Human Resources

UWHR time off policies and business continuity guidance related to COVID-19

The following information was emailed to UW leaders and administrators on March 4, 2020.

As a follow-up to the email President Cauce sent on Saturday, February 29 on UW’s preparations related to the novel coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease, we are sharing the following time off and business continuity reminders to help you manage coronavirus concerns.

Given that this is an evolving situation, further updates may be forthcoming as circumstances change. Please know that all institution-wide decisions are being made with the health and safety of our community at the forefront, and with the best-available guidance from our local public health authorities.

Time off policies. UWHR’s time off policies for staff and student employees are generally equipped to handle contagious illnesses. Unless you are faced with an exceptional circumstance, you should instruct staff and student workers to continue to follow your department’s standard practices for requesting time off. In addition to existing policies and in order to keep our community healthy, the President has authorized expanded use of sick time. An example includes if the duties of a position do not lend themselves to telework and a staff member has a significant health concern that makes them feel unsafe in the workplace.

In addition to sick time off, staff may also use other types of time off for family care emergency absences when regularly scheduled care plans are interrupted due to a school, camp, facility closure and/or the unexpected absence of a care provider. If you have questions, your HR consultant is available to offer guidance.

Exceptional circumstances. We recognize that there may be times when employees require additional support that our current policies do not contemplate or accommodate. If you confront a particularly difficult circumstance, your HR consultant is available to offer guidance and support.

Employees feeling sick. Employees who are feeling sick should stay home and get well. If an employee is concerned they may have been exposed to COVID-19, they should follow the guidance provided on the UW’s novel coronavirus information (see: What do I do if I feel sick?), which is being updated regularly with the most up-to-date information.

Contingency preparations. Please review your organization’s essential and non-essential staff position designations. Should the University suspend operations, your essential staff will need to understand if they can telework or if they are required to report to campus or the medical centers. In addition, your non-essential staff will need to understand that they should not report to their work location during suspended operations.

Given the fluidity of this situation, we recommend that supervisors also discuss the possibility of telework during suspended operations with non-essential campus staff and student workers. UWHR encourages supervisors to be flexible and creative in considering temporary telework arrangements so that the work of your department continues.


What to do if I feel sick?

See Health, wellness and prevention information.

Stay informed

Find the latest UW updates & full list of FAQs on the novel coronavirus.