University of Illinois System

Special Leave for Civil Service Employees

Special leaves may be granted for the purpose of continuing employment for individuals whose performance warrants it and who request such leave for sufficient cause.

Select one of the following links or scroll down for specific information:

Length of leave
Benefits continuation
Returning from leave


A Civil Service employee in a trainee, apprentice, learner, or status appointment and employees in a provisional appointment intended to be permanent are eligible for a special leave.


Requests for special leave must be in writing and approved by the campus Human Resources office.

Such leaves may be approved for sufficient cause, such as:

  • Employees who want to accompany a spouse on a sabbatical leave.
  • Employees who have exhausted sick and disability benefits and family and medical leave who are still unable to return to work.
  • Employees engaged in public interest work or in furthering their education.


Leave of Absence Information and Form
Leave of Absence Information (PDF)
Leave of Absence Information (Rich Text Format)
Leave of Absence Worksheet (PDF form to be ​completed online before printing​. If the PDF fails to load, then download and complete the form before printing.)

Length of leave

The length of the leave may vary based on the circumstances. The date for termination of the leave must allow for a 30-day availability period.

Benefits Continuation

While on special leave, employees are eligible to participate in the State benefits for a maximum of 24 months; however, employees are not eligible for the State-paid contribution. Participation is entirely at the employee's expense. If the employee does not return to work at the end of the 24-month period, coverage will be terminated.

Employees on a special leave may also elect to become a dependent of another employee (spouse or parent). Employees choosing this option must waive all coverage (including health, dental, and life) as an employee.


Employees are not compensated while on a special leave.

Returning from leave

Reemployment following a special leave is subject to a 30-day availability period at the end of the leave. The availability period rule will commence 30 calendar days prior to the end of the leave.

During the availability period, the campus Human Resources office will make arrangements to return the employee to the department and position from which leave was granted, or to place the employee in another position in accordance with the employee's seniority rights.

The employee shall report to duty upon 10 working days notice from the campus Human Resources office.


Select from the appropriate campus and/or employee group for specific policy information.

Policy and Rules for Civil Service Staff
Special Leave

University Policies
Chicago: Special Leave of Absence for Support Staff
Springfield: Contact the campus Human Resources office.