Sick Leave


You accrue paid sick leave if you are appointed to work at least 20 hours per week for at least 4.5 months. Students who are in positions where student status is a requirement don't earn sick leave. For more information, please see the university's Handbook of Operating Procedures.


You receive sick leave accrual on your first day of employment and on the first day of every month after. If you're on any type of paid leave on the first the month, you will receive your accrual for that month.

If you are appointed to work full-time (40 hours per week), you earn eight hours of sick leave for each month or fraction of a month. If you are appointed to work part-time (20 hours or more but less than 40 hours per week), you earn sick leave in proportion to your appointment. The amount of sick leave is determined by the percent time of your appointment on the first day of each month.

Using Sick Leave

Sick leave is not subject to the new employee probationary period. You are eligible to use sick leave after your first day of employment. To request paid sick leave, follow your department’s time off request procedures and HOP 5-4210, Sick Leave. Absences lasting longer than three days or that are expected to happen on an intermittent basis for the same reason over a period of time may be eligible under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). You may request an FMLA packet at any time and/or your department will request HR Benefits & Leave Management to send you an FMLA packet based on your request to use sick leave. Unused sick leave carries forward into the next fiscal year. There is no limit to the number of hours you can carry from year to year.

Sick Leave due to Incapacity Related to Pregnancy and Delivery

The university does not have a separate maternity leave policy. An employee's incapacity due to pregnancy, for purposes of using sick leave, means an inability to perform duties caused or contributed to pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth or recovery. The employee seeking to use sick leave to cover the incapacity must provide a licensed practitioner's certification that the incapacity causes the employee to be unable to work. This sick leave may be eligible for coverage under the FMLA and if so, will run concurrently. Sick leave may not be used once an employee has recovered from the temporary incapacity related to pregnancy. Usually, what this means is that you may use sick leave for prenatal appointments, complications during pregnancy and after the birth of a baby for up to six weeks for vaginal delivery or up to eight weeks for cesarean delivery. If you have serious complications after delivery, then sick leave may be used for the time period to recover from those complications. If sick leave exhausts prior to your period of recovery from birth, you may be eligible to continue on leave using unpaid FMLA or Parental Leave, as applicable.

Return to Work Certification

When an absence from work is caused by your own medical condition, a return to work certification is required and should be submitted to your supervisor when you are out for more than three consecutive days. You should submit the certification either before or on your return to work date. A Return to Work Release form (PDF) is available to help you meet the certification requirements when the condition is your own. The form is designed to protect an employee's privacy and to help document for your department's consideration any relevant work limitations, if any. If an alternate return to work form is used, e.g. a doctor's note, please instruct your doctor not to include a diagnosis or treatment information. For absences less than 3 consecutive days, you may be required by your manager to provide a return to work certification. In some situations, instead of a return to work certification, your supervisor may allow you to provide a written or email statement of the facts that includes the dates of your incapacity due to illness or injury. You do not need to disclose your diagnosis to your supervisor.

When an absence from work is to care for a family member as defined in HOP 5-4210, Sick Leave, a certification from a licensed health care provider that includes the dates you were required to care for your family member should be submitted to your supervisor. You do not need to disclose the diagnosis of your family member’s condition to your supervisor.

When You Leave the University

Sick leave is paid out only in the event of your death. If you have at least six months of continuous state service, upon your death your estate will receive payment for half of your sick leave balance up to 336 hours.

If you're re-employed by another state agency within 12 months, your sick leave balance will be reinstated.

Your balance will also be reinstated if you take another job on campus, if it's a leave-eligible position with a break in service between 30 calendar days and 12 months. If you directly transfer, with no break in service, to another position on campus your sick leave will transfer with you.

Sick Leave Donation Program

You may donate sick leave to another leave eligible employee working at UT Austin if the recipient has exhausted their own sick leave accrual, including any time the employee may be eligible to withdraw from the Sick Leave Pool (SLP) program. The recipient may use the donated sick leave for permitted uses found in HOP 5-4210, Sick Leave. FMLA will run concurrently with donated sick leave as applicable.

Donated sick leave may be taxable to the donor. Hours deemed taxable are multiplied by the donor's hourly wage and added to a future paycheck as taxable income, impacting the taxable gross amount. For more information on how taxes are calculated, please contact Payroll Services.

Donated leave may be tax exempt if the recipient is the donor's legally married spouse or if the need for sick leave donation qualifies as a medical emergency pursuant to IRS guidelines. Medical emergency determination will not be known until the recipient's need has been asessed by HR Benefits and Leave Management. An employee may not provide or receive remuneration or a gift in exchange for donated sick leave.

Unlike accrued sick leave, donated sick leave is not eligible for transfer to another state agency or for payment to an estate upon death of the recipient.

To donate sick leave to an individual, submit a completed Sick Leave Donation to an Individual - Donor (Online).

If you are the intended recipient of donated sick leave from an individual, you will be notified by HR Benefits & Leave Management. Your use of donated sick leave will be assessed to determine the tax status to the donor and whether your circumstance(s) may qualify for Sick Leave Pool, FMLA and/or other leave options.

To accept donated sick leave from an individual, submit a completed Sick Leave Donation to an Individual – Recipient (Online).