COVID-19 Shared Leave Program
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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has created a COVID-19 Shared Leave Program under which employees may contribute leave for use by UNC-CH employees who need leave for specific COVID-19 related reasons. Eligible employees who have exhausted their accrued leave and available paid time off may receive COVID-19 Shared Leave for any of the following qualifying reasons:
- The employee is not expected to report to a University worksite but cannot telework because their position and duties cannot be performed remotely, and because reasonable alternate remote work is not feasible or productive, causing severe hardship to the employee.
- The employee is unable to work because they are caring for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or place of care has been closed due to COVID-19, or the child’s regular childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 and the employee has exhausted all FFCRA benefits (when eligible).
- The employee has ongoing elder care needs due to COVID-19-related elder care facility closings and has exhausted all FFCRA-equivalent elder-care leave (when eligible).
- The employee is unable to work because they are subject to quarantine/isolation order, advised to self-quarantine, or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and awaiting a diagnosis, and the employee has exhausted all FFCRA benefits (if eligible) and the 160 hours of COVID-19 paid administrative leave.
Employees cannot donate to a specific employee. Donations will go into the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank and the hours will be distributed to eligible recipients by the OHR-Benefits & Leave Administration Team.
The COVID-19 Shared Leave Program is for UNC-CH employees only; leave exchanges with employees at other institutions or agencies are not permitted.
The Office of Human Resources will accept donations for the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank from Sept. 1, 2020 through Nov. 30, 2020. Employees may contribute to the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank by submitting the COVID-19 Shared Leave Donor Form to OHR-Benefits & Leave Administration. Donations to the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank will be processed by the OHR-Benefits & Leave Administration Team. Donors will be notified when processing is completed.COVID-19 Shared Leave Donor Form
- Sick, vacation, and regular bonus leave may be donated
- 2017 and 2018 Bonus Leave (No Payout) is not eligible for donation
- Minimum Donation: 4 hours of eligible leave
- Donation cannot reduce the donor’s sick or vacation leave balances below 40 hours
- There is no limit on the amount of regular bonus leave that may be donated
Note: Donating sick leave may cause a reduction in retirement service credits for Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) members. At retirement, a member of TSERS with an earned sick leave balance receives an additional month of retirement service credit for each 20 days of sick leave. The sick leave counts as creditable service at the calculation of the retirement benefit.
Employees who have been fully furloughed cannot participate in the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank Program. Partially furloughed employees can participate in the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank Program, however; they may only use COVID-19 Shared Leave Donations up to their partially furloughed Full Time Equivalency (FTE) to cover the time that they are unable to work for qualifying COVID-19 reasons.
Recipient Eligibility Criteria
In order to receive donations from the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank, employees must be:
- In a full-time or part-time (half-time or more) permanent, probationary, or time-limited role, in a leave-earning position at 0.5 FTE or greater
- Employed with UNC-CH for at least 30 days
- In a position that is not fully furloughed
Employees must need leave for one of the four COVID-19 qualifying reasons above and exhaust all accrued leave and available paid time off, including vacation, sick, bonus leave, compensatory time, advanced leave, and/or allowable communicable disease make-up time made available before they are eligible to receive donated leave from the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank. Employees must also exhaust all FFCRA benefits and/or FFCRA-equivalent eldercare benefits (if eligible).
In order to receive donations from the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank, employees should complete the COVID-19 Shared Leave Request Form.
COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank donations will only be applied to eligible absences that occur between Sept. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020. Any unused donations that have been awarded to the receipt may not be used after Dec. 31, 2020.
Employees may receive up to 80 hours from the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank through Dec. 31, 2020. Employees can make multiple requests for COVID-19 Shared Leave as needed. However, approval for more than 80 hours will be dependent upon the amount of donated leave in the of COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank and the amount of leave requested by all employees.
Employees can receive a combination of pay for hours worked and donations from the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank up to the employee’s regular work schedule. Employees will be notified by OHR-Benefits & Leave Administration when approved to receive donations from the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank and the number of hours approved to receive from the bank.COVID-19 Shared Leave Request Form
- OHR-Benefits and Leave Administration will determine if the applicant meets the criteria to receive donations from the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank, which may be applied to approved COVID-19 leave on a continuous, intermittent, or reduced-schedule basis.
- OHR-Benefits & Leave Administration will also determine how the hours donated to the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank will be distributed.
- The amount of donations an employee can receive will depend on the amount of the donations to the bank and the amount of applications for donations that are received. Donated hours will be distributed in a non-discriminatory fashion.
- Employees will be timely notified when their application has been approved and the number of donated shared leave hours they will receive. If the application is not approved, the notification will include the reason for the disapproval.
- Employees may receive donated leave from the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank when their application for COVID-19 shared leave is approved.
- Leave donated will be kept confidential by the University. Only individual employees may reveal their donation or receipt of COVID-19 shared leave.
Use of Donated Leave
Leave transferred under the COVID-19 Shared Leave Program is available for use on a current basis or may be retroactive for up to 60 calendar days and only for eligible absences that occur between Sept. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020. The leave donated is always applied to the first available unpaid day. Each department is responsible for the accuracy of donor and recipient leave records and Employee Time Records.
Employees will need to coordinate with their supervisor and TIM Administrator for proper record keeping and reporting of these hours for payment. The TIM Administrator will add COVID-19 shared leave hours received to the recipient’s TIM record and deduct COVID-19 shared leave hours donated leave from the donor’s TIM record.
Termination of COVID-19 Shared Leave Benefit
The employee’s eligibility to use COVID-19 Shared Leave will end when:
- The leave recipient’s employment with UNC-CH ends;
- The leave recipient provides notice that they no longer need leave for COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank qualifying reason; or
- The COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank has exhausted available shared leave donations.
Any unused COVID-19 Shared Leave granted to an employee and not used by Dec. 31, 2020 will be returned to the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank. Any leave remaining in the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank when the program ends will be returned to donors on a prorated basis, if their employment with UNC-CH is still active.
Other Available Leave Options
UNC-CH offers a wide range of leave options and workplace flexibilities to assist an employee who needs to be away from the workplace due to COVID-19. These flexibilities includes sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory leave, bonus leave, advanced of leave, leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), leave without pay, alternative work schedules, and telework.
For questions about COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank or other leave options, employees should contact their supervisor and/or departmental HR Representative. For additional assistance, please call OHR-Benefits & Leave Administration Support Team at (919) 962-3071 or send email to email@example.com.