Human Resources: Policy Updates

COVID-19 POLICY AND PROGRAM UPDATES

Vacation Accrual

Update: Vacation Leave Accrual Limits Suspension extended through December 31, 2022.

Effective July 1, 2020, the vacation accrual limits outlined in the Vacation Accrual and Use Policy have been temporarily suspended through December 31, 2022. Eligible employees will be permitted to accrue vacation leave in excess of the limits outlined in the policy. Accrual limits will be restored effective January 1, 2023, and any excess vacation leave for current employees will be forfeited at that time. The accrual limits outlined in the Vacation Accrual and Use Policy will still apply for the purposes of vacation payout upon separation from the University (up to 40 days for employees with 21+ years of service).

COVID Leave

Eligibility:

  • All benefitted employees except those covered by the following collective bargaining agreement: AAUP, University of Delaware Chapter.

Standards and Procedures:

Through December 31, 2021, the University may provide up to 22 workdays of paid COVID Leave for eligible employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been instructed by a healthcare provider or public health professional to quarantine, isolate or monitor their symptoms. An employee who opts to quarantine or isolate absent such instruction must have one or more of the justifiable reasons: (1) exposure to a diagnostic-test confirmed COVID-19 case; or (2) experiencing symptoms of the virus and actively seeking a medical diagnosis. Employees may be required to provide written documentation from a health care provider and/or a public health official of the requirement to be absent from work to their immediate supervisor and/or HR Manager/Liaison. COVID Leave must be taken in full day or half-day increments.

Eligible employees may take up to 15 of their 22 COVID Leave days due to complete closure (no in-person or remote learning available) of a dependent’s school, childcare facility/provider or elder care facility/provider in connection with the monitoring or management of COVID-19.  Employees will be required to provide documentation confirming complete closure of the school/provider/facility to their immediate supervisor and/or HR Manager/Liaison.

If a dependent’s school has transitioned to remote learning in connection with the monitoring or management of COVID-19, employees may take up to 7 of their 22 COVID Leave days to assist with this transition. Employees who request COVID Leave to assist with remote learning must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave so as not to unduly disrupt the operational needs of their unit/department. Employees will be required to provide documentation confirming the remote learning status of their dependent’s school to their immediate supervisor and/or HR Manager/Liaison.

COVID Leave may only be requested for the reasons outlined above. Employees who require leave to undergo off-campus COVID-19 testing, receive a COVID-19 vaccine, or to recover from side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine must request sick and/or vacation leave.

Employees should submit COVID leave requests via Time off Requests (TORs) in UD WorkForce using the new COVID leave bank.

COVID-19 Interim Reduction in Force/Hours Policy

This interim policy addresses reductions in force and reductions in hours for eligible employees to mitigate the severe fiscal challenges faced by the University as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While in effect, this interim policy shall supersede any conflicting or inconsistent provisions of existing University policies, and shall supersede the following policies in their entirety:

  • Non-Exempt Staff Reduction in Force
  • Non-Exempt Employee Termination/Notification
  • Exempt Employee Termination of Employment/Notification

FAQs Institutional Reduction in Hours Program

Any additional days that were added to your vacation balance during this time will remain. These days can be used just like vacation days, supervisor approval will be required for each day via Vacation Time Off Requests in UD Workforce.

The lump sum payment will be equivalent to the amount an individual's base salary was reduced through March 2021 as a result of the 5% Institutional Reduction in Hours Program.

The lump sum payment will be in the April 15th paycheck.

The lump sum payment will be received in 2021 and taxable this year. Please consider the effect of the lump sum on your withholdings for the year.  The University cannot give tax advice to individuals. Every Employee’s income tax situation is different and unique. Please consult with your tax advisor before making any changes to your federal and/or state income tax withholdings.

 

The lump sum payment will be the full amount of the salary reduction for the impacted time period through March 31st, no pension or 403B deductions will be made.

FAQs for Voluntary Reduction in Hours

Benefits-eligible employees who are working 100% time are eligible to participate in the program.

Employees who are interested in the program should discuss their intent with their supervisor. If the reduction can be operationally supported, the supervisor will submit the voluntary reduction in hours form to be approved by college/division leadership and the AVP, Strategic Operations in Human Resources.

If an institutional reduction in hours program is implemented after an employee is approved for the voluntary reduction in hours program, the institutional program would apply only if the voluntary reduction is less than the institutional reduction. The institutional reduction would be applied in lieu of (not in addition to) the voluntary reduction. The employee would need to work with their supervisor to make any necessary adjustments to related time off.  For example, if an employee voluntarily reduces, or the department reduces his/her schedule by 10%, and the institution does an employee hours reduction of 5%, the end result would be 10%, not 15% reduction.

Employees interested in participating in the program will work with their supervisor to determine a schedule that can support operational needs.

If hours are reduced to less than 75% time, it will impact the University’s benefits contribution, and the employee contribution will be higher. A benefits-eligible position cannot be reduced to less than 50% time and retain the position’s benefits-eligibility status.

Pandemic Pay

The University of Delaware’s COVID-19 Pandemic Pay Protocol outlines temporary pay policies the University has implemented during these extraordinary times. President Assanis, in consultation with campus leadership, has authorized measures including release with pay in appropriate situations to provide for adequate staffing and retention of employees, and to sustain or restore University operations. This includes allowing salaries of employees who cannot work to continue to be charged to existing funding sources, to the extent these funding sources permits such charging.
Information on how some payments should be processed during the COVID-19 Pandemic Pay Protocol is outlined on the payroll website. The protocols have been updated effective June 1, 2020 and include the following:

  • Payments to misc. wage employees and hourly students not working has stopped and is now limited to working employees paid through soft funding.

Sponsor-Funded Employees

Employing units and Principal Investigators are encouraged to work with the Research Office to determine how sponsored employees will be paid in advance of any University State of Emergency.

Hiring Freeze

The University of Delaware has enacted a hiring freeze on all current and future searches, academic and non-academic, effective immediately and until further notice as indicated in the notification from Human Resources on April 14, 2020. Exceptions may be appropriate in limited strategic areas, and in support of our principles to support specific critical needs, including safety and academic continuity. Few exceptions will be approved; the hiring freeze is meant to protect the University during uncertain fiscal times by prioritizing support of existing faculty and staff while minimizing new recurring commitments in an effort to reduce/eliminate the need for layoffs and/or furloughs. Note: Soft-funded positions, where full funding derives from external sources and the positions’ continuity are contingent upon availability of external funds are exempt from this process.

Talent share

The Talent Share Program provides a solution to campus staffing gaps by matching up available employees impacted by a reduction in workload due to COVID-19, with other colleges or departments who have staffing needs. It also provides employees an opportunity to develop skills and experience through exposure to other areas of campus. Supervisors and/or HR Managers will provide the Talent Acquisition Team with details of staffing needs, as well as share employees who have capacity to be part of the program. This is a time when employees can showcase their unmatched ability to come together and help support one another. We encourage employees of diverse experience to participate. Learn more.