Shared Leave Program

The shared leave program enables eligible employees to donate accrued vacation leave benefits to a pool. This pool will be used to provide additional paid leave benefits to eligible employees who have experienced certain catastrophic events personally or within their family and have exhausted other sources of paid leave.

Learn more

Donating shared leave

Click on a header to expand the selection and uncover additional information about donating to the shared leave pool.

Why donate?

Testimonial: Anna's experience

The Shared Leave Program at MUHC was life changing for my family. Although I had enough paid time off saved up to cover my maternity leave, my daughter, Violet, came four weeks early and had a rough start. Violet was diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, which meant she had to stay in the NICU for a month and half. Once she was released, Violet had a very complicated, 45-minute feeding process, which involved thickened feeds. This process had to be repeated every three hours.

Violet had only been home for five weeks when I was supposed to return to work. My maternity leave had flown by, and my return date loomed as a deadline I could not begin to process. Violet’s health complications meant there was no daycare willing to accept her unless we had someone on hand to manage her feedings, and we could not afford to hire an in-home nurse or a nanny. Even if we could, we were so fortunate to have Violet in our lives that it was terrifying to trust a stranger to care for her safely.

Regardless, we knew we could not afford for me not to return to work. So, when I received a message that a group of people in my department had donated vacation hours that would allow me to extend my leave, I felt like I could breathe again. The additional leave meant I could care for Violet without worrying about being able to afford the therapies she needed. It gave us time to make the best decisions possible for our beautiful baby girl. Let’s be honest, it gave us money. Financial pressure can be crushing, and this gift eliminated that stressor.

Had I not received time through the Shared Leave Program, my family would likely have had to decide if we would fit Violet with a g-tube or if I would quit my position to stay home and care for her. Instead, during the additional time I was granted, we were able to schedule a swallow study. Violet passed with flying colors, which meant she could come off of the thickened feeds and begin feeding regularly. At the same time, we were able to find and secure a spot at an incredible daycare that specifically accommodates her ongoing needs. There are no words that can describe the gratitude I feel for the donated hours I received. What the donators did was selfless, kind and caring, and my family will be forever grateful to those individuals, as well as to MUHC for supporting the program.

Testimonial: Janine's experience

When I was 13, I had a major spinal fusion for scoliosis. The surgery was effective for 40 years, but soon after, I started experiencing pain in my hips, lower back and neck. When I talked to a health care professional, I found that everything above and below the fused section of my spine had deteriorated. I would need another major fusion.

I tried to put surgery off as long as possible. The paid time off I had earned wouldn’t be enough to cover the long period my surgeon told me was necessary to recover. Even though I was in constant pain, the financial stress that went alongside the physical discomfort kept me from doing what was best for my health. Finally, though, I reached a point where I hurt so badly I knew I had to have surgery.

As I was recovering after my surgery, I learned that several of my co-workers had donated vacation hours that would help keep me in paid status while I healed. These generous donations lifted an enormous amount of stress from my shoulders and allowed me to focus on healing and becoming physically stronger.

I am so very grateful to have this program and the people who donate to it. The leave I received was a great gift to my heart, body and soul. Anyone might find themselves in a situation like mine, but it's an amazing feeling to know the University community is there to help you in a time of need. I am forever grateful for this support, and will certainly pay it forward to help others when they are in need.



To be eligible to donate shared leave time, staff must be regular administrative, service and support employees who have successfully completed the probationary period. In addition, non-regular academic employees who are eligible for paid leave plans and have been employed for at least six months in a leave-accruing position may also donate.



If you choose to donate, you must donate a minimum of eight hours, regardless of your FTE. Please note, you must retain a minimum balance of 40 hours of vacation.

Donations are voluntary on the part of the contributor, and may not be rescinded.

Select your university  below to donate to your shared pool:




Donate to the MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T, UMSL or UM System pool

Eligible MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T, UMSL and UM System employees can donate leave time in myHR. To do so, access myHR and select the navigation icon (top-right corner). Then, choose Navigator > Self Service > Time Reporting > Report Time > Timesheet. Enter leave time as you normally would in your timesheet using the code DSL. Note, you must donate a minimum of eight hours of time. If you choose to donate more, donations must be made in one-hour increments.

Paper applications may be submitted to your pool's Shared Leave Administrator if you do not have regular access to a computer.

