Leave reimbursement survey results: School district policy practices highlighted

By Troy Bryant

HR Services' February 2016 HR survey covered reimbursement of unused leave days by school employees, including eligibility, amounts, and limits. Employee leaves and absences practices and procedures are addressed in Policy DEC (LOCAL), including the five state leave days as required by the State of Texas, as well as any additional local leave days provided by districts.

Among responding Texas school districts, slightly more than half (52 percent) have a policy that provides for reimbursement of unused leave.
Eligibility for Reimbursement
In those districts that reimburse unused leave days, 89 percent (136 districts) indicated that all employees in the district are eligible. The other respondents (17 districts) make it available only to certain job groups (e.g., teachers). 
Employees are most commonly reimbursed for unused leave days only upon retirement (61 percent or 94 districts). Another 14 percent (21 districts) provide reimbursement for any type of resignation. One quarter (38 districts) reimburse employees annually for unused leave, according to the survey.
In terms of the type of days that are reimbursed, about half of districts (53 percent) reimburse local leave only. Twenty-nine percent reimburse local and state leave; eighteen percent limit it to state leave only.
Amount of Reimbursement
For the reimbursement of unused leave days, the amount districts pay varies. Most (77 percent) pay some type of standard rate (e.g., $50 per day). Other districts pay a reduced employee daily rate (16 percent) or a full daily rate (7 percent). Of respondents that reported paying a standard rate, about half of them (49 percent) pay $51 to $100 per day. Most other respondents (46 percent) pay $50 or less per day.
Finally, districts were asked about the limit they place on the total amount of reimbursement. According to the survey, districts typically limit the number of days reimbursed, total dollar amount paid, or both. One third reported that there is no limit on days or dollar amount.
TASB HR Services surveyed more than 900 public school member districts in February 2016. At the time of publication, 295 districts across all TEA-defined enrollment groupings participated in the survey. While the results of responses collected by February 2016 are reported here, HR Services member districts who have yet to participate can do so by visiting DataCentral and accessing the HR Data page. Member districts can take part in all of our surveys covering HR policies and procedures in school districts. Results are available upon completion of the survey.