Leave of Absence
Leave of Absence forms are part of the HR Transaction System and are used for a variety of reasons as described below.
An employee (faculty or staff) taking a leave for at least one full working day, paid or unpaid, from the University and the absence is not covered by vacation or sick leave.
Leave periods are granted in continuous increments of time for up to one year and a return to paid status requires a return to assigned work duties.
Requests for leaves of absence, with or without compensation, should, when feasible, be authorized by the supervisor or designated department administrator and Human Resources (HR) Unit Representative in advance of the intended leave.
Authorized absence is for the convenience of the employee leaving or because of inability to perform job duties. Ordinarily, an employee is expected to apply sick or vacation benefits to such leave.
All regular and temporary faculty and staff are eligible to be placed on a leave of absence.
Leave of Absence Types
Unpaid leaves may be granted to staff members if it is in the best interest of the University. They are only granted when it is possible to operate effectively in the absence of the staff member requesting leave.
For additional policy information related to unpaid leaves specific to each classification type (Merit, P&S, Faculty), see the Operations Manual policy - OPM 21.2Employee Manual for Staff Nurses & Allied Health Professionals.
The University may grant leaves with full or partial compensation to faculty and staff to undertake approved programs of study, research, or other professional activity which will contribute to the improvement of the institution.
Questions regarding this type of leave should be directed to the appropriate department administrator or Human Resources Representative. Operations Manual policy - OPM 21.3
Paid leaves that are approved in order to undertake approved programs of study, research, or other professional activity are granted with the requirement that the recipient return to the University thereafter or compensate the University for the benefit received (per Iowa Code 262.9(14)). Therefore, individuals who accept a paid leave of absence are subject to the State of Iowa payback requirement.
Other Editable Fields – Paid LOA
For a Paid Leave of Absence form, there are additional fields that may also be updated, if needed. Changes to the current information for any of the below fields will only be in effect during the leave period. The information prior to the leave period date will revert once the employee returns from the paid leave.
|Percent Time||Total Compensation||MFK|
The effective date is used to indicate the start of the leave period and the employee’s first date of absence. For unpaid leaves, this is also the first date in unpaid status.
Return from Leave Date
The return from leave date indicates when the employee is expected to return to work. For unpaid leaves, this will also be the date the employee is returned to paid status.
If an employee is on a paid or unpaid leave and will not return to work, please contact your HR Unit Representative to determine the appropriate return from work date to be used in conjunction with the termination date.
Reasons for Leave - Unpaid
Reasons for Leave - Paid (Note: employee signatures required for all reason types)
|If the leave type is...||and the reason code for the leave is...||then...|
|Paid||any reason||an electronic signature is required|
||an electronic workflow signature or an attached correspondence is required|
|any reason not listed above||no electronic signature or attachment is required|
- If an electronic signature is required and cannot be obtained, correspondence with the employee regarding the leave must be attached to the transaction form or a comment should be clearly noted in the Remarks section of the Leave of Absence form that the employee signature is on file within the department.
When determining how to record an employee’s leave on the monthly employee time record, it must first be identified if the absence will be covered by the employee’s own leave accruals.
|If the leave/absence is....||then the time record should....|
|covered by UI benefit leave accruals (i.e. vacation, sick)||record the paid leave used on the employee time record. An Unpaid Leave of Absence form should not be submitted|
|NOT covered by UI benefit leave accruals (i.e. vacation, sick)||NOT include entries listed for any dates during the leave period listed on the Unpaid Leave of Absence form|
Vacation and Sick Leave Accruals
For individuals on a leave of absence without pay, vacation and sick leave accruals do not accrue when an individual is in an unpaid status for an entire working day. Vacation and sick accruals will also be prorated based upon the number of days the individual is in paid status divided by the total number of working days in any given month.
All university units are responsible for implementing effective systems and practices for communicating activities that affect employee pay.
For an unpaid leave of absence, there are several best practices to prevent overpayments:
- Submit the Leave of Absence transaction as soon as the need for leave is known.
- Submit the Leave of Absence transaction into the Workflow system prior to payroll cutoff.
- Review the email notice sent to supervisors/HR Reps prior to payroll cutoff each month to identify individuals on unpaid leaves whose dates may need to be extended through the end of the month.
- If an employee is on an unpaid leave of absence and the department is not certain that the employee will return prior to the end of the month, extend the leave of absence return date to the third day of the following month.
- Academic Year Leaves
- Leave of absence forms for academic year faculty/staff should be processed by July payroll cutoff, for the August 1st paycheck, if the leave results in a reduction of salary
Benefits are discontinued if the employee misses a full calendar month and does not receive a paycheck. Here is the sequence of events that occur when an unpaid leave exceeds one month:
1. Benefits notified of unpaid leave (>1 month)
- Once an unpaid leave is posted to the HR system and the leave is for at least one full calendar month, UI Benefits is automatically notified
- Employee is then notified by UI Benefits with the option to continue their benefits and provides the cost of coverage to the employee
2. Employee Next Steps
- Employee must respond to UI Benefits stating the coverage they wish to continue and will then be billed accordingly
- If no benefits are elected, all coverage will stop at the end of the month following the final paycheck
3. Returning to Work
- Employees are eligible for coverage beginning the first of the following month after they have returned to pay status
- Employees should contact UI Benefits at 319-335-2676 as soon as they return to work to begin the process
- Upon contacting Benefits, employees receive an email notifying them to go to Employee Self Service to enroll in benefits
Post Workflow Processing
Due to the impact a leave of absence can create, here are the processing steps and timing that should be considered once the leave of absence form has been initiated.
|Posting to the HR system:||Form action or types (PG = paygroup)||Timing:|
Data Entered / Not auto loaded
Once initiated into Workflow, allow 2-3 business days for processing
||Once complete through Workflow, allow 2-3 business days|
||Once initiated into Workflow|
If a form needs to be returned for any reason (i.e. editing, voiding), please contact University Workforce Operations at email@example.com or 319-335-2381 or for any questions about the HR Transaction System.