCare benefits will be discontinued during the leave and reinstated upon your return to active employment once you notify Crew Central. Under this option, you cannot submit any claims for FlexCare benefits, including a claim for reimbursement for FSA-related expenses incurred during the period when coverage was discontinued. Upon return from leave, if you have a dependent day care or health care FSA, you will have your annual pledge reduced to reflect the missed payments. If you would like to continue the same annual pledge, you must contact Crew Central. Because participation in group legal cannot be discontinued, missed payments for group legal will be caught up when you return to work.
If your employment with Vanguard terminates prior to your return from leave, you will be required to submit a check, payable to "The Vanguard Group," for any payments due for missed FlexCare benefits deductions.
If you are on an unpaid leave, you may be entitled to modify your FlexCare benefits due to a "change in status." However, if you elected to continue a dependent day care or health care FSA during the unpaid leave, you may not retroactively elect to cancel participation in the FSA upon returning to work (for example, in order to avoid making the catch-up payments). Please refer to the Benefits summary plan description (SPD) in Research or contact Crew Central with questions concerning the status change rules.
Vanguard makes it easy for you to make the necessary changes to your FlexCare benefits via Workday, our online benefits enrollment system. To initiate a change to your benefit elections, enter "change benefits" in the Workday search bar and follow the instructions provided.
For more information, refer to Changing your FlexCare benefits.
Annual Open Enrollment
If you are on unpaid personal leave during the annual Open Enrollment period, the Open Enrollment information will be mailed to your home address if we do not have a home email address on file. If you elect to cease participation, FlexCare benefits will be discontinued during the leave and will not be reinstated automatically at the end of the unpaid leave period. The payments for any legal coverage will be caught up when you return to work.
If your coverage is terminated, you may continue health care (medical, dental, prescription drug, vision, or health care FSA participation) coverage through COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, a federal law).
- Paid time off (PTO)
PTO will not accrue during unpaid personal leave. PTO accrual is based on the time actually worked. Refer to the PTO Policy for more details.
- Volunteer time off (VTO)
Personal leave will not affect your VTO. However, you may not use VTO while on leave.
- Holiday time
Holiday time will not be paid during unpaid personal leave. For more details, please refer to the Payroll Practices Policy.
- Academic assistance
In order to receive reimbursement, you must have been employed with Vanguard full-time prior to the start of the course and must not be on a paid or unpaid leave of absence at the time of reimbursement. Refer to the Academic Assistance Plan for more details.
- Short-term disability
You may become eligible for short-term disability benefits during unpaid personal leave.
- Vanguard Retirement and Savings Plan
Crew member salary deferrals and matching contributions (if eligible) to the Retirement and Savings Plan will be suspended during a period of unpaid personal leave. Payments on a plan loan may be suspended during unpaid personal leave for a total of up to 12 months (including any other type of unpaid leave that may be taken before or after). Upon the earlier of the expiration of the 12-month period or return from leave, all missed loan payments must be paid in a manner and at such time as determined by Crew Central. Failure to make up missed loan payments may result in a taxable distribution.
Vanguard quarterly contributions to the Retirement Plan source are based on each eligible crew member's quarterly earnings; therefore, an eligible crew member's quarterly contribution will be decreased as a result of any unpaid family and medical leave taken during the quarter.
Personal leave will not be treated as, or counted toward, a "break in service" under the Retirement and Savings Plan.
At the end of a personal leave, you may return to your former position if it is available. If the former position is no longer available, you may post for another position within the company. You will have 60 days to obtain a new position, during which you will be placed on an unpaid administrative leave. An Employment Department contact will be assigned to you during the 60-day period.
Vanguard reserves the right to restrict your computer access while you are on leave.
Return to work
Crew Central contacts the crew member approximately three working days before the crew member's expected return-to-work date to discuss the crew member's return. Crew Central also contacts the next level of management.
- The crew member or the crew member's next level of management must contact Crew Central the day the crew member returns to confirm that the crew member has returned to work.
- Crew Central will update the crew member's case and facilitate the necessary steps to return the crew member from leave.
- Crew Central will adjust pay, recover pay, or resume the crew member's pay as appropriate. Crew Central will also adjust the crew member's PTO and provide notification to the crew member of any adjustments.
- If a crew member does not return to work on the agreed-upon date, the crew member's employment may be terminated.
- If a crew member decides to terminate employment while on unpaid personal leave, the termination date will be the date of notification.
***Plan documents control: In the event of any inconsistency between this policy and any of Vanguard's retirement or health and welfare benefit plans, the provisions of the applicable plan documents will control.