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Voluntary Shared Leave

Human Resources Policy HR 04 01

Purpose: To provide a process that allows an employee to assist another employee in case of a prolonged medical condition that exhausts the employee's available leave and that would result in a loss of income at a critical time.

Scope: This policy applies to all permanent, probationary, trainee, or time-limited, full-time or part-time (half-time or more), SPA or EPA non-teaching employees. Temporary, intermittent, or part-time employees (working less than half-time) are not eligible.

Policy: Human Resources shall administer the Voluntary Shared Leave program by reviewing the merits of each request and approving or disapproving.

In order to receive voluntary shared leave, an employee must have complied with existing leave rules and:

  • have a prolonged medical condition of *20 consecutive workdays - or a member of the employee's immediate family has a medical condition that requires the employee's absence for a prolonged period of time (Please refer to the chart below for the definition of immediate family.),
  • apply for or be nominated to become a recipient,
  • produce medical evidence to support the need for leave beyond the available accumulated leave, and
  • be approved to participate in the program.
Terms Definition
Immediate family


Parent (Mother/ Father) 

Child (Daughter/ Son) 

Brother/ Sister 

Grand/ Great 


Husband Wife

Biological Adoptive Step In Loco Parentis In-law

Biological Adoptive Foster Step In Loco Parentis In-law

Biological Adoptive Step Half In-law

Parent Child Step In-law

Living in the employee's  household


*Exception to 20-day period: If an employee has had previous random absences for the same condition that has caused excessive absences, or if the employee has had a previous, but different, prolonged medical condition within the last twelve months, an exception may be made to the 20-day period.

An employee may begin using voluntary shared leave after all available sick and vacation leave has been exhausted.

The amount of leave a recipient may receive is 1,040 hours (prorated for part-time employees), either continuously or, if for the same condition, on a recurring basis. However, an employee may be granted continuation, on a month-to-month basis, to a maximum of 2,080 hours, if the employee would have otherwise been granted leave without pay.

An immediate family member of any State agency or public school system may contribute vacation or sick leave to another immediate family member in any State agency.

A non-family member may contribute only vacation leave to another employee within the same agency. A non-family member may not contribute leave outside the parent agency.

The minimum amount of vacation that may be donated is four hours, eight hours for SAAO.

The maximum amount of vacation leave that may be donated:

  • may not be more than the amount of the employee's annual accrual rate, and
  • may not reduce the employee's vacation leave balance below one-half of the annual vacation leave accrual rate.

The minimum amount of sick leave that may be donated is four hours, eight hours for SAAO.

The maximum amount of sick leave that may be donated:

  • is 1,040 hours, but
  • may not reduce the sick leave account below 40 hours.


Any unused leave at the expiration of the medical condition or separation of the employee due to resignation, death, or retirement, shall be returned to the donor(s) on a prorated basis and credited to the leave account from which it was donated. The recipient's sick leave account balance shall not exceed a total of 40 hours (prorated for part-time employees).
An employee who is receiving benefits from the Disability Income Plan of North Carolina (DIPNC) is not eligible to participate in the program; however, shared leave may be used during the required 60 day waiting period before benefits begin.

Note: The Privacy Act makes medical information confidential. When disclosing information on an approved employee, only a statement that the employee (or the family member) has a prolonged medical condition needs to be made. If the employee wishes to make the medical status public, the employee must sign a release to allow the status to be known.

Leave donated shall be kept confidential. Only individual employees may reveal their donation or receipt of leave.

Procedures: Employees may apply or be nominated by a fellow employee to participate in the Voluntary Shared Leave program. When applying for leave, an employee must complete the Recipient/Requestor form, provide all requested authorization, including the physician's statement, and forward to Human Resources. Human Resources will review the request for leave and approve or disapprove. Upon approval, the request will be posted on conspicuous bulletin boards across campus in all departments.

Employees have 30 days from the date of the posting to respond to the request.

Requests to donate leave to immediate family members in other State agencies must be submitted to Human Resources for approval.

Human Resources will provide reports of employee participation in the Voluntary Shared Leave program to supervisors on a quarterly basis.