COVID-Related Leave for Academic Employees

updated 11/12/2020 (UC EPAL extended through June 30, 2021)
updated 1/8/21 (FFCRA leaves removed; expired 12/31/20 - EPSL and EFML are no longer available)

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Instructional Continuity

The delivery of instruction is an essential university service. Faculty and graduate student instructors who are unable to continue delivering instruction, either temporarily or for an extended time, should immediately notify their department chair. Teaching Assistants who are unable to perform their assigned duties, either temporarily or for an extended time, should immediately notify their faculty supervisors. 

Departments and divisions should look at every situation carefully and, wherever possible, take steps to help their faculty continue to teach their assigned courses. Computers and remote instructional equipment may be available. Additional course support staff may be hired. The Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning (CITL) can advise instructors through the process of reshaping the curriculum to adapt to the circumstances.

When there are technological barriers, a department should discuss the situation with the instructor and offer all available support:

  • Can the division work with ITS to provide a computer?
  • Is the instructor aware of At-home Internet Options for UCSC and UCSC’s Keep Teaching resources? 
  • Can the department or division provide local support, to help the instructor with their remote teaching?

For leave taken for childcare purposes, appointees should provide notice of their need to take such leave as soon as practicable and, when possible, two weeks in advance so that the department can plan for the appointee’s absence.

UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (EPAL)

UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (EPAL) is available for all academic employees, policy-covered and represented, for the COVID-19-related reasons described in the President's Executive Order (issued on 3/16/20; revised on 11/12/20). UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave is effective March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. 

The following information on UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave will be updated periodically to provide additional information and clarification. For additional information and the most recent guidance on the application of UC EPAL, please see COVID-19-Related Leave for Academic Appointees: Guidance for Supervisors (UCOP, PDF).

  • UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave may be used consecutively in one block or incrementally. For exempt employees, it must be taken for a minimum of one working day.
  • The leave entitlement is effective March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
  • There are no prior service requirements to be eligible for paid administrative leave.
  • The executive order states that the use of EPAL “shall not adversely affect the delivery of essential University services.” Instruction is an essential service of the University. Therefore, instructors (including teaching assistants and graduate student instructors) are not eligible to take EPAL during their scheduled remote lectures/class sessions for criterion 3 above.
  • If an academic employee has exhausted their EPAL hours, they may use paid leave throughout shelter-in-place orders by using any remaining personal time off or vacation. 
  • Academic employees may also use any remaining sick leave balances provided for in the APM or applicable collective bargaining agreement for their qualifying COVID-19 illness or a family member’s qualifying COVID-19 illness. 

General Provisions for Academic Appointees

UC EPAL may only be used for the following purposes:

