Working during COVID-19

Caregiver FAQs

My life is crazy right now with kids at home, lunches to make midday and school to administer. It feels like the situation changes daily. What should I do?

Communicate. The best thing to do is communicate with your manager about your situation. The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in unprecedented challenges. Work with your manager to try out flexible approaches, develop a plan, and be deliberate about regularly revisiting agreements and expectations.

I’m worried that with all these competing demands, my job performance will suffer. Will this negatively affect my career?

President Cauce has stated the University’s expectation that departments provide caregivers with maximum flexibility. It is critical that managers set expectations and communicate with employees if performance is impacted. Make a plan, discuss challenges, and continue to check with your manager to ensure the plan’s goals are being met or whether it needs to be re-evaluated.

What can I do if my manager is not considering or approving flexible options?

Contact your human resources consultant.

I need to use time off for caregiver responsibilities. Do I need to use my time off in a certain order?

Generally speaking, no, however consider the following:

  • You lose your personal holiday at the end of the year
  • While classified staff currently do not lose their excess vacation time off on their anniversary date, they will do so as soon as the current exemption is lifted. Employees are strongly encouraged to use vacation time off prior to using sick time off.
  • Sick time off may currently be used because schools or places of care are closed or operating remotely due to a public health reason. Sick time off may not be an allowable time off when normal operations resume.
What if I need to use time off for the entire school year? Will I lose my job?

Consult with your human resources consultant.

I am having trouble managing my stress level given all the competing demands and uncertainty that is part of the pandemic. Where can I get help?

Employees have found UW CareLink to be a very valuable resource during COVID-19. If you are not ready to reach out for a referral to a counselor, consider exploring their online resources and toolkits for:

Back to school resources – the beginning of the school year has left many parents scrambling to understand how to keep their students safe while also balancing work and household demands during the pandemic, get guidance and resources in this digital tool kit.

COVID-19 Resource page – find multi-language resources for challenges faced during the pandemic.

Social change resources – login to the Guidance Resources webpage (enter UW for the organization code if it’s your first time logging in) to access trauma resources and get tips on how to have productive conversations.