COVID-19 leave options due to daycare/school closure

Dear Faculty,

As the new school year is starting, we realize that hardships faced by our faculty with dependent care responsibilities continue. We appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for UCI under these difficult circumstances. As we work to devise support for our faculty, we wanted to let you know about leave options available due to COVID-19 related daycare/school closure that may be helpful for some families.

If a faculty member is unable to do their work due to a COVID-19 day care/school closure that requires them to be home with their dependent(s), they may work remotely if operationally feasible.  If demands of dependent care make it impossible for faculty to work, even when work is remote, they may request paid leave:  1) Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or 2) Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML).  Both of these leaves are available to eligible individuals through December 31, 2020.

Eligibility

  1. Faculty unable to work because they are caring for their child whose school or place of care has closed (or whose child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19.
  2. Faculty member must certify that there is no other suitable person to care for their child (or dependent) during the period for which leave is requested. For children older than 14, special circumstances need to be explained.
  3. According to UCOP guidance, faculty in the School of Medicine, Program in Public Health, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing are classified as health care workers and as such are not eligible for these Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leaves, but may be eligible to use UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (EPAL), vacation leave, or PTO, subject to normal approval process, for this purpose.

Coverage

  1. By combining EPSL and EFML, faculty will receive pay and benefits for up to 12 weeks in total. Paid leaves are funded by the regular campus budget allocations.

Application Process

  1. Communicate with your chair and/or equity advisor as soon as possible if you would like to apply for fall 2020.
  2. Complete the following forms:
    1. UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence. Check the box for the COVID-19 related leave.
    2. University of California Employee Request for EPSL (select reason #5 on page 5 and complete corresponding section on page 6 ) and EFML (Complete pages 7- 8) https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/forms/pdf/employee-request-for-epsl-efml.pdf.
  3. Submit forms to Chair for approval and department will forward to Dean for approval.
  4. School submits signed UCI-AP-76 and the University of California Employee Request for EPSL and/or EFML to the Office of Academic Personnel.
  5. Final approval of leave request rests with Vice Provost for Academic Personnel. Decision regarding leave request will be communicated to requestor via School/Department.

Additional resources for family care

  1. UC Family care resources: https://ucnet.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2019/05/ucs-family-care-resources.html
  2. Bright Horizons Benefits: https://clients.brighthorizons.com/universityofcalifornia

Additional information about leaves for faculty because of COVID-19 related dependent care responsibilities can be found at:  https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/special-announcements/covid-19-leaves-and-job-protection-guidance.pdf.

If you have further questions, please contact your chair, equity advisor, or Chief Personnel Officer.  You may also contact Tanisha Willoughby (tanisha.willougby@uci.edu) in the Office of Academic Personnel.

Sincerely,

Diane K. O’Dowd
Vice Provost for Academic Personnel

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