HR Operations

Professional leave

Last updated: September 22, 2023

This page applies to all regular professional staff and regular staff in positions covered by SAG-AFTRA,  SEIU 925 – IHME and UAW – RSE bargaining units. Academic personnel can find information about sabbaticals on the Office of Academic Personnel’s website.

The purpose of professional leave with pay is to allow an employee to work on a project or acquire knowledge and/or experience that will enhance the individual’s future contributions to the University (e.g., gaining new technical expertise, conducting research, or reporting on an issue of significance to the employing organization or the University).


Regular employees covered by the Professional Staff Program, SAG-AFTRA, SEIU 925 – IHME, and UAW – RSE bargaining units are eligible to apply for a professional leave not earlier than their seventh year of service, as outlined below, or not earlier than in the seventh year after return from a previous UW professional leave with pay.

Employment program May request after
Professional staff 7th year in the UW professional staff program
SAG-AFTRA 7th year of service in the SAG-AFTRA bargaining unit
SEIU 925 – IHME 7th year of service in the SEIU 925 – IHME bargaining unit
UAW – RSE 7th year of UW service

Evaluation of a professional leave with pay request takes into consideration how fulfillment of the plan is anticipated to enhance the value of the individual’s service to the university and both the employing unit’s and the employee’s ability to fulfill the plan as described.

Request Process

Complete the Professional Staff Leave with Pay Application (PDF) at least six months before the date the requested leave is to begin.  The request must be approved by the employee’s manager, the employing unit’s dean, chancellor, or vice president, and by the HR Operations Office that serves the unit.

After approval, employees whose leave is managed in Workday will request a LOA Professional Leave in Workday. For medical center employees, contact your leave specialist.

The UW Professional Staff Program and relevant collective bargaining agreements contain additional details about compensation during professional leave with pay, duration of leave, and other requirements.

Additional resources

RCW 28B.10.650

SAG-AFTRA collective bargaining agreement

SEIU 925 IHME collective bargaining agreement 

UAW – RSE collective bargaining agreement