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Employee Relations

UK Staff Shared Leave Pool Procedure

What You Need to Know: 

Purpose: To establish guidelines for a Staff Shared Leave Pool consisting of donated Vacation Leave (VL) by regular University of Kentucky Staff employees to be used in the event an employee suffers a catastrophic illness and exhausts all accrued paid leaves.

Definitions, as used in this Procedure:

a)  "Catastrophic illness or injury" means a severe condition or combination of conditions affecting the mental or physical health of an employee which requires the services of a licensed physician for a prolonged period of time which significantly limits one or more Activities of Daily Living (ADL).

b)  "Employee" means a regular, staff employee of the University of Kentucky with a full-time equivalent (FTE) assignment of 0.5 or greater.

c)  "Pool administrator" means the person appointed by Human Resources to administer the Shared Leave Pool.

d)  "Staff Shared Leave Pool" or "Pool" means the accumulated VL donated by staff employees for utilization in accordance with this Procedure.

Eligibility

An employee is eligible to apply for benefits from the Staff Shared Leave Pool if the employee meets the following criteria:  

a)  Is a regular staff position with a 0.5 FTE or greater with the University of Kentucky,

b)  Has successfully completed New Hire Orientation,

c)  Has personally incurred a catastrophic illness or injury to themselves, and d)  Has exhausted all accrued paid leaves, and

e)  Has entered unpaid employment status.

Employees are ineligible to apply for benefits from the Staff Shared Leave Pool if the employee is caring for a family member or any other person than themselves.

Pool Administrator

a)  This Procedure shall be administered by a Pool Administrator designated by Human Resources.

b)  The Pool Administrator will establish and chair a Staff Shared Leave Pool Committee.

c)  The decision of the Staff Shared Leave Pool Committee regarding contributions and distributions from the pool shall be final.

Committee Guidelines

The Committee shall be comprised of the following members:

  1. Two representatives from the Staff Senate with staggered, two year terms;
  2. One representative from the Human Resources Office of Employee Benefits;
  3. One university staff member with two year term; and 
  4. One representative from the Human Resources Office of Employee Relations;
  5. One healthcare professional as a non-voting, ex-officio member

Committee members will have access to confidential medical, financial, and employment documentation.  As such, Committee members may be required to sign non-disclosure and/or confidentiality agreements.

The Committee has the authority to set reasonable operating and voting guidelines. Approval of a Shared Leave application requires affirmative votes from at least three Committee members.

Income Sources

a)  Applicants shall be required to disclose all other sources of income for themselves, spouses, dependents, or any other household member at the time of application for Shared Leave.

b)  If the employee, spouse, dependent, or any other household member becomes eligible or begins receiving other sources of income as described below, this information must be disclosed in writing to the Pool Administrator within two (2) working days.

c) Sources of income to be disclosed include, but are not limited to:

  1. Social security payments to which one is or would be entitled upon application;
  2. Worker’s compensation payments, awards and/or settlements;
  3. Payments, awards and/or settlements of other disability plans;
  4. Damages or settlements recovered in third party actions;
  5. Any other recovery through subrogation;
  6. Wages or payments from work;
  7. Any insurance payments;
  8. Any income from the sale of merchandise, services, or assets;
  9. Unemployment Insurance; and
  10. Any government payment, including those from foreign governments.

Shared Leave benefits discontinue as follows:

a)  Upon separation of employment,

b)  Upon returning to work,

c)  Upon discontinuation of the program by the University,

d)  The available balance of the Staff Shared Leave Pool is zero,

e)  During any period of incarceration resulting from a conviction,

f)   Death, or

g)  Dishonesty

Employees are only eligible to receive a maximum of thirty (30) days paid leave during a rolling 12 month period.

Balance Availability

a)  VL issued through this procedure is subject to available VL balances within the Pool.

b)  If the available VL balance in the Staff Shared Leave Pool is zero, VL from the Pool will not be awarded.

Other Employee Responsibilities

The University reserves subrogation rights should the disability arise as a result of third party negligence. Failure to protect the University’s rights may result in denial of all benefits under this program.

Dishonesty with respect to this program shall be considered a violation of Human

Resources Policy and Procedure 12.0:  Separation from Employment.

Process

Staff Shared Leave Pool Contributions

a)  The Staff Shared Leave Pool shall consist of the VL voluntarily contributed to the pool by staff employees.

b)  A staff employee who desires to contribute VL to the pool must submit an application form to the pool administrator.

c)  Contributions to the pool must be in units of one full day of VL. Staff employees are permitted to contribute between one and ten days to the Staff Shared Leave Pool per fiscal year.

d)  Upon approval of an application, the Pool Administrator shall credit the Staff Shared Leave Pool with the VL contributed by a staff employee and shall deduct a corresponding amount from that staff employee's accrued VL quota.  This contribution of VL by a staff employee to the Staff Shared Leave Pool is irrevocable.

e)  VL contributed to the pool may not be designated for the use of a particular person.

f)   VL contributions from active, staff employees can be made from May 1 to September 30 each year.

g)  Active, staff employees may donate up to ten days VL, in full day units, upon the date of retirement from the University of Kentucky.

h)  Authorized individuals or entities may elect to contribute up to 10 days VL, in half- or fullday increments, on behalf of full-time university staff employees who become deceased prior to retirement.  This contribution must be requested in writing by an authorized individual or entity and must be received prior to finalizing the terminal VL distribution.

Application to Utilize Staff Shared Leave from Pool

Applications to utilize shared leave from the pool must be submitted on the appropriate form. An application must be filed with the Pool Administrator and must be accompanied by a statement from the licensed physician who is treating the illness or injury that resulted in the exhaustion of accrued paid leaves. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The Staff Shared Leave Pool Committee will consider applications in the order in which they are received and will approve or deny an application within fifteen (15) working days after receipt.

a)  An employee is eligible to withdraw paid leave from the Staff Shared Leave Pool if the Committee finds the employee has exhausted all accrued leaves (including Temporary Disability Leave, VL, and Holiday) due to a catastrophic illness or injury suffered by the employee.

b)  In determining the amount of shared leave to be assigned to an eligible employee, the Staff Shared Leave Pool Committee shall take into consideration the information contained in the employee's application, financial status, employee performance history, documentation or statements from supervisors, medical records, number of applications then pending, and the amount of shared leave available in the pool. In no event shall the VL allocated to an eligible employee from the Pool exceed thirty (30) days. Upon approval of an employee's application, the Pool Administrator shall notify HR Employee Relations of the amount of VL to be assigned to the eligible staff employee.

c)  The i) estate of a deceased employee, ii) retired employee, or iii) separated employee shall not be entitled to payment for unused shared leave assigned from the pool.

d)  Applicants who have previously contributed to the Staff Shared Leave Pool may be given priority for distributions if Pool balance is limited.

e)  Employees are eligible for a maximum of thirty (30) days paid leave during a rolling 12 month period.

f)   Vacation Leave utilized under this procedure will be paid at the employee’s base rate of pay.