Well time: Frequently asked questions

What is well time?
You will be allowed to use a portion of your accrued sick time for approved wellness activities. When you use sick time for wellness activities, we call it “well time.”

How much well time can I take?
Full-time employees may use up to 8 hours per year of well time. In other words, if you have accrued sick time, you may use it to participate in approved wellness activities up to a maximum of 8 hours each year. If you are a part-time employee, your well time limit is prorated by FTE.  For example, if you normally work 75% time, you can use up to 6 hours per year (8 hours multiplied by 75%) of your accumulated sick time toward wellness activities.

What can I use well time for?
Eligible activities are limited to those provided through the BeWell@Stanford Employee Incentive Program. They include:

  • Taking the Stanford Health and Lifestyle Assessment (SHALA) to assess the health of the employee’s current lifestyle
  • Participating in the screening and advising sessions to solidify behavior change with one-on-one support
  • Creating an online plan, using the information gained from the SHALA and BeWell numbers
  • Participating in any of the BeWell Berries

Can I use my well time for activities not listed, like going to my gym?
No. You may use the time only for activities that are part of the Employee Incentive Program, as listed above.

Does everyone get well time?
Since well time is simply sick time that an employee chooses to use for wellness activities, anyone who accrues sick time automatically accrues well time. The only limitation is that a maximum of 8 hours of sick time (prorated by FTE) can be used as well time each year.  

How can I get more well time hours?
If you have used your maximum amount of well time for the year, you cannot take additional well time (even if you have available sick time) until the following year. To continue participating in wellness activities, you can use PTO, your lunch break, or any other time available for personal activities.

What if I don’t have any accrued sick time?
If you are a new employee or have used all your accrued sick time, you may use your sick hours as you accrue them — either for sick time or for wellness activities (up to the maximum hours allowed).

How do I accrue well time?
Remember, well time is another name for sick time that you choose to use for wellness activities. Here’s how regular employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement accrue sick time:

  • Exempt employees accrue sick time at the rate of 8 hours per month of full-time pay.
  • Non-exempt employees accrue sick time at the rate of .046154 hours per hour of straight time. This equates 96 hours or 12 days a year in an average year of 2,080 straight time hours. 
  • For part-time and part-month employment, sick time is credited on a prorated basis for any month an eligible employee receives any straight-time pay. 

Additional details on accrual and use of sick time can be found in Guide Memo 2.1.7, Sick Time. Accrual of sick time for employees covered by collective bargaining agreements can be found at http://elr.stanford.edu/union/index.html.

Does well time change my sick leave accrual? Do I now get an additional 8 hours of sick time?
No. You continue to accrue sick time as described above. What changes is your ability to use part of your accrual for wellness activities instead of illness.

What happens if I don’t use all my well time during the year?
The annual limit on well time — 8 hours for full-time employees or 8 hours prorated by FTE for part-time employees — applies each year, whether or not you used your maximum well time the previous year. Your well time limit does not accumulate or roll over from year to year.

How do I schedule well time?
Talk to your supervisor for prior approval. You and your supervisor should agree on when you take the time and the amount of time you intend to use. Well time will typically be used in partial day increments, following the same guidelines as sick time.  

What if my supervisor does not allow me to take well time?
If you have requested well time that does not adversely affect your work or your department and your supervisor does not allow the time off, contact your department’s Human Resources Manager.

What if I want to use more than 8 hours for wellness activities?
You may of course participate in wellness activities during your lunch breaks or before or after work hours. In addition, with prior approval of your supervisor, you can also use your available PTO or vacation balance for wellness activities. Always talk to your supervisor for prior approval of any requested time off.

How do I record my well time?
When you use well time, you should record it as sick time on Axess. In addition, you and your supervisor should keep track of how much well time you have used during the year up to your annual limit. The university will not centrally track well time separately from sick time.