Unclassified Staff - Leave Reporting Requirements Fact Sheet


Whether you are a new or existing employee, it’s important to recognize that sick leave, vacation, and personal holidays are significant elements of the UW System total compensation package. Accountability for proper leave use and reporting are essential to ensure the on-going availability of these valuable benefits.


For unclassified employees – faculty, academic staff, and limited appointments

  • Leave is earned on a fiscal basis - July 1 through June 30.
  • Annual  year (12 month)- employees earn sick leave, vacation, and personal holidays.
  • Academic year (9-month) - employees earn sick leave and legal holidays that fall during the academic year, but do not  earn vacation or personal holidays.
  • If you are employed on a part-time (less than 100%)basis,  your leave time is pro-rated consistent with your percentage of  employment or actual hours worked.


In Wisconsin, unused sick leave has a high value after retirement. At retirement, the sick leave balance is converted to dollar credits to pay for health insurance. Employers contribute to fund the program.

  • New full-time employees are granted an initial entitlement of 22 working days (176 hours) of sick leave. After 18 months of service, employees with annual appointments earn sick leave at the rate of one day per month and employees with academic-year appointments earn sick leave at the rate of six days per semester.
  • Except for the initial entitlement, sick leave may be taken only after it has been earned.
  • Sick leave can be used when you cannot be present during your official schedule due to medical appointments, your own illness or injury or that of a family member who requires your care, or the death of a family member. State law and UW policy allows employees to use sick leave for time off for a birth or adoption.
  • If you report completely, accurately, and in a timely manner, your unused sick leave accumulates from year to year without limit.

Leave Reporting

In response to a Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) report, in 1987 the state legislature imposed a cap on the amount of sick leave faculty, academic staff, and limited appointees could use to pay for health insurance upon retirement, layoff, or death. With the cap, accrued sick leave would be limited to 8.5 days per year for annual employees and 6.4 days per year for academic-year employees.


In order to obtain a waiver to this cap, each UW institution independently agreed to identify a standard 40-hour work week for reporting purposes, distribute a monthly statement, and collect monthly reports, even if no leave has been used. Accurate leave reporting is part of the UW System’s responsibility to the public. It is important to remember that you are a part of a larger community and your actions can affect not only you but also your colleagues and your institution.

  • You must establish a standard work week for reporting purposes.
  • Your official schedule should total 40 hours per week (pro-rated for part-time), and should include all classes, office hours, other regularly scheduled obligations, and time for research or other self-directed work required by your appointment.
  • The default schedule for all unclassified employees is Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • With the approval of your department chair or supervisor, you may file an alternate schedule. With the approval of your department chair or supervisor, you may change your official schedule whenever necessary.
  • A leave report is due monthly, regardless of whether any leave time is used during the month.
  • Submit your monthly leave report to your department chair or supervisor, whichever is applicable, no later than the 10th of the month.
  • Indicate the amount and type of leave taken on the day or days of the month for which the report is completed, and sign and date the form.
  • Part-time employees report actual hours missed.
  • Full-time employees report sick leave in half- and full-days (4 and 8 hours).

During each work day, if you miss

< 2 hrs

2-6 hrs

6-10 hrs

Report leave of

   0 hrs

  4 hrs

  8 hrs



Additional Information: