Staff Personnel Manual (SPP)

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Effective: 2/16/1990

Revised: 7/1/2019

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SPP 702–04: Compassionate Transfer of Leave Benefits

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To allow voluntary transfer of accrued vacation to an employee who is away from work due to a catastrophic illness or injury

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6-809
University policy

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Classified staff, university staff, and non-faculty administrators who are eligible to accrue vacation leave benefits

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Employees may voluntarily transfer accrued vacation leave benefits to a designated employee who is eligible to accrue vacation leave benefits and who is unable to work due to catastrophic illness or injury of their own, within their immediate family or established household, or in a situation that places primary responsibility for care on the employee.

An illness or injury may be considered to be catastrophic if:

  1. it is seriously incapacitating (in the case of the employee, the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job held at the time of the illness or injury)


  2. the anticipated duration of the illness or injury is at least 45 consecutive days.

Transfer of benefits is accomplished by determining the dollar value of the hourly vacation leave benefit contribution and increasing the recipient’s sick leave benefits balance by that amount. Compassionate transfer of leave contributions may only be used to supplement short-term disability payments or workers’ compensation up to, but not to exceed, the recipient’s regular rate of pay. Compassionate transfer of leave may not be used in lieu of long-term disability, unless such claim has been denied by the carrier. Contributions shall not exceed the anticipated period of disability nor the period until long-term disability benefits commence, whichever is shorter.

Transfer of leave must be made to a specific person or persons requesting hours; there is not a pool or bank of hours. Transferred hours are subject to tax and retirement deductions; however, they are not eligible for vacation or sick leave accrual. The transfer is subject to the approval of both the donor’s department and the Office of Human Resources.

Recipient of Compassionate Leave

To receive donated leave hours for an absence due to his/her own illness or injury, an employee must:

  1. provide a written confirmation from a health care provider chosen by the employee, subject to reconfirmation by a health care provider chosen by the university, that the illness/injury of the employee is catastrophic
  2. have passed initial probation, if applicable
  3. have exhausted all forms of paid leave (i.e., vacation, sick leave, compensatory time)
  4. anticipate being absent from work for a period of at least 45 consecutive calendar days.
  5. be out on continuous leave of absence

An employee enrolled in a short-term disability program offered by the university must apply for and, if eligible, receive short-term disability benefits before compassionate transfer of leave contributions can be used beyond the initial short-term disability waiting period.

An employee may recieve compassionate transfer of leave due to the catastrophic illness or injury of a family member for a maximum of 6 months.

Employee Donating Compassionate Leave Hours

An employee may voluntarily contribute vacation leave benefits if a minimum balance of 80 vacation hours is maintained after the leave is transferred. A terminating or retiring employee may donate the hours in excess of one year’s vacation accrual amount when the hours are transferred to a specific person requesting hours.

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For further information, see:

  1. SPP 504–02, “Workers’ Compensation”
  2. SPP 705–01, “Extended Leave of Absence”


  3. SPP 705–02, “Family Leave of Absence.”

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