Reminder: Voluntary winter break begins Dec. 24; some areas affected

The voluntary winter break is scheduled to take place Dec. 24, 2021, through Jan. 3, 2022. As a reminder, participation in the program is not mandatory; however, you are encouraged to take time to revive and enjoy time away from the laboratory, if possible.

Please see the links and FAQs below regarding work areas or services that may be impacted during the winter break. To ensure that Fermilab is meeting the needs of personnel who want to take advantage of the time away, as well as those who prefer to work, we ask that you refer to the links for more information. Please route any questions on this information to Deanne Randich at or Chris Polly at

Links to impact tables:

AD Impacts

APS-TD Impacts

CCD Impacts


ESH Impacts

FESS Impacts

Finance Impacts

HR Impacts


ND Impacts

PIP-II Impacts

PPD Impacts


Voluntary Winter Break FAQs

 Q:   I was planning to retire/resign on Dec. 31, 2021; however, I see terminations will be paused over the break. What should I do?

A:  We recommend that you use Jan. 4, 2021, as your new end date; however, if your retirement/resignation date cannot be adjusted, please work with Benefits or your HR Partner to ensure all steps are completed by Dec. 23, 2021.

Q:  I am planning to retire/resign on Dec. 31, 2021 and would also like to participate in the voluntary winter break pilot, however; according to lab policy I am not permitted to take vacation on my last day of employment. What should I do?

A:  Yes, you may use Leave Without Pay (LWOP) and be excused for up to 4 days to participate in the voluntary winter break.

Q:  According to the current LWOP policy, an employee must be at the lab for one year before being eligible for LWOP. I have not been at the lab for a year. Am I unable to participate?

A:  According to the policy, employees are not eligible for LWOP until they have been at the lab for at least a year; however, this has been waived during the voluntary winter break and all employees, regardless of the start date, may use LWOP. If the employee has vacation time accrued, they must use that first before using excused LWOP on their timecard to participate in the pilot.

Q:  What if I am an essential worker and would like to take advantage of the voluntary winter break?

A:  Managers and supervisors should make every effort to accommodate employees who would like to participate in the pilot. Please work with your HR Partner if you need assistance.

Q:  If I participate in the voluntary winter break but I am called in to work due to an emergency, will normal overtime/premium pay policies apply?

A: Yes, the overtimepremium pay, and emergency call-in pay policies for nonexempt workers are applicable during this period.

Q: I am planning to save my vacation time for an upcoming trip in the spring. Can I elect to use LWOP instead of vacation to cover 4 days?

A: No, per the LWOP policy, you need to exhaust eligible paid leave prior to taking unpaid leave.

Q:  If there is a snow event during this time, will there be staff on site to plow the roads?

A:  Yes, many of the roads and grounds personnel will be participating in the voluntary winter break; however, they will be on call in the event of a winter weather event, including snow.

Q:  I am expecting a package to be delivered to the lab during this time. Will there be staff on site to process this shipment?

A:  The Receiving department will be participating in the voluntary winter break; however, they will be on call to support emergency requests. If there are packages that are scheduled to be received during this time period, please make arrangements as soon as possible through the Logistics & Property Services Office (

Q:  Will the Fermilab Children’s Center be open during the winter break?

A:  The Fermilab Children’s Center will participate in the voluntary winter break The daycare is going to be closed Dec. 24, 2021 through Jan. 32022.

Q: I need to come onsite, but my Fermilab ID badge is expired.  Will I be able to receive a new badge during the voluntary winter break?

A: Yes you have the ability to receive a new badge; however, please note the badging office has limited hours of operations at this time. You are required to schedule an appointment via the scheduler

Q: I have a visa immigration emergency. Will someone be available to assist me during this time?

A: Yes; however, please note they have limited hours of operations and response time maybe delayed.