Donate to the MUHC pool

Eligible employees can donate leave time in Kronos by completing the steps outlined in the Procedure to Donate Shared Hours document.

Paper applications may be submitted to your pool's Shared Leave Administrator if you do not have regular access to a computer.


Using shared leave

Click on a header to expand the selection and uncover additional information about using shared leave.



To be eligible to receive shared leave time, employees must:

  1. Be regular administrative, service and support employees or non-regular academic employees who are eligible for paid leave plans;
  2. Have successfully completed the probationary period or been employed for at least six months in a leave-accruing position;
  3. Be experiencing a catastrophic event (defined below); and
  4. Have exhausted all forms of paid leave (i.e., vacation, sick, personal and compensatory time).

Catastrophic events

For the purpose of the Shared Leave Program, immediate family may be defined as it is outlined in HR-404.

For the purposes of shared leave eligibility, a catastrophic event is defined as a major illness, injury or medical condition which is life threatening, terminal or likely to result in a substantial permanent disability as certified in writing by a health provider.


Using shared leave

Any approved recipient may receive shared leave for a qualifying minimum of 30 continuous hours, with a maximum of 160 hours granted per application, and a maximum of 480 hours per fiscal year. If approved, you may not receive shared leave that exceeds the anticipated period of medical incapacity as identified by your health care provider.

Shared leave is applied as donations are available and approved, according to the recipient’s pay cycle (monthly or bi-weekly).

Subsidization of long-term disability or workers compensation benefits will not be permitted, other than during the initial period of waiting for such benefits to commence.



Select your university below:




Members of our University community who are eligible and may benefit from receiving paid shared leave time are welcome to submit an application. Shared leave hours are available for distribution when the applicable shared leave pool has received enough donations to offer support to eligible recipients. Shared leave availability is indicated above, by full-color images, and is also noted in the list below:

  • MU pool - Available
  • MUHC pool - Available
  • UMKC pool -Available
  • Missouri S&T pool - Available
  • UMSL pool - Available
  • UM System pool - Available

Regardless of your location, all eligible faculty and staff interested in receiving Shared Leave Program hours must submit the following to their Shared Leave Administrator:

  1. A complete application;
  2. A certifying statement from a health care provider indicating either the employee's own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a family member; AND
  3. Written approval for time off from your department.


Application packets may be submitted prior to reaching an unpaid status. Please note, you may not receive shared leave that exceeds your anticipated period of medical incapacity as designated by your health care provider.



Click on a header to expand the selection and learn about frequently asked questions.

General Questions

Are benefit-eligible Admin. Service and Support staff funded by grants eligible?

Yes. This program applies to eligible faculty and staff, regardless of funding source. Employees may donate and receive shared leave funds, regardless of how their position is funded.


How is a ‘pool’ defined? Can employees choose to which pool they donate?

As of July 1, 2018, there are six pools labeled as: MU, MU Health Care, UMKC, Missouri S&T UMSL and UM System. Eligible faculty and staff may only donate to their own pool based on their benefit-eligible appointment. Likewise, faculty and staff will receive donated funds from their own pool based on their benefit-eligible appointment.

When do shared leave donations become available for use by eligible employees?

Donations may be available in the campus shared leave pool as early as the first day of the pay period following donation. However, due to the approval and payroll confirmation process, availability of donated hours may vary. For example: Monthly employees may donate at any point in the month. If the donation is approved by the time payroll is processed, the hours will be available the first of the month following donation. If the donation is made after the payroll has processed for the month, the hours will not be available until the second following month.

Payroll calendars can be found on each campus’s payroll website:


Additional information on donating shared leave

If I donate vacation time, is it taxable to me?

No. Donating time to a shared pool is not a taxable event.


Can I take a deduction for the leave I donate?

Unlike making a cash donation directly to a charity, the shared leave program does not use any of your taxable earned income. We recommend you consult a tax advisor if you require a definitive answer.


I have reached maximum balance vacation hours. Can I donate each pay period?

Yes, the policy requires a minimum of 8 hours with each donation.


How can I donate and not cause my vacation balance to fall below 40 hours?

In order to donate, you must ensure the amount you're donating will not take your personal vacation balance below 40 hours. For example, if your vacation balance before you donate to a shared pool is 240 hours, you may donate up to 200 vacation hours at that time, which will keep your vacation balance at 40 hours.


How are my hours computed when added to my pool's shared leave pool?

