Most companies offer their employees sick days and vacation time. Sometimes, though, this may not be enough if an employee suffers a prolonged illness or personal injury. To cover this, certain companies provide additional services in an extended illness bank that employees can use when regular paid leave is exhausted.
What EIB Stands For
The amount of time an employee has in her EIB is usually reported on her paycheck. Some companies call this an extended illness leave bank, or an extended illness benefit, abbreviated either way to EIB. It is part of a voluntary program that helps employees recover a portion of their salaries in the form of paid leave. This money might otherwise be lost if an employee has an extended illness or injury. Bank time typically begins to accrue from the first day of employment or after completion of a probationary period.
How It Works
An employee's EIB total accrues time based on the number of days the employee works or on approved paid time off, such as that used for bereavement or jury duty. Some companies calculate this time bi-weekly, while others may use monthly or even annual calculations. Employees may be able to specify how much time to contribute to their EIB, and it can be withdrawn or used if they become ill or injured and have already exhausted the maximum allowed amount of standard paid leave.
If an employee takes time off to deal with an illness, including caring for a sick relative, company policies determine whether that counts against EIB time or other paid time off programs. Often, standard sick leave or paid time off is used first, and if the absence continues past a certain point EIB time begins to be used. Check with your own employer to understand how its policies affect you.
Eligibility for EIB
EIBs are most frequently used by the health care industry and state governments. As such, the specific eligibility requirements for participating in an EIB can vary significantly. Full-time salaried employees are usually eligible from their date of hire, but part-time and hourly employees may also be eligible after a certain period as determined by their employer. The maximum amount of EIB accrual time may range from 30 to 120 days per year, depending on the employer.
Enrollment in EIB
Because EIBs are employer-established benefits and are not part of a federally mandated program, enrollment periods and procedures vary by employer. Some states also have regulations that could impact EIBs. Newly hired employees should inquire about enrolling in their employer's EIB program within the first week of employment to ensure they do not miss their enrollment date. If you are not a new hire but would like to enroll, you should contact your company's human resources department to find out about specific enrollment procedures.
Leaving Your Job and EIB
In some cases, if you leave your job with time accumulated in your EIB, you may be eligible to be paid for some or all of this time. The same applies to other forms of paid time off, such as vacation days and sick days. Check your employee handbook or talk to your employer if you have questions about how this applies to your work.