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L&S Student Assistant Leave

This L&S KB provides important information about Leave for Student Assistants (also called “Graduate Assistants”) and provides a sample spreadsheet for tracking leave. 

New student assistant policies and procedures were established in 2019 in GAPP-Graduate Assistant Policies and Procedures (https://hr.wisc.edu/policies/gapp/). Please contact HR Associate Director Laura Fisk with questions.

**2/24/22 Admin Topic of the Month featured Student Assistant leave! Please review the recorded session for great information!**

Leave Summary

Paid Sick Leave

  • TA, PA, and RA are eligible
  • Eligible employees are credited with paid sick leave
  • Not prorated for FTE
  • Based on length of appointment
    • Full Fall or Spring Semester appointment = 48 hours
    • Full Academic year appointment = 96 hours
    • Summer Term and all other appointment lengths = 8 hours for each 30 days (or portion thereof)
  • Usage: PA = 15-minute increments, RA/TA = 1-hour increments
  • Carryover is allowed from appointment to appointment within the same department and the same title, from one academic year to the next, or within the same academic year as long as the break between appointments is less than 2 weeks 
    • Combination of carryover sick leave and new sick leave cannot exceed 96 hours
  • Unused sick leave is not paid out

Paid Vacation Leave

  • A-basis PA and RA are eligible
  • Eligible employees earn paid vacation
  • 180 hours per fiscal year, if 100% FTE
    • Prorated for FTE
    • Prorated for length of appointment
    • Example: 50% A-basis PA 9/1/2021- 8/31/2022 will receive 90 hours of vacation
  • Usage: PA = 15-minute increments, RA = 1-hour increments
  • No vacation carryover is allowed
  • Unused leave is not paid out

Using & Counting Leave

  • Count a day's absence based on assigned FTE of the appointment, not on actual schedule for that given day
  • Example: for an employee with a 50% FTE appointment who is absent on a given day, count 4 hours of leave used for that day
    • 50% x 40 hours per week = 20 hours per week
    • 20 hours per week / 5 days = 4 hours per day

Tracking Leave

  • Departments can use any tracking method
    • Sample Student Assistant Leave Report (with Paid Leave Summary)
    • Currently leave must be tracked manually by departments, since there is no way to enter or track leave in timekeeping systems or HRS as with other appointment types.
    • A non-exempt student assistant who tracks hours on a timesheet (for example a non-exempt Project Assistant) submits their regular hours on their timesheet during the week approved for leave.

TA Sick Leave Coverage

  • Per Graduate Assistant Policies and Procedure (GAPP) if a TA is on paid sick leave, the TA is not required to find their replacement, make up the work or “swap” with another TA.  The department must arrange for a replacement. 
  • To cover for TA’s temporarily when the TA is using their paid sick leave, options the department can consider include having another TA increase their percentage/FTE to replace the TA, hiring a replacement TA for a short period of time, or finding qualified Undergraduate Assistants to act as TA’s (“Undergraduate Assistant – TA”, or hiring academic staff replacements. Consult with Laura Fisk, HR Associate Director.
  • If the department needs to provide coverage for a TA on paid sick leave by changing existing TA appointments or hiring an Undergraduate Assistant or Teaching Specialist, the department will need to get approval from the Teaching and Learning Team.  See L&S KB  https://kb.wisc.edu/ls/118505, “Teaching Assistants” and “Undergraduate Assistants or Teaching Specialists”).
  • If an individual is taking on additional work to help cover for others, the department’s HR staff must verify the individual providing will not exceed appointment maximum limitations. For example, foreign national students who already have a 50% appointment (including student help) are not able to do any additional work and/or receive any additional payments during weeks in which classes are in session.

Leave Without Pay

  • If a student assistant may need to go on Leave Without Pay (or a personal leave) notify HR Manager Laura Fisk immediately as it could affect health insurance coverage as well as eligibility for tuition remission.
  • Note: Taking an academic leave from a graduate program is different than taking a leave from employment in a student assistant appointment. Please notify HR Manager Laura Fisk for assistance in these situations.  


KeywordsStudent Assistant, SA, Leave, Sick Leave, Vacation, Paid Leave, Sick Leave Coverage, Leave without pay, TA, PA, RA ls   Doc ID24845
OwnerNicholas F.GroupL&S KB
Created2012-06-26 09:00:10Updated2023-08-30 07:22:34
SitesL&S KB
CleanURLhttps://kb.wisc.edu/ls/ls-student-assistant-leave
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