Donated hours are computed based on their dollar value. For example:

  Hourly rate Donated hours Amount added to the pool Total
Donor A $48.08 50 = $48.08 X 50 hours $2,404.00
Donor B $24.04 60 = $24.04 X 60 hours $1,422.40
Donor C $15.00 70 = $15.00 X 70 hours $1.050.00
      Total available pool funds $4,896.40



Is my department charged for the hours I donate to my shared leave pool?

For all pools except MU Health Care, when employees donate hours, departments will not be charged beyond what they have already paid in the benefit flat rate.

For MU Health Care, departments are charged the expense when vacation is earned. Donated hours will have no effect on departmental budgets.


Additional information on using shared leave

If I am approved, will I receive my same rate of pay for all of my shared leave?

Yes. However, not all hours requested may be approved and your rate of pay will not include shift differential or premium pay. The amount approved may be less based on the available pool balance.


Must I be on Family Medical Leave (FMLA) in order to apply for shared leave?

Not necessarily. The requirements for FMLA and shared leave are separate. Employees receiving shared leave pay may or may not also be on FMLA; the circumstances will vary.


I'm working a partial schedule to care for a family member with a catastrophic illness. Am I eligible for shared leave for hours I am unable to work?

No. Shared Leave is not available for intermittent hours.


I receive Shift Differential and/or premium pay. If I receive shared leave, will this include earnings beyond base pay?

No. Only base pay is include in shared leave payments. Shared leave is a voluntary program funded by employees donating their vacation time to a pool. This voluntary program is not a guarantee and is not a 100% income replacement program.


As a recipient, is the shared leave I am awarded taxable?

Yes. Shared leave is a form of compensation, similar to vacation leave or sick leave. When an employee uses vacation/sick/shared leave, the time used is taxable income and will show on the recipient's W-2. Regular deductions apply.


Does paid shared leave count toward years of service for vesting or retirement?

Maybe. However, this is not based on shared leave pay. Whether or not time is pension-creditable towards vesting, service, or salary credit is based on the type of leave (i.e. FMLA leave) you are on while receiving shared leave pay. Please consult with your UM System Human Resources Retirement office.


Is shared leave available during the 149 day wait period for long-term disability?

Possibly. Applying for LTD does not disqualify an employee’s application for shared leave. However, employees applying for LTD and shared leave are encouraged to contact the UM System Benefits Office to discuss coordinating shared leave pay with the LTD application process to ensure maximum benefit and avoid delays or overpayments.


Who reviews my application for shared leave and what is being reviewed?

A designated staff member from HR with the responsibilities of “Shared Leave Administration (SLA)” reviews initial eligibility, maintains communication with shared leave applicants and applies approved leave on employee’s timesheet. A systemwide committee of HR and/or Title IX representatives makes final decisions and approvals of leave and funds approved.


What are some conditions that do not meet the definition of catastrophic event?

For the purposes of this policy, a catastrophic event is defined as a major illness, injury or medical condition which is life threatening, terminal or likely to result in a substantial permanent disability as certified in writing by a health provider. Absent a documented health condition which may meet the definition of catastrophic event, the following circumstances may not typically meet the criteria:

  • Flu
  • Chicken pox
  • Broken ankle
  • Migraines
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Pregnancy/delivery  

Information from your health care provider determines whether the medical situation meets the definition of “life threatening, terminal or likely to result in a substantial permanent disability.” A job-related injury or illness that is covered by workers compensation does not qualify for shared leave.


Is it possible my application could be denied?

Yes, applications could be denied for reasons that include incomplete application materials or ineligibility, or if the purpose of the leave does not meet the catastrophic event definition. Additionally, lack of funds available in the leave pool may result in a denial of application. Contact your Shared Leave Administrator for questions or assistance with the application process, and see the Shared Leave Policy to appeal a denial of your request.


Need assistance?

Shared Leave Administrators

Shared Leave Administrators (SLAs) are the individuals who are responsible for approving/denying donations at their location; communicating with employees and their supervisors and timekeepers; reviewing applications for shared leave; and supporting participants who need assistance as they donate or apply for shared leave. Each pool has a designated SLA, so there is a dedicated SLA located at each university, MUHC and UM System. To contact your SLA, please use the email address that corresponds with your pool:

For additional information or help donating shared leave or submitting an application to use shared leave, contact the HR Service Center.

Reviewed 2019-03-26.