Flexibility II: Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence are available to students for compassionate, medical, maternity, adoption and parenting reasons. The CGSR has developed a set of practices that are consistently followed when compassionate, medical, maternity, adoption, and parenting leaves are requested. Reasonable accommodation is normally made. Short-term leaves of less than one month should be managed within the graduate program in which the student is registered. With the exception of maternity, adoption and parenting, leaves are granted in four-month blocks only, to coincide with registration terms (Sept.1-Dec.31; Jan.1-Apr.30; May 1-Aug.31).

Requests for leaves should be discussed as early as possible with supervisors so that appropriate accommodations can be made prior to the beginning of the leave. Requests should be made in writing by the student to the Graduate Chair for a minimum leave of four months to a maximum leave of twelve months. Where possible, students should coordinate their requests with the beginning of an academic term (Sept.1, Jan.1, May 1). The Dean of the CGSR will consider any petitions that arise from students whose request for leave has been denied by the supervisor, department, or college.

The leave period is not included in the time period for completion of the degree, and tuition fees are postponed during the leave. Financial support offered to the student as a full-time, fully-qualified student is not available to students on leave. Every possible accommodation should be made, however, in assisting the student to delay for the period of the leave, rather than having to decline, offers of financial assistance. Letters of support in this regard will be sent to external funding agencies.

Any retroactive leaves or extensions of the initial leave must be approved by the CGSR according to the Policy and Procedure manual Section 1.4. The academic unit must inform CGSR via e-mail (grad.programs@usask.ca) indicating the Leave has been approved, the nature and dates of the leave, and the types of supporting documentation. The CGSR will make appropriate changes to the GSIS file.

LEAVES ARE NOT EVER AVAILABLE FOR REASONS OF PERSONAL CONVENIENCE. A STUDENT MAY, WITH PERMISSION OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE, TAKE A LEAVE OF UP TO ONE YEAR FOR PERSONAL REASONS WITHOUT WITHDRAWING FROM THE PROGRAM. IN THIS CASE, REGULAR TUITION FEES APPLY, AND TIME IN PROGRAM CONTINUES FOR THE DURATION OF THE LEAVE.

Compassionate, Medical Leaves

A graduate student who has developed an illness, who has been the victim of an accident, or who has suffered grave events in his/her life is deemed, upon provision of appropriate documentation (letter from student, from Supervisor, and from physician or other health professional if applicable) to the Graduate Chair, to be eligible for medical or compassionate leave. The Graduate Chair may approve the first such four-month leave.

Maternity, Adopting, Parenting Leaves

A graduate student who is bearing a child, and/or who has primary responsibility for the care of a child immediately following a birth or adoption is deemed to be eligible for parental leave. Maternity, adoption and parenting leaves may be approved by the Graduate Chair for up to one year in duration, upon receipt of a letter from the student indicating the reason for the leave, and a letter of support from the Supervisor. Upon return to active studies, it is the responsibility of the student to register according to usual procedures.