Employment Service Credit

Employment service credit is used to determine service time for vacation accrual rate, and eligibility for service awards.

Note: Employment service credit does not accrue in the same way as, and should not be confused with, retirement service credit or seniority.


  • Employment service credit applies to all employees of the University of California or a qualifying California state agency, regardless of appointment type.


  • Employees accrue one employment service credit for each month in which they are on pay status at least 50% time. Employees do not accrue any employment service credit for months in which they are on pay status less than 50% time. A break in service does not result in loss of accrued employment service credits.

Vacation Accrual Rate 

  • Service time for determining an employee’s vacation accrual rate is defined in Personnel Policies for staff members and collective bargaining agreements and is determined by employment service credits in compliance with policy and contract language. For example, an employee who is eligible for increased vacation accrual at 10 years of service will become eligible for the increased rate when he or she attains 120 employment service credits.

Service Award Program

  • Service award pins are provided to employees reaching important service milestones (for details regarding the Service Award Program, click here). Service time for determining eligibility for a service award is based on employment service credits.

Department Responsibilities 

Departments are responsible for accuracy of employment service credit information in PPS, and for making corrections if needed.

  1. Leave accrual code change
    Departments must process a transaction to adjust the leave accrual code in PPS for vacation accrual rate changes. Departments should use PPS DS report 220 to determine when a change to the leave accrual code is required. To ensure accuracy of the report, PPS DS 220 should be run on or after the 10th of the month. [Note: The employment service credits in PPS DS 220 reflect the balance as of the last day of the prior month. If the employee earns a credit in the current month, it will be effective retroactive to the first day of the current month.] So, when reviewing the PPS DS 220 service award report, look for employees who are one credit short of a milestone to avoid having to make retroactive adjustments (e.g., an employee with 119 service credits will attain ten years of service in the current month if they work at least 50% of the hours in the month.)
    • For monthly employees: the leave accrual change should be processed in PPS after the 1st day of the month in which the employee’s leave code will change, but before the MOA payroll date.
    • For biweekly employees: leave accrual change should be processed in PPS during the first biweekly pay period that falls completely within the month in which the change occurs. A manual leave accrual adjustment will need to be processed for all days in the month prior to the biweekly period in which the leave code was changed.
  2. Verify prior employment
    When hiring an employee into the department, the employee’s application for employment and Personal Data Form should be checked for prior UC or state agency employment. If there is prior employment, the employee should be asked for documentation of prior employment service credits. Documentation may consist of a separation document from prior employment or copies of payroll records or check stubs. If the employee does not have documentation, they should contact the previous employer to obtain it. For prior UC Davis service, the employee should be directed to contact UC Davis Accounting and Financial Services to request copies of payroll records. For other employment, the employee may use the Verification of Prior Employment Request Form.
    • Service credit is accepted from the following employers:
      • University of California campuses, medical centers, health systems, and Office of the President
      • California State University campuses
      • Department of Energy laboratories – Los Alamos National Laboratory (for service prior to September 2007); Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (for service prior to September 2007); and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • State of California offices
  3. If an error is suspected
    Concerns about accuracy of employment service credit information often result from a misunderstanding about how employment service credits accrue. Check for any time the employee was on furlough or leave without pay that caused the employee to fall below 50% pay status for any month(s) which could account for the discrepancy. Some employees have concerns when retirement service credits and employment service credits do not match. Explaining how the accruals differ and that these credits almost never match may resolve the matter.
    • Errors usually result from failure to accurately record prior employment service credits in PPS. Departments should request documentation from the employee as described under the Verify prior employment section to verify prior employment service credits, and make any necessary corrections in PPS.
  4. PPS transaction processing
    Appropriate verification of employment service credits is required prior to processing this transaction. Once you have the documentation, enter the information in PPS using the EPD2 screen. You will enter the prior service months, then adjust the employment service credits to include the total of current and prior service months, and change the from date to indicate the previous service. Forward the prior service credit documentation to HR to be included in the employee’s personnel file.