Human Resources

2021 December break extended for full-time employees

Employees to receive additional time off as 'thanks' for job well done

Full-time staff employees working a typical Monday through Friday schedule will receive two full weeks of paid time off beginning on Dec. 20. Credit: Curtis Chan / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In appreciation for the Penn State staff community, University leaders have approved an extended December break for 2021. Full-time staff employees working a typical Monday through Friday schedule will receive two full work weeks of paid time off beginning on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 31. 

To accommodate this change, University offices and operations — except for essential services and operations — will close for the winter break at the end of business on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, and will resume at normal starting times on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022. This extension will apply only to the 2021 December break. 

This paid time off is being made available to employees in lieu of the December and January holidays provided for in Policy HR34. As a result, employees will not earn the holiday compensation days described in policy HR34 for the Dec. 25, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022, holiday dates. Additionally, the pay provisions provided for in HR34 for work on a holiday only apply to the holidays referenced in HR34. 

The decision to extend the winter break, approved by President Eric. J. Barron on Oct. 25, comes as Penn State continues to respond to the impacts caused by COVID-19 and the necessary changes enacted to maintain all University operations. 

“University leaders recognize the immense contributions of all employees during the past two years in working to safeguard the health of the University community, serve customers with excellence, and advance the University’s strategic goals,” said Barron. “We thank you all.”

Ordinarily, the University’s 2021 December break would have started on Thursday, Dec. 23, and gone through Wednesday, Dec. 29. 

“Our staff members have faced so many challenges this year, with many taking on new tasks and continuing to manage heavy workloads since the start of the pandemic,” said Lorraine Goffe, vice president for human resources and chief human resources officer. “We appreciate the tremendous dedication we have seen from staff members, and we hope an extended break this holiday season will support the wellbeing of our employees after an especially busy year.”

In upcoming years, the University will return to following policy HR34, which determines dates included in the annual December break based on when Dec. 25 occurs. Employees who have questions about how the extended break will impact their individual schedule, or schedules of staff members they manage, should contact their HR strategic partner/consultant. 

University officials will discuss the applicability of this change in holidays with the representatives of employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Last Updated November 02, 2021