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Employee leave policy updates

March 17, 2020

We know you are receiving multiple messages about campus operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These communications reflect the rapidly evolving situation and changing guidelines and recommendations coming from local, state, and federal public health officials. This correspondence provides new information about additional leave benefits being implemented by UW–Madison to help our community.

The new UW-Madison COVID-19 Pandemic Employee Work Location and Leave Policy provides specific direction to our employees about practicing social distancing to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. The following provisions apply to all UW–Madison employees except student hourly staff. Additional guidance related to student hourly staff will be provided in the coming days.

The full policy language is posted here. The following highlights summarize the new policy’s most significant details. Please talk with your unit’s HR representatives and your immediate supervisor if you are unable to work because of COVID-19 or if you have questions about your qualifications for any of the following benefit provisions:

  • Creation of an 80-hour leave bank for employees to use when ordered not to report to work due to COVID-19 but who cannot perform their job responsibilities remotely;
  • Ability to use the same 80-hour leave bank for those employees who are unable to work because of COVID-19, including when an employee is ill, providing care for an immediate family member, or ordered to self-quarantine;
  • Required telecommuting for employees who do not need to be physically present to perform job responsibilities (please continue to work with your supervisor and follow the recently updated guidelines for employee telecommuting); and
  • Possibility of a lump sum payment (amount to be determined) in addition to regular pay for those employees who are required to report to campus under difficult circumstances (excludes management).

It is everyone’s responsibility to follow health guidance. Stay home if you are sick to help protect our community.

We will provide updates about extending or amending this policy if necessary. All questions and concerns should be discussed with your unit’s HR representatives or with your immediate supervisor.

Once again, we thank you for doing your part to help us keep our community safe and healthy. We will continue to keep you updated about all changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to check for the latest updates from campus.

Be well!

Mark Walters
Chief Human Resources Officer
Associate Vice Chancellor
Office of Human Resources
University of Wisconsin–Madison