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Catastrophic Leave

Under the catastrophic leave program, university employees may voluntarily donate unused vacation, banked sabbatical, leave banked in an Annual Leave Reserve Account (ALRA), personal holidays or legal holidays to colleagues within their employment group who have been granted unpaid leaves of absence due to a catastrophic need. Leave may not be exchanged between classified and unclassified employees of the University.

Catastrophic need is defined as an illness or injury that incapacitates the employee or his/her immediate family member and that requires the employee to take time off from work for an extended period of time.

For a catastrophic leave summary for your employment group, select one of the following:

Unclassified Employees

The Board Regents provides authority for catastrophic leave. The policy is described in Unclassified Personnel Guideline UPG #9.

Eligible Unclassified Recipients must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Be on an approved unpaid leave of absence due to your own catastrophic illness or medical condition or that of an immediate family member.
  • Provide sufficient written proof to the Chancellor or designee that a catastrophic illness or medical condition exists.
  • Have exhausted all paid leave available, including sick leave.
  • Not be receiving benefits from another state-sponsored income replacement program.

Additional Guidelines for Unclassified Employees

  • Unlimited frequency to donate.
  • Donations in full-day increments only.
  • Leave solicitation is left to the discretion of each institution.
  • Once leave is donated it is credited to an account created for the recipient's use, and the recipient retains all future rights to it.
  • Donated leave may be used to meet the Income Continuation Insurance waiting period.

Unclassified Donor Authorization Form


Some of this information was taken from the University of Wisconsin System - Human Resources and Workforce Diversity Office and UW-Extension Payroll and Benefits.