Academic Personnel

Sick Leave Buy Back – Librarians

The Annual Attendance Incentive Program, also referred to as the “Sick Leave Buy-back Program,” allows employees whose sick leave balances exceed 480 hours as of January 1st to be compensated at 25% value for any accrued and unused sick leave accumulated during the previous calendar year.

The Attendance Incentive Program is established by state law and is only available for use in January of each year.


Employees must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to participate in the Annual Attendance Incentive program:

  • Have a sick leave balance greater than 480 hours as of January 1st;
  • Have accrued more hours of sick leave than the employee used or donated as shared leave in the previous calendar year;
  • Retain a balance of at least 480 hours of sick leave after receiving payment for unused sick leave.

If during the year an employee donates any sick leave as shared leave, it is deducted from the employee’s sick leave balance and cannot be included in the Annual Attendance Incentive Program.


Payment is made at the rate of 25% of the value of the accrued leave, and all hours compensated are deducted from the sick leave balance. A full-time employee may receive 25% payment for a maximum of 96 hours. The maximum number of hours a part-time employee may accumulate and be compensated for is prorated according to the employee’s monthly percentage of time worked.

Planning for Retirement

If you are planning for retirement, consider saving your unused sick leave so you can create a tax-free medical expense account (called VEBA). A VEBA account is created from the 25% sick leave cash-out when you retire from the UW. While the annual sick leave cash-out payment is taxed, funds placed in a VEBA account are used tax-free to pay post retirement medical expenses for you and your eligible dependents. See the VEBA web page for complete information.

Request Payment for Unused Sick Leave

  1. Check to see if your sick leave balance in Workday is above 480 hours. The Integrated Service Center (ISC) provides instructions for checking leave balances. If it is, compare your starting and ending sick leave balances for the year. If your ending balance is higher than the starting balance, you can cash out all or part of the difference, as long as the remaining balance is at least 480 hours.
  2. Contact your unit administrator for guidance about the leave request process.

To find out more about the situations in which sick leave can be used, please visit the Sick Leave web page.