BU Makes It Easier for Staff to Care for Themselves and Their Families
COVID-19 Paid Absence offers supplemental paid time off to non-temporary, nonfaculty employees
COVID-19 has forced some employees to make hard choices between going to their jobs and taking care of themselves and their families. The University is now offering a new staff benefit intended to make those decisions easier—and it’s retroactive.
The COVID-19 Paid Absence offers staff members up to 10 days of supplemental paid time off if they have a COVID-19–related illness, need to care for a family member with COVID-19, or need to care for a child because of daycare or school closures related to the pandemic.
“The University’s highest priority is the health and safety of its faculty, staff, and students,” says Ken Freeman, BU’s interim vice president for human resources. “We hope this will make it easier for staff to do what they need to do to take care of themselves and their families.”
The COVID-19 Paid Absence is available only to non-temporary, nonfaculty staff, and will be prorated for employees who do not work a full-time schedule. It will be available as long as the impact of the pandemic continues, as determined by the University.
We hope this will make it easier for staff to do what they need to do to take care of themselves and their families.
Employees should submit a request for approval to their supervisor for any absences related to these circumstances, retroactive to March 13. Beginning June 1, staff will be able to request COVID-19 Paid Absences via the Time Off Request system in BUworks.
If an employee runs out of COVID-19 Paid Absence days, they will continue to have access to regular paid time-off benefits. Sick time is to be used for a personal illness or to care for a family member with a serious illness. Vacation time should be used for interruption of childcare services.
What happens if you are instructed to self-quarantine as a result of COVID-19? The new program offers an additional benefit for those staff members who have been instructed by the BU Occupational Health Center or the BU Research Occupational Health Program to self-quarantine and are not able to work remotely. Human Resources will work with supervisors to ensure that these mandated quarantines are coded as “COVID-19 Special Pay.” Staff will have access to 10 of these COVID-19 Special Pay days to cover a mandated quarantine.
Some employees have requested that they be able to donate sick time to coworkers in need, and their generosity is appreciated. These two programs have been established to make that unnecessary and to preserve the sick time banked by employees.