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Shared Pool Of Time Off: Guidelines For Creating


Guidelines For Creating A Shared Pool Of Time Off


  • Get approval for the creation of the pool, including its terms, from the employer
  • If there is a union in the workplace, work with the union about creating the pool and then approaching the employer for approval.
  • Confirm with an attorney that the pool is legal in your state.

Benefits will be shared. For instance:

  • Type of time off. For instance:
    • Personal days
    • Sick days
    • Vacation days
  • Minimum amount of time that can be borrowed.
  • Maximum amount of time, if any, that can be borrowed during a particular period of time.
  • Does time to be borrowed have to be the same as time contributed? For example, can a person borrow time for sick leave if he or she only contributed vacation days?
  • Are employees who borrow leave from the pool required to pay it back?

Eligibility.  Consider such rules as:

  • Which employees can participate? For example, people who do a particular job, or work in a particular location.
  • Whether a person can borrow from the pool if he or she does not contribute to the pool. If contribution is required:
    • Does it matter what type? For example, sick leave or vacation leave.
    • Is there a minimum amount of contribution to participate?
    • The circumstances under which time can be borrowed. For example:
      • After formally applying for disability leave
      • During treatment for a physical condition and/or a mental condition
      • During recovery from a treatment for a physical condition
      • When experiencing a catastrophic injury or illness
      • Minimum amount of time, if any: (a) working for the employer and/or (b) in a particular position
      • Whether a person is required to have used all of his or her time off benefits before being able to borrow from the pool.


  • How to request time from the pool
    • Does the request have to specify maximum amount of time to be borrowed?
    • What back-up (proof) is required to be submitted with a request to borrow from the pool?
    • Is the person in charge of approving requests permitted to contact the employee’s doctor? (If so, a HIPAA authorization form will have to be signed by the employee)
    • How to review the request and determine (a) eligibility and (b) maximum amount of time.
    • Maximum period of time allowed to review and act on a completed request.

Bookkeeping/ Security

  • A person or mechanism to keep track of all of the above.
  • Safety copies in case of a crash, hack or malicious intruder.
  • Security so that all information about an employee’s health condition will be kept confidential.

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