Personal Leave

Benefits-eligible staff may request personal leave if an absence does not qualify for FMLA or another university leave category. The amount of time that may be approved depends on your length of service and the operational needs of your department.

Review the Time Off and Leave Guide for details about personal leave, including eligibility, coordination with paid time off and more. 


Unpaid personal leave may be requested after completion of ninety (90) days of employment.

Staff members who have fewer than six (6) months of service in a benefits-eligible position may request a personal leave of absence for a period not to exceed ten (10) workdays.

Staff members who have completed a minimum of six (6) months of service in a benefits-eligible position may request longer periods of personal leave.

Coordination with Paid Time Off

All applicable annual and sick time will be required to be exhausted upon personal leave approval. For example:

  • If an employee is requesting personal leave to care for an ill family member, both annual and sick time exhaustion will be required during personal leave. 
  • If the leave is for training or educational purposes or another non-sick time policy qualifying reason, only annual time exhaustion will be required.
Benefits Continuation

Employees may choose to either continue or cancel eligible benefits during unpaid leave. Benefits continuation (PDF) varies between the leaves of absence. 

If you wish to cancel some or all of your benefits, you can make those changes in bswift, the university’s benefits enrollment system. Please note that if you cancel any of your voluntary life or disability benefits (e.g., optional employee or spouse life, voluntary short-term disability, etc.), you may be required to submit Evidence of Insurability (EOI) to re-enroll in those benefits when you return to work.

Premium Remittance 

If continuing benefits during unpaid leave, employees will need to pay for their benefits premiums through Payer Express, GW’s online payment system.

If applicable, Benefits will provide instructions on how to log in and enroll (PDF) in a Payer Express account in order to remit payment for benefits premiums during unpaid leave.  

Please note that if you do not pay your portion of benefits premiums, your benefits may be canceled effective the end of the month following your last payment or deduction. 

Returning to Work

Please contact your manager and Benefits prior to your return to work. Failure to provide notice of your return to work may negatively affect payroll and benefits processing.

Benefits Enrollment

Upon return to active employment, you may re-enroll in any cancelled benefits within 30 calendar days of returning to work via the benefits enrollment system. If no election is made, your next opportunity to enroll will be during open enrollment or within 30 calendar days of a Qualified Life Event.

How to Apply

Personal leave is managed at the department level. Employees must complete the personal leave request form (PDF) as far in advance of the intended leave as possible. 

For questions about personal leave, please contact Benefits at [email protected].