Emergency Leaves Available to Employees and Student Workers

Emergency paid leaves are available for eligible faculty, staff, and student workers affected by the COVID crisis. Here is information on the types of leaves and how to use them:

COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave Time for 2021

The University has reset the emergency leave available for faculty, staff, and student workers under the University Emergency Paid Leave for COVID-19 starting January 1, 2021. This decision was made because the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act ended on December 31, 2020, and the University wants to provide adequate leave for COVID-19 to maintain the health and wellbeing of our University community.

Starting January 1, employees have access to up to two weeks of University Emergency Paid Leave. Unused emergency leave from 2020 did not carry forward to 2021. Full-time employees will have 80 hours of University Emergency Paid Leave time available on January 1, and those working part time will receive paid leave hours proportionate to the time they work. For example, someone working 50% time will receive 40 hours of Emergency Paid Leave, and a student who works an average of 15 hours a week would qualify for up to 30 hours of paid leave.

The Emergency Paid Leave can now be used for time away due to a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. Faculty, staff, and student workers who have an adverse reaction to COVID-19 vaccine and need to stay home to recover can use the University Emergency Paid Leave for COVID-19 for this time away from work. This leave can also be used to care for a family member who experiences a reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. If you already took time off due to a reaction to the vaccine (either your own or your loved one’s), consult with your unit’s time administrator or your unit human resources staff on using the leave retroactively.

The process to use this leave will stay the same in 2021. See more information on this web page.

University Emergency Paid Leave

What It Is

The University provides emergency paid leave when employees and student workers:

  • Are unable to work or work remotely due to COVID-related illness
  • Need to quarantine or isolate because of exposure to COVID-19
  • Must care for someone who is ill with COVID-19
  • Must care for a child whose school or childcare is closed or unavailable or help with the relocation of a college-age child due to COVID-19 (or if a student worker must take time off to relocate)

Hours Available

Employees: Up to 80 hours (prorated for part-time employees) for eligible employees. In any given week during the emergency, the employee may use up to the number of hours they would normally be scheduled to work.

Student workers: Eligible student workers can take paid emergency leave equal to the number of hours they work on average over a two-week period. So a student who works an average of 15 hours a week would qualify for up to 30 hours of paid leave.

How to Request Leave

Employees: Inform your supervisors and request time off in the My Time tab in MyU. Click on the Request Time Off button. Under "Filter by Type" and "Absence Name," choose "Excused Paid." Under "Reason," choose "Emergency Pandemic."

Students: Inform your supervisor. Either the student worker, their supervisor, or the unit time/absence administrator should enter leave hours equal to the normal schedule on the time sheet.

  • Navigate to MyU > My Time > Submit Timesheet.
  • Report daily time.
  • Using the drop-down menu, update the Time Reporting Code (TRC) to Emergency Pandemic Hourly.
  • Click Submit.

Employee Benefits

Benefits, including the employee health plan, will continue for employees while on Emergency Paid Leave related to COVID-19. UPlan Medical Plan participants using Medica will have COVID-19 tests covered. If you are ill due to COVID-19 for an extended period and have short-term disability insurance, contact UNUM.

Virtual physical, mental, and financial care can be accessed from home.

More Information

If you have questions about COVID-related leaves or eligibility, please contact your unit's HR representative, or email or call the OHR Contact Center at ohr@umn.edu, 612-624-8647, or 800-756-2363.