Policy Manual

Educational Support Leave

Effective July 8, 2019

Policy Statement:

It is the policy of Georgia College to supplement work-life balance options for University System of Georgia (USG) employees. Each full-time benefit eligible (40 hours per week), non-temporary USG employee, shall be eligible for up to eight hours of paid leave per calendar year, for the purpose of promoting education in the State of Georgia as authorized by O.C.G.A. § 45-20-32. This leave will be available to all eligible employees, both parents of students and non-parents, and may be considered for activities supporting public, private, and home school achievement. Educational Support Leave is not charged against any other leave and may be taken in one hour increments or all at one time. Educational Support Leave does not accumulate or roll over and is not paid out upon change of employment status.

Related Definitions:

Faculty: The faculty shall consist of the corps of instruction and the administrative officers as defined in Section 3 of the Policy Manual of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Staff: Staff employees shall consist of two major employee groups 1) staff professional and administrative employees and 2) staff non-exempt.  

Student: Any individual pursuing education from pre-K/early care and learning all the way through higher education. This is not intended for personal use as a GC Employee pursuing higher education.

Student Achievement and Academic Support: Activities that promote education in Georgia may include, but are not limited to, some of the following: Attend Parent/Teacher conferences, participate in classroom activities, such as reading to a class or presenting on career day, tutor students without receiving compensation, proctor examinations, attend award and recognition ceremonies or graduation exercises, participate in field day activities or field trips, or attend open house functions. Activities should be school sanctioned events where school officials (teacher, principal, superintendent, etc.) are in attendance.

Reason for the Policy:

To assist GC employees in supporting the education of students in activities directly related to student achievement and academic support qualify for Educational Support Leave. 

Proposed Outcomes:

Employee participation in promoting education in the State of Georgia, and elevation of work life balance for GC employees.

Applicability of the Policy:

This policy applies to all Georgia College full-time benefits eligible faculty and staff that are non-temporary.

Related Policies and State Law:

USG Policy on Educational Support Leave:

http://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/education_support_leave

State Personnel Board Rule 478-1-.16-Absence from Work:

http://doas.ga.gov/human-resources-administration/board-rules-policy-and-compliance/state-personnel-board-rules

Georgia House Bill 313:

https://gov.georgia.gov/sites/gov.georgia.gov/files/related_files/document/HB%20313.pdf

Team Georgia:

http://team.georgia.gov/georgia-news/education-support-leave-now-available-to-state-employees/

Procedures:

  • Educational Support Leave is in addition to, and not charged against, an employee’s other leave.   
  • Educational Support Leave must be requested in increments of at least 1 hour up to a total of 8 hours per calendar year.  
  • Employees must receive approval from their supervisor at least 24 hours prior to attending a qualifying event directly related to student achievement and academic support.
  • Educational Support Leave must be recorded and approved on the employee’s time card by selecting Educational Support Leave directly on the timecard and indicating the time taken.

Guidelines:

Before for an employee can use Educational Support Leave an employee must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Full-time benefit eligible, non-temporary employee of the University System of Georgia, may request to use and be considered for Educational Support Leave.
  2. Only activities directly related to student achievement and academic support will qualify for Educational Support Leave. Such activities may range from early learning care through higher education. The Office of Human Resources maintains the authority to determine, in accordance with the provisions outlined in this policy, whether an activity would qualify for Educational Support Leave.
  3. To use Educational Support Leave, an employee may, but is not required to be, the parent of a student.
  4. Employees must not receive pay for services they perform while using Educational Support Leave.
  5. After attending a qualifying event, written verification may be required and submitted to your supervisor and/or the Office of Human Resources to document the request.
  6. The Office of Human Resources in partnership with the designated departmental manager, maintains discretion to approve or deny requests for Educational Support Leave based on operational needs, or other reasons, such as conduct, attendance, or unsatisfactory work performance.
  7. Use of Educational Support Leave for any political purpose or agenda is prohibited.

Educational Support Leave does not accumulate, and unused leave does not rollover into subsequent calendar years. Rather, eligible employees may use Educational Support Leave for qualifying absences that occur during their regular scheduled work hours, up to a total of 8 hours in any calendar year.

Employees can use no more than 8 paid hours of Educational Support Leave in a calendar year regardless of transfer from one USG institution or office to another. Each USG institution or office is responsible for conducting due diligence to ensure an employee has not exhausted Educational Support Leave prior to approving the paid leave.

Educational Support Leave carries no cash value if unused. There will be no payout for unused Educational Support Leave upon termination.

Contacts:

Policy Administration:

Carol Ward, Chief Human Resources Officer, carol.ward@gcsu.edu, 478-445-0929