Human Resources

Creating and ending an employee record

You will need to set up an employee Online Work/Leave System (OWLS) record for a newly hired employee or when an employee moves from another University department without a break in service, or is reclassified. When an employee transfers or is reclassified, much of the information needed to set up a new record may already be populated.

Information Needed to Begin

  1. Prior to setting up an employee’s work/leave record in OWLS, you must make sure that the employee’s appointment is first entered into the UW payroll system (OPUS). OWLS records cannot be set up without first entering the appointment in OPUS.
  2. Ensure that the employee’s appointment is leave bearing.
  3. You can set up an employee’s OWLS record using the following types of documentation that confirm appointment information:
    • Professional Staff appointment letters
    • New hire or appointment confirmation email from HR
    • Completed “Request for Credit” forms
    • OPUS PERMs
  4. You will need the following pieces of information to set up the record:
    • Employee ID number
    • Record begin date
    • Anniversary Date
    • UW Hire date
    • FTE
    • Number of months per year the employee works
    • Dates of probationary or trial service period, if applicable**
    • Supervisor’s UW NetID
    • Employee’s work week and schedule
  5. Additionally, you may be prompted to enter the following information. If this information is available at set-up, enter it then. Otherwise, these adjustments can be made at a later date through the Balance Change or Profile tab.
    • Number of months of previous state service credit, if any
    • Number of months where leave without pay exceeded 10 days, if any
    • Annual leave, sick leave and any other accrued balances, if applicable
    • Discretionary leave granted, if applicable
    • FMLA leave used, if applicable
    • Military leave used this year (October 1 – September 30), if applicable
    • Any additional staff to be notified when OWLS records are ready for review – you will need to enter their UW NetIDs

If an employee already has another OWLS record in a different department, please contact askowls@uw.edu prior to setting up the record.

**Note: For Fixed Duration Appointments (FDA) only: Although employees in classified Fixed Duration Appointment (FDA) positions do not serve a probationary period, they are not eligible to use or be paid for accrued annual leave hours until the completion of six months’ of service. In order for OWLS to apply the appropriate leave rules, it will be necessary to enter the dates of the six month period using the Probationary Period field. As with any contract classified leave-bearing appointment, any paid and/or unpaid leave used during the six months will require you to extend the end date of the six-month period.

To set up an employee’s OWLS record, log in to OWLS and follow these steps:

1. Enter the employee's IED or name in the appropriate boxes. 2. Select the Payroll Unit Code (PUC) under which the employee record should be listed. (In most cases one will already be selected). 3. Select "Set up new record" from the "Choose an Action" section. 4. Click "Next."

If you do not see the new record setup screen, check that the employee’s appointment has been entered in OPUS and verify the appointing department PUC.

In some cases, you may first be presented with a page showing multiple appointments for the employee. When that happens, choose the appointment with the leave plan applicable to your department, and click on the “Next” button.


Employee name won’t come up?
Try entering the employee’s EID instead of using the name field. The employee’s appointment needs to be within your department’s Payroll Unit Code (PUC).

Supervisor email addresses must be associated with the uw.edu address. It cannot be an internal network email ID.


 

You will need to complete this page with the employee's information gathered prior to setting up the record. Click "Next" to move to the second page.

Create new record screen

You will also need to complete this page with the employee's work schedule, appropriate leave balance, and supervisor notification. Click "Submit & Go To Time Entry" to enter work and leave hours for this employees. Click "Submit & Return to OWLS Home" if you do not want to work further on the record at this time.

Create New Record Continued screen

Employee records in the Online Work/Leave System (OWLS) need to be ended when an employee:

  • Moves to another leave bearing appointment at a different state agency
  • Moves to a non-leave bearing appointment (e.g., faculty position)
  • Leaves state service
  • Retires
  • Is deceased
  • Is laid off
  • Changes departments or job classification
  • Moves to a department that does not use OWLS (e.g., T&BA).

Employee records must be audited and leave balances and ending dates verified before the records may be officially ended in OWLS.

View this page for more information about specific end record reasons in OWLS and OPUS.

To end an employee’s OWLS record, follow these steps:

1. Click the "End Record"tab at the top of the screen. 2. Enter the last day on payroll, and choose the appropriate reason for ending the record. 3. Enter a note, if desired. 4. Click "Next."

5. Review the summary for accuracy, then click "Permanently End Record."

6. Click "OK" when asked "Permanently End Record?"

  1. If appropriate, complete the Separation Payment worksheet and the Employee Separation Payment Authorization Form (ESPA).
  2. Print copies of the Final Balance Summary page to keep for your records and send to HR.
  3. For employees transferring to another department, send the Final Balance Summary page, and all original 220 forms to the new department.
  4. For employees leaving the University or moving to a faculty, student, or hourly position, send a copy of the Final Balance Summary page, and a copy of the ESPA form, along with any/all original 220 forms, to HR. If the employee is leaving state service, also include the resignation letter.

To learn more about all the things to consider when employees leave University service, please visit the Ending Employment page.

