SUBJECT: Shared Leave Program
In 2001 a Shared Leave program for eligible Washburn University employees, recommended by the Employee Benefits Committee, was approved by the Board of Regents.
Under this program, Washburn University will provide an employee up to 65 days paid leave of absence in a fiscal year from a shared leave pool created by donations of leave from employees participating in the shared leave program when: (1) the employee has completed six months of service; (2) the employee has donated at least one day of personal leave and two days of sick leave to the pool in such fiscal year; (3) the employee has exhausted all other paid leave; and (4) a severe health condition of an immediate family member (or of the employee when the employee is ineligible for short-term disability benefits) requires the employee's absence from work. The shared leave program is administered by the Vice President for Administration and Treasurer through the Human Resources department.
Limitations imposed upon the University's Shared Leave Program included:
employees must be eligible under the rules and volunteer to join the shared leave program;
employees must give something of value to join the program (in this case, an irrevocable contribution of annual [not sick] leave to the pool);
all accrued personal and sick leave must be exhausted before eligibility for shared leave;
the shared leave may only be used when an employee needs additional leave to care for an ill family member; and
shared leave is not available for employee illnesses unless the employee is medically ineligible to purchase short-term disability through the Washburn group.
The program was to have no direct cost to the university and would sunset after three years, July 1, 2005, unless specifically renewed by Board of Regents action.
To date, the program has never been used by anyone needing sick leave. The time contributed totals 2704 days. The Benefits Committee would like to have the opportunity to study the program further to determine whether it can be made more workable and recommends that the program be continued until July 1, 2006. It is further recommended that those employees who have contributed to the plan for two or more years be covered for the additional year without further contributions of either personal or sick leave.
President Farley recommends the Board of Regents approve the extension of the Shared Leave program for an additional year, from July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006.
(date) Jerry B. Farley, President