HR Operations

Unpaid time off

The University may allow unpaid time off if you don’t have enough accrued time off to cover your time away from work. Unpaid time must be approved by your supervisor and is usually requested if you need extra vacation or sick day.

For medical center employees, unpaid time off of more than 10 working days, including holidays, must be approved by both the department and UW Medicine HR Operations.
The specific terms and conditions under which you may take unpaid time off versus paid time off are defined your employment program or collective bargaining agreement.


Your benefits may be impacted by extended use of unpaid time off. You must be on an approved medical, parental, or military leave of absence and remain in pay status for at least eight hours per month in order for the University to continue paying its portion of your health insurance. For continuation of benefits, it is encouraged that employees apply paid time off on the first work day of the month. Contact the Integrated Service Center about continuing your benefits during extensive periods of unpaid time off.

Vacation accrual

You do not accrue any vacation hours during a calendar month in which you have taken more than 10 equivalent days of your FTE as unpaid time off. For a 1.0 FTE, that would be 80 hours; for a 0.5 FTE, that would be 40 hours. The 10 equivalent days includes any holidays that you took as unpaid time off.

Additionally, your vacation time off accrual month gets adjusted for every month in which you have taken more than 10 equivalent days of unpaid time off. For example, if your accrual month is February and at some point in time, you have one month in which you use more than 10 equivalent days of unpaid time off, then your new accrual month becomes March.

Periodic salary increment date (classified employees)

In most cases, your periodic salary increment date will be extended by one month for either of the following reasons:

  • If you take more than 10 equivalent days of unpaid time off, including holidays, in a calendar month
  • If your unpaid time off exceeds 10 consecutive working days, including holidays

However, your salary increment date will not be extended if:

  • You are on military duty time off
  • You have a compensable work-related injury or illness
  • You have a cyclic year position and are on a scheduled period of unpaid time off
  • Your collective bargaining agreement has different provisions on salary increment date adjustments
Probationary and trial service period

Your probationary or trial service period may be impacted by taking leave without pay.

If you are: Then your probationary/trial service period will be:
Classified non-union Extended by one workday for each work shift of leave without pay
Contract classified Impacted as stated in your collective bargaining agreement

Automatic paycheck deposit continues during unpaid time off for any pay that may be owed to you. If you are not enrolled in automatic deposit, contact your department’s time and absence coordinator before going on time off to make arrangements for receiving paychecks.

If you have payroll deductions to pay loans or insurance, you need to make arrangements through the Integrated Service Center to pay those obligations directly during your unpaid time off.


Contact Transportation Services to discuss discontinuing parking deductions from your paycheck while on an extended time off.

Additional resources

APS 43.15 Leave Policy for Classified Non-Union Staff
APS 45.2 Leave Use and Compensation for Classified and Professional Staff During Suspended Operations and During Inclement Weather
APS 45.4 Leave Related to Active Military Duty