Leave Benefits

All eligible employees will earn legal holidays and sick leave. Certain employees will earn vacation and personal holidays. All hours earned are based on the employment percentage and duration.

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Faculty, Academic Staff, and Limited Appointees

9-Month (Academic Year): Earn sick and legal holidays that fall within the academic year.

12-Month (Calendar Year): Earn sick, vacation, floating holidays and legal holidays.

All faculty, academic staff, and limited appointees are granted an initial entitlement of 176.0 hours of sick leave (prorated if part-time) for their first 18 months of employment. After which sick leave is earned at a rate of 8.0 hours per month for 12-month appointees and 10.7 hours per month for 9-month appointees.

Vacation, if eligible, is granted at the beginning of each fiscal year (July 1) at a rate of 176.0 hours per year (prorated if part-time). Unused vacation can be carried over into the next fiscal year but must be used by the end of the new fiscal year (June 30).

Floating/Personal Holidays are granted at the beginning of each fiscal year (July 1) at a rate of 36.0 hours per year (prorated if part-time). These hours must be used by the end of the fiscal year in which they were earned (June 30) or they will be lost.

Legal Holiday hours granted at the beginning of each fiscal year for 12-month appointees at a rate of 72.0 hours per year (prorated if part-time). 9-month appointees will not be granted Legal Holiday hours but are not expected to work on scheduled paid Legal Holidays. Please see your Human Resources Business Partner for a current schedule of dates.

Leave needs to be reported by the 5th of the following month each month regardless of leave usage. By the 1st of the following month, the leave statement will be available on the self service portal (my.uwm.edu) for employees to download and submit to their department. You must report leave in half or whole days (i.e. 4.0 or 8.0 hours) if you are full-time. Use the following parameters:

  • 0.0 – 2.0 hours used: report 0.0 hours
  • 2.1 – 6.0 hours used: report 4.0 hours
  • 6.1 – 8.0 hours used: report 8.0 hours

Part-time employees will report exact hours used.

For more information please see: Faculty, Academic Staff, Limited Appointees Personnel Policies and Procedures Chapter 16.02

University Staff

Earn sick, vacation, personal holidays, and legal holidays. For a breakdown of how the hours are allocated and other information please see the links below:

Legal Holidays

The UW System grants nine days of paid legal holidays per year to eligible employees. Full-time employees earn eight hours of leave for each legal holiday. Part-time employees earn a prorated amount based on hours worked during the pay period that includes the legal holiday.

  • When a legal holiday falls on a Saturday, the employee is granted eight hours of floating legal holiday (prorated, if part-time).
  • When a legal holiday falls on a Sunday, the legal holiday is observed and the UW System is closed on the Monday following the legal holiday.

Due to varying business needs throughout the UW System, some employees may be required to work on a legal holiday. Employees who are required to work on a legal holiday, or if the legal holiday is on an employee’s regularly schedule day off, they will be granted floating legal holiday.

Floating legal holidays can be used like any other paid leave, and must be used by the end of the year in which it was earned (calendar year for University Staff employees, fiscal year for Faculty, Academic Staff or Limited appointees).

Source: UW System Legal Holidays Overview

Legal Holidays for 2022 Observed
New Year’s Day Saturday, January 1 (floating legal holiday)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, January 17
Memorial Day Monday, May 30
Independence Day Monday, July 4
Labor Day Monday, September 5
Thanksgiving Thursday, November 24
Christmas Eve Saturday, December 24 (floating legal holiday)
Christmas Day Sunday, December 25 (UWM Closed December 26)
New Year’s Eve Saturday, December 31 (floating legal holiday)
Legal Holidays for 2023 Observed
New Year’s Day Sunday, January 1 (UWM Closed January 2)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, January 16

Unpaid Leave and/or FMLA

Leave is available under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or the Wisconsin Family Leave Act (WFMLA). You must meet certain employment requirements and have department approval prior to taking either of these types of leave. More information is available in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Toolkit.


This webpage is intended for your convenience. Individual links and overviews only provide summary of certain provisions of the formal Plan document in part; the webpage does not attempt to cover all of the details contained in the Plan document. The operation of the Plan and the benefits to which you (or your beneficiaries) may be entitled will be governed solely by the terms of the official Plan document. To the extent that any of the information contained in this overview or any information you receive orally is inconsistent with the official Plan document, the provisions set forth in the Plan document will govern in all cases.

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