Sick time off – Attendance Incentive Program
Last updated: September 22, 2023
This page applies to all time off accruing staff and student employees.
The Attendance Incentive Program allows eligible employees whose sick time off balances exceed 480 as of January 1st to be compensated for any accrued and unused sick time off accrued during the previous calendar year. Cash-outs are allowed once a year during the month of January.
Sick time off accruing employees must meet the following requirements to participate in the program:
- Your sick time off balance is greater than 480 hours as of January 1.
- Your ending balance is greater than your starting balance for the year just ended. (You must have accrued more hours in that year than you used or donated.)
- Your balance will be at least 480 hours after your cash-out.
Employees may elect to convert the sick time off hours earned in the previous calendar year, minus those hours used or donated as shared leave during the year, to monetary compensation.
For example, if your hourly rate is $20 and you want to cash out 10 hours, you will receive $50 ($20 x 10 x .25). Cash-outs are subject to taxes, so the amount you take home will be less than $50.
Full-time employees may cash out up to 96 hours per year. Maximums for part-time employees are prorated based on the employees’ FTE.
Cash-out request process
To request a cash-out, follow these steps:
- Confirm your sick time off balance is above 480 hours. You can find this information in by checking the Absence Module in Workday (Medical Centers staff should check Kronos for the most up-to-date balances). Contact the Integrated Service Center if you have questions.
- Compare your starting and ending sick time off balances for the year just ended. If your ending balance is higher than the starting balance, you may cash out all or part of the difference, as long as the remaining balance is 480 hours.
- Submit your request on or before the last working day in January.
- For campus staff: Follow the Sick Leave Buy Back (Attendance Incentive) Campus user guide and make your request in Workday.
- For medical centers staff: Compete and submit the Attendance Incentive Request for Payment of Unused Sick Leave (UW Medicine) (MS Word) no later than 5:00 p.m.
You will receive your payment no later than the second paycheck of February. Once your cash-out is processed, your sick time off balance will be reduced by the number of hours you cashed out.
Department leadership should note that cash-out payments are charged to the department’s budget; they are not paid centrally.
If you are close to retiring, you may want to consider saving your unused sick time off. When you retire, you can create a medical expense account (called a VEBA) to pay post-retirement medical expenses for you and your eligible dependents. The cash-out rate is still 25 percent, but funds placed in VEBA are tax-free. See VEBA for more information.
Members of the Inlandboatmen’s Union are not eligible for a VEBA and therefore receive a taxable cash payment for their unused sick time off at the same 25 percent rate.