View the Sick Leave at Retirement or Death webpage to help determine which budget numbers to enter into the ESPA form for those separation reasons.

The Employee Separation Payment Authorization (ESPA) form must be completed and submitted to the Payroll Office when an employee separates from University employment. This form authorizes payment of unused annual leave, unused compensatory time, and also authorizes the payment of sick leave at retirement. A form should be submitted even if the employee is not eligible to be paid for any leave.

The Online Work/Leave System (OWLS) will automatically generate the ESPA form when an employee’s OWLS record is ended due to separation and populate appropriate leave balances and employee information. OWLS will automatically populate the central budget number 12-2500 for unused annual leave at the time of separation and for unused sick leave at the time of death or retirement for separations after July 1, 2011 (payment types 1 or 2 and 5 on the ESPA form). Departments will need to enter the employee’s full time rate, a contact phone number, and budget number(s) for compensatory time, and “pay in lieu of notice” for layoff (payment types 3 and 4 on the ESPA form.)

  1. Follow the instructions for ending a record.
  2. When the Separation Payment Worksheet is generated, enter the employee’s full time rate, the budget numbers that will be charged for payment types 3 and 4 and your phone number.
  3. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Generate Separation Payment Authorization Form” button.
  4. Sign and date the form (need names/signatures of preparer & reviewer).
  5. Make copies and follow distribution instructions on the form.
  6. Submit signed original form to the Payroll office at Box 359555.

Note:

  • If anything is incorrectly populated on the worksheet, please contact askowls@uw.edu to verify the data.
  • If the Retirement Plan box says, “NOT ELIGIBLE,” please contact benefits@uw.edu to verify retirement plan information.

At the time an employee retires from employment, or dies while still employed, the full balance of accrued sick leave hours is converted to payment at the rate of 25%. For retiring employees, the cash value is applied to the tax-free medical expense account that may be used by the retiree and eligible dependents to pay medical expenses after retirement. For more information about the medical expense account, please visit the VEBA page.

Ending Employment information

The Employee Separation Payment Authorization (ESPA) form must be completed when an employee separates from University employment. This form authorizes payment of unused annual leave, unused compensatory time, and also authorizes the payment of sick leave at retirement.

The Online Work/Leave System will automatically generate the ESPA form when an employee’s OWLS record is ended due to separation.

The ESPA form generated through OWLS will automatically populate appropriate leave balances and employee information. A few items will still need to be entered on the worksheet prior to submitting the finalized form to Payroll.

A completed form must be sent to the Payroll office to ensure payment to the employee of the applicable hours. Submit the form even if the employee is not eligible to be paid for any leave.

The ESPA form may be regenerated at any time through the calendar screen of the ended record.

To regenerate the ESPA form, open the employee’s prior record and take the following steps:

  1. Follow the instructions for accessing a prior record.

2. Click on the "Regenerate Separation Payment Authorization Form" button.

  1. When the Separation Payment Worksheet is generated, enter the employee’s full monthly salary, the budget numbers that will be charged for the payment(s), and your phone number.
  2. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Generate Separation Payment Authorization Form” button.
  3. Sign and date the form (need names/signatures of preparer & reviewer).
  4. Make copies and follow distribution instructions on the form.
  5. Submit signed original form to the Payroll office at Box 359555.

Note:

  • If anything is incorrectly populated on the worksheet, please contact askowls@uw.edu to verify the data.
  • If the Retirement Plan box says, “NOT ELIGIBLE,” please contact benefits@uw.edu to verify retirement plan information.

At the time an employee retires from employment, or dies while still employed, the full balance of accrued sick leave hours is converted to payment at the rate of 25%. For retiring employees, the cash value is applied to the tax-free medical expense account that may be used by the retiree and eligible dependents to pay medical expenses after retirement. For more information about the medical expense account, please visit the VEBA page.

Ending Employment information

View the Sick Leave at Retirement or Death webpage to help determine which budget numbers to enter into the ESPA form for those separation reasons.

When an employee is promoted, has a job title change, or is otherwise reclassified within your department, his/her job classification (job class code, job title) is changed in OPUS. Whenever such a change is made in OPUS, a corresponding change must be made in the Online Work/Leave System (OWLS). Appointment information is not automatically changed in OWLS because the payroll system and OWLS do not “speak” with each other.Because the two systems do not communicate, it is necessary that both the payroll coordinator and timekeeper are aware of appointment changes to ensure that both OPUS and OWLS are updated.  For ease of notification, some departments add their OWLS timekeeper as an OPUS PERM reviewer.

Take the following steps to change an employee’s job classification in OWLS:

  1. Because corrections cannot be made once a record is ended, first audit the OWLS record and enter an audit note.
  2. End the OWLS record with the end record date that matches the end date of the appointment as listed in OPUS. Use the reason, “Moving or reclassified to another leave bearing appointment at the UW.”
  3. Create a new OWLS record and click “Yes” when asked whether you’d like to use the balances retained from the previous position.