Voluntary Reduction in Hours/Salary Savings Leave

Minnesota Statute 43A.49 and certain collective bargaining agreements include provisions for "Voluntary Unpaid Leave of Absence" also known as Voluntary Reduction in Hours or Salary Savings Leave. These leave provisions permit an appointing authority to grant unpaid leaves of absence without affecting the employee's vacation and sick leave accruals, holiday pay, seniority accrual and eligibility for state contributions for insurance (exception: the nurses contract does not protect holiday pay).

The statutory provision gives appointing authorities the discretion to allow employees to take an unpaid leave of absence with no loss in benefits or seniority. The session law does not provide conditions that must be met other than the basic intent of reducing costs; however, it limits the number of hours permitted. An appointing authority may allow an employee to take up to 1,040 hours of unpaid salary savings leave in any biennium.

Certain collective bargaining agreements and plans also include provisions for this type of leave. There are differences from contract to contract, and the contracts are different from the session law. Only the Nurses contract limits the period for which leave can be granted (to six months per nurse), however, all of them include specific conditions that must be met. For further information, refer to the specific citations in agreements/plans that cover MnSCU employees.

The consistent purpose of the statutory/bargaining agreement provisions is to generate salary savings in order to reduce deficits or reduce layoffs otherwise necessary, and this type of leave is ALWAYS discretionary requiring advance approval. Please refer to the list of factors to consider in reviewing and approving requests.

June 5, 2002
Revised May 1, 2005
Revised: June, 2007
Revised: July, 2009

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