April 2015

Survey: sick leave banks and pools in Texas school districts

When implementing a sick leave bank or sick leave pool, organizations establish procedures outlining donation arrangements, eligibility, and limits of the leave. Our latest survey looks at the practices of Texas school districts.

For the purposes of our survey, we define the terms as follows:
  • Sick leave bank—a sick leave bank is a collection of leave days available to employees who donate to it. Eligible employees must apply to use donated days after their own leave is exhausted.
  • Sick leave pool—a sick leave pool is a collection of leave days donated for a particular employee who has exhausted his or her own leave. Pools are created as needed for an employee who requires extended leave.
Across the state, 37 percent of district respondents have a policy for a sick leave pool, while 32 percent provide a sick leave bank. More than a quarter of responding districts (27 percent) have neither. The remaining districts (4 percent) have both.


Sick leave pools

In districts that have sick leave pools, most (75 percent) provide days to employees for absences due to their own illness or to care for an immediate family member. In about half (49 percent), employees may donate local leave only, while 38 percent of districts allow the donation of both local and state leave.
 
In terms of donating days to sick leave pools, nearly all districts (91 percent) place limits on the number of days employees can donate: two days (38 percent), three days (23 percent), or five days (21 percent).
 
We also asked respondents to report the maximum number of days an employee is allowed to draw from the pool in a school year. Thirty days was the median. Employees are eligible for the sick leave pool even if they are receiving income replacement, such as disability insurance payments and workers’ compensation Temporary Income Benefits (TIBs), according to 77 percent of respondents. 

Sick leave banks

In districts that provide sick leave banks, a majority (69 percent) provide days to employees for absences due to their own illness or to care for an immediate family member. In most districts (76 percent), employees can donate only local leave, while 18 percent allow the donation of both local and state leave.
 
To join a sick leave bank, employees in more than half of districts (58 percent) must donate at least one day; in 27 percent of districts they must donate at least two days. Employee requests to access days are typically approved by employee committees, according to the survey.
 
Nearly all districts (89 percent) place a limit on the number of days employees can draw from the bank. Similar to sick leave pools, employees can draw a maximum of 30 days (median) from a bank on an annual basis; 75 days (median) is the maximum allowed over a lifetime.
 
For more information regarding sick leave banks and pools, see our Q&A feature in the April 2014 issue of HR Exchange.
 
TASB HR Services surveyed 942 public school member districts in February 2015. For our summary findings, 314 districts (or 33 percent of our members) across all TEA-defined enrollment groupings responded to the survey. HR Services member districts can still take part in the survey by visiting HR Surveys in DataCentral. Results are available for download immediately upon completion of the survey.