Employees may use donated sick leave to care for dependents affected by COVID-19

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sick leaveThrough the end of 2021, UAB will allow up to a total of 14 calendar days of dependent care leave to enable eligible employees who cannot work remotely to stay home with an immediate family member who is quarantined due to COVID-19. UAB employees in benefit-eligible categories (01/03/12/17/21) in workgroups A, C and F are eligible for this benefit.

Employees who do not have sufficient sick/vacation/personal holiday balances to cover the duration of the leave will have the option to request up to 80 hours from UAB’s sick-leave donation pool.  The leave is subject to certain conditions and must be approved by senior leadership in the employee’s school or unit.

“We want to provide supplemental paid leave to help employees whose households are directly affected by the virus and support them in providing care for their families as the pandemic continues to affect our campus, city and state,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Alesia Jones. 

How does this work?

To qualify for this paid leave, three things are required:

  • The employee must be required to stay at home to care for the affected family member.
  • The employee must not be able to work remotely.
  • The employee’s accrual balances will fall below a total of 40 hours during the requested leave period.

Although as many as 14 calendar days (or 80 hours) are available, an employee is expected to return to work as soon as their immediate family member is cleared to return to work, school or care facility.

To apply for this leave, employees must follow this process:

If more than 14 calendar days are needed, a new leave request will be required. 

UAB’s Sick Time Donation Program enables university and UAB Hospital employees and retirees to make non-specific donations to a leave pool to benefit fellow employees. All employees, including those retiring, may donate as many as 60 days (480 hours) to the pool using the Sick Time Donation App on the Human Resources site. Employees in a position to donate time to UAB’s sick-leave pool are encouraged to donate.

“Honestly, when UAB created its sick-leave pool four years ago we didn’t have a pandemic in mind. The Employee Benefits Committee just wanted to create a safety net for employees whose need for paid leave to care for themselves or an immediate family member exceeded their annual or accumulated leave,” Jones said. “But this does provide us an opportunity to provide additional security through the continued generosity of employees who donate to the shared sick-leave pool. Please consider donating to the pool.”

Employees of UAHSF, UAB Health System and Callahan Eye Hospital do not have access to a sick leave pool based on current plan structures.  These employees may contact Human Resources, and requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about UAB’s Sick Time Donation Policy online.