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Professional Staff Program
Annual Leave

Annual Leave Accrual

The annual leave accrual rate is determined by the professional staff position's overtime coverage and the employee's years of service. Each professional staff employee's record of annual leave accrual and use is maintained using the Online Work Leave System (OWLS) or an authorized alternative system. Leave accrues at the end of the month in which it is earned and is available for use the following month.

Annual Leave Accrual Rates for Full Time Professional Staff

Overtime Eligible Professional
Staff - All grades
Length of Service Leave Accrual Rate
Years Months Hours Per Month Days/Hours
Per Year
1st 0-12 10.00 15/120
2nd 13-24 10.67 16/128
3rd 25-36 11.33 17/136
4th 37-48 12.00 18/144
5th 49-60 12.67 19/152
6th 61-72 13.33 20/160
7th 73-84 14.00 21/168
8th 85-96 14.67 22/176
9th 97 & Above 15.33 23/184
Overtime Exempt Professional Staff Grades 10 and Below
Length of Service Leave Accrual Rate
Years Months Hours Per Month Days/Hours
Per Year
1st 0-12 10.00 15/120
2nd 13-24 10.67 16/128
3rd 25-36 11.33 17/136
4th 37-48 12.00 18/144
5th 49-60 12.67 19/152
6th 61-72 13.33 20/160
7th 73-84 14.00 21/168
8th 85-96 14.67 22/176
9th 97 & Above 16.00 24/192

Annual Leave Accrual Rate for Positions at Grade 11-14

All professional staff positions at salary grades 11-14 accrue annual leave at the maximum rate of 16.00 hours per month (24 days per year) regardless of years of service.

Annual Leave Accrual for Part-time Professional Staff

Part-time employees of 50 percent or more accrue annual leave on a pro rata basis consistent with length of service and their leave accrual rate. (See "Joint Appointments" for information on joint faculty/professional staff appointments.)

Annual Leave Accrual for a Newly Hired Professional Staff

Newly hired professional staff who start work before the 16th of the month, accrue full leave hours during the first calendar month of employment. Newly hired employees who start work on or after the 16th of the month do not accrue leave hours for that month but begin accruing leave hours at the end of the second calendar month of employment.

Annual Leave Accrual Month

The annual leave accrual month is the calendar month during which an employee's annual leave accrual rate changes to the next year's rate. The initial annual leave accrual month is the month in which a state employee first accrues annual leave, and is established as follows:

  1. The month of hire for employees hired between the first and the fifteenth of a month; or
  2. The following month for employees hired between the sixteenth and the end of a month.

The annual leave accrual month may change if an employee takes an extended leave of absence without pay or separates from employment. For employees with credited prior state service who qualify for higher leave accrual rates, the proper leave accrual month is noted on the finalized crediting form that is sent to the department and the employee.

Mid-Month Changes in FTE or Appointment Type

Employees whose FTE changes during a calendar month receive leave hours based upon the overall average % of time worked in the month.

Employees who move during the month into a different appointment type with a different annual leave accrual rate, accrue leave hours for the month at an average rate. The average rate is based upon the % of month spent in each of the two appointment types.

Leave Accrual - Effect of Leave of Absence Without Pay

An employee does not accrue any leave hours during any calendar month in which the employee is on leave without pay status for more than 10 working days, including holidays.

Special considerations for Cyclic Year Positions: Cyclic or instructional year appointments (recurring work year of fewer than 12 months per annual cycle) sometimes begin and end mid-month (e.g., September 16 through June 15). In some instances, individuals would not accrue annual leave and sick leave in either the first or last month worked in the cyclic year due to being on leave without pay for more than 10 working days in both months. It is intended that employees in cyclic/instructional year appointments receive annual leave and sick leave accrual for the overall number of months worked. For example, a September 16 through June 15 schedule should receive 9 months of annual leave and sick leave accrual. In this example, the employee would receive credit in June but not September, provided that the employee is in pay status through the end of the regular appointment in June (i.e., through June 15).

Leave Accrual During an Employee's Final Month of Work

Employees who separate from UW employment on or after the 16th of the month accrue full leave hours for the month of separation. Employees who separate from UW employment prior to the 16th of the month do not accrue any leave hours for the month of separation.

Annual Leave Leave Use

Use of annual leave is determined by the employee subject to the unit's leave of absence request and approval requirements and the Maximum Leave Accrual limit (see below ). Annual leave may be taken following the first month's accrual.

Maximum Annual Leave Accrual and Payment for Annual Leave

The University encourages responsible scheduling and use of annual leave through the cooperative efforts of staff and their supervisors. Annual leave planning should balance the employee's need for time away from work with the University's interest in ensuring that work obligations are met.

The University expects employees and supervisors to plan annual leave use so that the leave balance does not exceed 240 hours on the employee's anniversary date. If extraordinary work requirements prevent meeting this limit, supervisors and employees are expected to schedule the employee's use of annual leave at the earliest opportunity in order to bring the balance within the 240-hour limit. Continuing employees may not receive payment instead of taking accrued annual leave. After completing six months of continuous service and upon termination of employment, the University pays for annual leave balances up to a maximum of 240 hours.

The unit's Human Resources Consultant is available to assist managers in developing staffing plans or annual schedules to meet this goal.

Transferring Between Departments or Agencies

When a professional staff employee transfers to employment with another state agency or institution, or moves to a different employment category within the UW (e.g., Classified-Non Union or Contract-Classified staff) accrued annual leave is immediately subject to the leave rules and limits applicable to the new category of employment.

Professional Staff Converting to Another Appointment Type

Employees who move from professional staff positions to faculty, student, or hourly positions will be paid for their unused annual leave balance to a maximum of 240 hours, provided that they have completed a minimum of 6 months' staff employment.

Faculty Converting to Professional Staff - Annual Leave Accrual

Faculty with 12-month appointments and at least eight years of University service who convert to professional staff receive 176 hours of annual leave, less any time taken as annual leave during the preceding 12 months. Faculty with 12-month appointments and less than eight years of service receive a prorated annual leave balance as determined by the Human Resources Operations Office. Faculty with less than 12-month appointments do not receive annual leave upon converting to professional staff.