Catastrophic Leave

The Catastrophic Leave Bank Program assists eligible university employees, after they have exhausted their earned sick leave, annual leave, holidays, and compensatory time, to manage medical emergencies, injuries and illnesses incurred by them or eligible family members. 

Catastrophic leave may also be used for parental leave.

The Catastrophic Leave Bank is a pool of accrued annual and sick leave voluntarily donated by full-time, 100% appointed faculty or staff that has been authorized for use by approved leave recipients. Faculty donate to and/or request leave from a Bank created for faculty. Staff donate to and/or request leave from a separate Bank created for staff.

Donations to the Catastrophic Leave Bank

Only full-time (100% appointed) employees in a benefits-eligible position may donate or receive hours in the catastrophic leave bank. Donations are strictly voluntary and employees do not need to be donors to receive hours from the bank. Leave donations are accepted only during donation drives or at an employee's end of employment.

Donations are made in one-hour increments. There is no limit to the number of hours that can be donated. A donation cannot be accepted, however, if it reduces the combined sick and annual leave balances of the donor to less than 80 hours.

To donate to the catastrophic leave bank, contact your departmental leave representative or complete the Donation Form.

Applying for Catastrophic Leave

Employees on catastrophic leave continue to accrue leave and receive other benefits; however, any leave earned while an employee is on catastrophic leave must be assigned to the catastrophic leave bank as a condition of voluntary participation in the program. Restrictions concerning the maintenance of minimum leave balances do not apply to employees on catastrophic leave.

To be eligible for catastrophic leave, you must:

  • Be a current, full-time (100% appointed) employee in a benefits-eligible position
  • Have been employed by the state of Arkansas for at least one year—continuous employment is not required
  • Not have been disciplined for misuse or inappropriate use of leave within the past year
  • Have exhausted all regular accrued leave—annual, sick, holiday and compensatory time
  • Provide a current Physician's Certification of a medical condition which prevents you from performing your job duties for 20 or more working days and will result in a substantial loss of income
  • Have at least 80 hours combined sick and annual leave accrued at the onset of illness or injury

It is important that you or your designee file as soon as you know that you will need catastrophic leave.

  • Read and understand the Catastrophic and Parental Leave policy .
  • Obtain a current set of application forms from the Leave Administrator in Human Resources.
  • Sign the Authorization to Release Information section of the Physician's Certification form and have your physician complete the remainder of the form. Be sure to provide your physician with a copy of your current job description.
  • Complete the employee portion of Parts I and IV of the Recipient Application form and have your supervisor or department head complete Part II.
  • Read and sign the Liability Agreement form.
  • Submit the completed application packet to the Leave Administrator in Human Resources. The following application deadlines apply each month:
    • January through November: 5th business day of the month
    • December: 1st business day of the month.

Human Resources confirms the employee’s eligibility and presents the application to the Catastrophic Leave Advisory Committee for review. For additional information, contact an HR Expert.