Paid Leave

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Vacation Leave

Eligibility for Vacation Leave

Vacation leave is available to UT System employees who are scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week for at least 4.5 continuous months in a position that does not require student status as a condition of employment.

Accruing Vacation Leave

Vacation accrues on your first day of employment. Going forward, it accrues on the first day of each month. The number of hours you earn is based on how much state service you have on the first day of the month. Part-time staff accrue at a rate proportionate to the number of hours they are scheduled to work each week.

Accrual rates for return-to-work retirees are determined by the employee’s retirement date and return to work date. Please refer to the chart below. Return-to-work retirees are not required to reestablish the six months continuous service in order to take vacation leave. Part-time staff accrue at a rate proportionate to the number of hours appointed to work.

Return-to-Work Retirees & Vacation Accruals

Retirement Date Return to Work Date Vacation Accruals Based On
On or after June 1, 2005 Any date Post retirement service months.
Before June 1, 2005 Before September 1, 2005 Total service months (pre & post retirement).
Before June 1, 2005 On or after September 1, 2005 Post retirement service months.

Any vacation time not taken on or before August 31 will carry over to the next fiscal year. However, there is a limit to the number of hours that can be carried from year to year. Hours above this limit will transfer to your sick leave balance. If you work less than 40 hours a week, your transfer limit is proportionate to the hours you are scheduled to work each week. To determine the allowable carryover, use your service months as of September 1.

Service Months Monthly Accrual Allowable Carryover
0 to 23 8 180
24 to 59 9 244
60 to 119 10 268
120 to 179 11 292
180 to 239 13 340
240 to 299 15 388
300 to 359 17 436
360 to 419 19 484
420+ 21 532

Using Vacation Leave

You may begin using vacation leave once you have six months of continuous service from any Texas state agency. You only need to meet this requirement once during your state service. This means if you satisfy the six-month eligibility requirement, leave state employment and are later rehired, you won't have to wait six months again to begin using your leave. You must seek preapproval from your manager before taking vacation leave.

Vacation Transfer or Payout When Leaving UT System

If you have six months of continuous state service from any Texas state agency at the time of separation, you will have the option to receive a payout for your vacation balance or transfer your balance to your new employer (if transferring to another Texas state agency or institution of higher education). Whether you choose a payout or transfer, your decision will apply to the entire balance; you may not elect a partial payout or partial transfer.

If you choose a payout, payment will be distributed in the same way as your previous paychecks. The payment date will depend on your separation date and the election you make on the Leave Balance form for separating employees.

If you choose to transfer your balance, contact leave@utsystem.edu to request a verification of your state service and leave balances. You must provide the name of the new agency, your start date and a fax or email for the receiving party in the human resource office at the new agency. Your new employer will require this verification from us in order to accept the balance transfer.

Whether a payout or balance transfer, the following actions must be completed before payment is issued or balances are transferred:

  • Timesheets must be submitted and approved through the final date of employment.
  • Time must be entered in PeopleSoft.
  • Your department must confirm your final leave balances to OHR

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Sick Leave

Eligibility for Sick Leave

Sick leave is available to UT System employees who are scheduled to work a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least 4.5 continuous months in a position that does not require student status as a condition of employment. 

Accruing Sick Leave

You receive sick leave accrual on your first day of employment and on the first day of every month after. If you are a full-time employee (40 hours per week), you earn eight hours of sick leave per month. Part-time staff accrue at a rate proportionate to the number of hours they are scheduled to work each week.

Using Sick Leave

You are eligible to use sick leave after your first day of employment. You must seek preapproval from your manager before taking sick leave for planned absences such as medical and dental appointments.

Sick absences lasting longer than three days or that are expected to happen on an intermittent basis for the same reason over a period of time may be eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Please see Family and Medical Leave or contact leave@utsystem.edu. Unused sick leave carries forward into the next fiscal year. There is no limit to the number of hours you can carry from year to year.

Return to Work Certification

When you are sick and absent from work for more than three consecutive days, a return to work certification is required and should be submitted to your manager before or on your return to work date. A Return to Work Release form is available to help you meet the certification requirements. The form is designed to protect an employee's privacy and to help document for your department's consideration any relevant work limitations. If an alternate return to work form is used (e.g. a doctor's note), please instruct your doctor not to include a diagnosis or treatment information. Your manager may require a return to work certification for absences less than three consecutive days. Instead of a return to work certification, your manager may ask you to provide a written or email statement that includes the dates of your incapacity due to illness or injury. You do not need to disclose your diagnosis to your manager.

