Section 4P. There shall be an extended illness leave bank for employees of the executive branch of the government of the commonwealth who participate therein. The secretary of administration and finance shall administer the bank and shall prescribe regulations governing its operation. Any employee of the executive branch who has completed one year of service may participate by donating to said bank any earned sick, personal or vacation leave time, in such amount and with such frequency as said regulations shall permit to maintain a sufficient balance in the bank, but not less frequently than annually. Upon medical verification pursuant to such regulations, a participating employee with an extended illness who has exhausted all other earned leave, who is not entitled to receive worker's compensation or other disability benefits, and who has been on leave because of such extended illness for not less than twenty consecutive work days, may obtain from said bank additional paid leave of not more than one hundred and twenty days in any two-year period. Said regulations shall provide safeguards against use of said bank by employees who have improperly used existing sick leave. The head of each state agency shall, not less than twice annually, provide written notice to each employee of the opportunity to participate in said bank. Upon receipt of the first such notice, each employee shall be required to sign a form issued by the agency indicating that such employee has been informed of the opportunity to participate in said bank.
Nothing contained herein shall affect existing collective bargaining agreements containing provisions relative to the establishment of extended illness leave banks.