University employees completing certain types of seasonal work may be placed on a seasonal leave of absence during periods when duties and responsibilities are the most diminished. Employees on seasonal leave have special considerations related to their pay, university insurance and other benefits, as well as types of paid time off.
Generally, a seasonal leave of absence is initiated by department leadership based on the needs and workload of the department. An employee may request a seasonal leave of absence, but it is at the department and supervisor’s discretion as to whether seasonal leave is granted.
If an employee is placed on a seasonal leave of absence, they are eligible to participate in other work for the university so long as the job is a non-benefit-eligible, temporary position.
Even though an employee may not be actively at work, time during which an employee is placed on a seasonal leave of absence is:
- Not considered a break in service.
- Counted toward vesting and service credit (up to 3 months) in the university retirement plan.
- Counted as length of service in computing vacation accrual rates (i.e., how much vacation time earned per pay period).
During the seasonal leave of absence, an employee can choose to continue or suspend participation in most insurance benefits available through the university, including medical, dental, life, long term disability and accidental death and dismemberment.
- If the employee chooses to continue insurance coverage:
- The employee is responsible for paying the employee premium cost during the seasonal leave of absence.
- The university continues to subsidize the premium cost and pay its employer portion.
- If the employee chooses to suspend insurance coverage:
In partnership with Missouri Credit Union, employees who will be placed on seasonal leave can set aside money via payroll deduction into an account. Funds can then be accessed to pay for insurance costs and/or to provide income relief during the seasonal leave of absence.
Employees should consult with the Missouri Division of Employment Security to see if they are eligible for unemployment compensation which is determined on a case-by-case basis. Employees do not receive pay for holidays that occur during a seasonal leave of absence.
During a seasonal leave of absence, employees do not accumulate vacation or sick leave, however, personal days will continue to be granted.
Because a seasonal leave of absence is at the employer's discretion, employees are not required to exhaust accrued vacation. However, an employee may choose to use accrued vacation leave in order to continue to receive pay.
Employees may not use personal days while placed on a seasonal leave of absence. Similarly, unused personal days are lost at the end of the anniversary year, even when an employee is on a seasonal leave of absence.