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 Manager Laura Fisk with questions.
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
- Departments can use any tracking method
- Sample TrackingReport.xlsx
- 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. The department must arrange for a replacement.
- To cover for TA’s temporarily, options to consider include having one TA “swap” with another, having another TA temporarily increase their percentage/FTE (if allowable) to replace the TA, or finding qualified Undergraduate Assistants to act as TA’s.
- To cover for TA’s longer-term, options to consider include hiring a replacement TA, Undergraduate Assistant – TA, or hiring academic staff replacements.
- TA 'swap' programs are preferred and best practice for covering for TA absences.
- However, if there is a need to pay a TA for covering for another TA including creating new TA appointments, approval is needed from HR Manager Laura Fisk in advance.
- If not using a 'swap' program, ensure that the individual providing coverage can actually take on the additional work while still complying with 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.