University of Nebraska extending emergency leave policy through June 30

The University of Nebraska system is extending through June 30, 2021, an emergency leave policy that offers additional flexibility to employees who need to be absent for reasons related to COVID-19.

Created in March as part of the university’s pandemic response, the policy grants up to 160 hours of paid emergency administrative leave for employees to use in cases of self-quarantine, quarantine or care of a family member, child care resulting from school closures, or other scenarios related to COVID-19.

The policy was set to expire on Dec. 31. Given the ongoing uncertainties related to the pandemic, NU will extend the policy through June 30, 2021. The emergency leave pool will remain at 160 hours; in other words, if employees have already used a portion of the 160 hours, their remaining balance will carry over into 2021.

The policy applies to all leave-eligible employees, including student, part-time and temporary workers.

“We hope this extension creates additional peace of mind as we continue to navigate our COVID-19 world,” NU President Ted Carter wrote in a message to employees Thursday.

Carter noted that flexible work schedules remain the university’s “first line of defense.” Supervisors should create as much flexibility as possible for their team members to do their jobs, for example, through alternative work schedules or work sites. If those are not possible, the emergency paid leave policy applies. Employees who have exhausted the 160-hour limit may use other leave options if necessary, including vacation, sick and crisis leave.

Employees may contact their campus human resources office if they wish to donate vacation hours to the university’s crisis leave bank.

A Frequently Asked Questions document is available here. Employees are invited to contact human resources with additional questions about their leave options.