  1. When an employee is unable to work due to the employee’s own COVID-19-related illness or that of a family member; or
  2. When an employee is unable to work because the employee has been directed not to come to the worksite for COVID-19-related reasons and/or the work site has implemented a COVID-19-related remote-work program or is under a shelter in place order and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely; or
  3. When an employee is unable to work because a COVID-19-related school or daycare closure requires the employee to be at home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely or in conjunction with the dependent care commitment.
  • Paid Administrative Leave for COVID-19-related incidents is available for up to 16 working days or 128 hours. 
  • Paid Administrative Leave is available for all academic appointees, policy-covered and represented, and is available as of March 1, 2020.
  • Paid Administrative Leave is not available for academic appointees with non-paid or without salary appointments.
  • Use of Paid Administrative Leave is at the request of the appointee in consultation with the supervisor. 
  • Use of Paid Administrative Leave must not adversely affect the delivery of essential university services. In addition to the clinical services delivered by UC Health, the delivery of instruction is an essential university service. Instructors are not eligible to take EPAL during their scheduled remote lectures/class sessions for criterion 3 above. Each campus has the discretion to determine the application of essential university services in individual cases. 
  • Paid Administrative Leave is not provided for academic appointees when there is a lack of work (such as the cancellation of classes or events and there is no other appropriate alternative work). This is distinct from situations where an appointee is unable to work because it is not operationally feasible for the employee to work remotely. In cases of lack of work, the applicable provisions in the APM and respective collective bargaining agreements apply. 
  • For exempt academic employees, use of Paid Administrative Leave is in full-day increments; a day is defined as the regular time that an appointee would have worked on that day regardless of the actual number of hours worked per day. For such exempt employees, there will be up to 16 days on which the Paid Administrative Leave would occur.
  • For hourly appointees, the total number of hours available is prorated to reflect the appointment percentage.
  • Paid Administrative Leave is calculated on the compensation for the appointee’s regular appointment(s) that would have been paid at the time that the leave is taken, including base compensation, off-scale salary components, negotiated “Y” for members of the Health Sciences Compensation Plan (HSCP), negotiated component for participants in the Negotiated Salary Trial Program (NSTP), and stipends.
  • Fund sources that would have been in place at the time that the leave is taken should be charged for Paid Administrative Leave unless directed otherwise.
  • Paid Administrative Leave may be used consecutively in one block or incrementally, and for exempt academic employees is recorded in whole days.
  • Employees may still use accrued sick, vacation or paid time off in order to address their own illness or the serious medical condition of a family member.
  • Accrued leave or paid medical leave does not need to be taken prior to or in conjunction with the use of Paid Administrative Leave.
  • Paid Administrative Leave can be used retroactively to March 1, 2020.
  • Subject to the University’s ongoing operational needs, the paid administrative leave provided pursuant to the Executive Order must be used no later than June 30, 2021. 
  • Paid Administrative Leave is available for any new employees hired during the duration of President Napolitano’s March 16, 2020 Executive Order.
  • An employee who separates from the employment of the University before June 30, 2021 will lose eligibility for Paid Administrative Leave; there is no “cash-in” value connected to the leave. 
  • An appointee who separates from the employment of the University before June 30, 2021 and then returns prior to the expiration date of the Executive Order will have their Paid Administrative Leave eligibility reinstated.
  • For academic appointees who are currently on leave, have by-agreement appointments, or for other questions, please consult with your local Academic Personnel Office.
  • For appointees who do not report time, locations must keep a record of Paid Administrative Leave taken until central mechanisms can be established. Tracking is required for University, federal, and state audit purposes. For UCPath locations, Job Aids for submitting Paid Administrative Leave to UCPath for tracking are now available on UCPath Online HELP/FAQ.
  • Campuses retain the ability to provide leave with pay as outlined in the APM.

Summary of UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (EPAL)

128 hours or 16 days for FTE

March 1, 2020  – June 30, 2021 updated 11/12/20

No prior service requirements

May be used consecutively in one block or incrementally. For exempt appointees, leave is recorded in whole days. For hourly appointees, leave taken is entered in hours.

Qualifying reason for use – unable to work because of:

  1. Appointee’s own COVID-19 related illness or that of a family member*
  2. Appointee directed not to come to worksite for COVID-19 related reasons and/or worksite has COVID-19 related remote work program or is under shelter in place order and it is not operationally feasible for employee to work remotely
  3. COVID-19 related school or daycare closure requires appointee to be at home with child/dependent and not operationally feasible for appointee to work remotely or in conjunction with childcare commitment

The use of EPAL “shall not adversely affect the delivery of essential University services.”

Instruction is an essential service of the University. Instructors are not eligible to take EPAL during their scheduled remote lectures/class sessions for criterion 3 above. 

*Pursuant to APM-715-0(b), "family member" is defined as an appointee's child, parent, spouse, or domestic partner.

Interaction with Paid Medical Leave 

If an employee is unable to work due to their own COVID-19-related illness or that of a family member, and the absence extends beyond the leave provision, the employee may be eligible for additional paid medical leave in accordance with APM 710-11 (Faculty Medical Leave) or a collective bargaining agreement.

Divisions shall follow existing procedures for processing an extended medical leave for an academic employee, understanding that certification from health care providers may take longer than usual to obtain. Leaves may be approved and processed while medical certification is being obtained. Divisions should also consider that it may be difficult for employees to get appointments with health care providers to verify they are able to return to work.

 

See Also