If you take sick leave to care of a family member as defined in HOP 3.3.1 Leave Policy, Sec. 7 (b), a certification from a licensed health care provider should be submitted to your manager. The certification should include the dates you were required to care for your family member, but does not need to disclose the diagnosis of your family member’s condition.

When You Leave the UT System

If after leaving the UT System you become employed by another state agency in a leave-eligible position within 12 months, your available sick leave balance will be transferred.

If you are rehired at UT System in a leave-eligible position sometime between 30 calendar days and 12 months after leaving the UT System, your available balance will be reinstated.

If you are not returning to state employment, you may donate your sick leave to the Sick Leave Pool.

Sick leave is paid out only in the event of your death. If you have at least six months of continuous state service, your estate will receive payment for half of your sick leave balance up to 336 hours.

Sick Leave Donations

To the Sick Leave Pool

You may donate to the Sick Leave Pool at any time. Donations to the pool do not go to any particular employee. Hours in the pool are available to employees who apply for an award and whose situation meets the definition of catastrophic illness or injury.

To a Specific Employee

You may donate sick leave to another leave-eligible employee working at UT System Administration if the recipient has exhausted his or her own sick leave accrual including any time the employee may be eligible to withdraw from the Sick Leave Pool.

Donated sick leave is taxable to the donor. Hours deemed taxable are multiplied by the donor's hourly rate and added to a future paycheck as taxable income, impacting the taxable gross amount. For more information on how taxes are calculated, please contact Shared Business Operations (Payroll). Donated leave may be tax exempt if the recipient is the donor's legally married spouse.

An employee may not provide or receive remuneration or a gift in exchange for donated sick leave.

Unlike accrued sick leave, donated sick leave is not eligible for transfer to another state agency or for payment to an estate upon death of the recipient.

If you are the intended recipient of donated sick leave from an individual, you will be notified by OHR. Your use of donated sick leave will be assessed to determine the tax status to the donor and whether your circumstance may qualify for Sick Leave Pool, FML and/or other leave options.

The recipient may use the donated sick leave only as stated in HOP 3.3.1 Leave Policy, Sec. 7 (b) 1) & 2). FML will run concurrently with donated sick leave as applicable.

To initiate either type of donation, contact leave@utsystem.edu.

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Sick Leave Pool

The sick leave pool is a reserve of sick leave hours donated by employees to provide eligible employees with paid sick leave for catastrophic medical conditions.

Eligibility for Sick Leave Pool

Sick Leave Pool is available to UT System employees who are scheduled to work a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least 4.5 continuous months in a position that does not require student status as a condition of employment. Additionally, the employee’s available sick leave must be exhausted. The pool provides a source of additional sick leave for employees when the employee or employee’s immediate family member suffers a catastrophic illness or injury. You may also qualify for Family Medical Leave (FML) or another leave type. If eligible, FML will run concurrently with SLP.

Applying for Sick Leave Pool

The application process consists of two forms: (1) application and (2) physician’s certification. You will complete and return the application to OHR. Your treating physician will complete and return the certification to OHR. Please contact leave@utsystem.edu to discuss leave options and initiate the application process.

Award

The lifetime maximum award is 90 days (720 hours) or one-third of the sick leave pool balance, whichever is less. Any unused sick leave hours awarded from the pool will be returned to the pool by the pool administrator once the condition of the catastrophic illness or injury affecting the employee or the employee’s immediately family member changes. The estate of a deceased employee is not entitled to payment for unused sick leave awarded from the pool.

Using Sick Leave Pool

All available sick leave must be exhausted prior to reporting SLP. If you’re on continuous leave, the monthly leave accrual is available to you only when you’ve returned to work. Sick leave assigned from the pool may only be used for absences directly pertaining to the approved medical condition.

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Wellness Leave

Eligibility for Wellness Leave

Wellness leave is available to UT System employees who are scheduled to work a minimum of 20 hours per week for at least 4.5 continuous months in a position that does not require student status as a condition of employment.

Using Wellness Leave

Wellness leave may be granted for up to 30 minutes three times per workweek (Monday-Sunday) to participate in physical fitness activities. Time may not be split or carried over from one day to another.

In order to use wellness leave, an employee must seek approval from his/her manager and submit a Wellness Leave Agreement. The agreement may remain in effect for the duration of employment in the position identified in the agreement, unless terminated by the employee’s manager. A new agreement must be completed if an employee changes positions.

Managers may request documentation of participation in physical activity. Managers may revoke wellness leave time at any time.

Employees may attend on-site wellness programs including, but not limited to, health fairs, flu shot clinics, financial seminars and employee assistance programs without using leave time. Attendance must be approved in advance by the employee’s manager.

Wellness leave will not be counted toward the earning of FLSA overtime or state compensatory time.       

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