Paid COVID-19 Leave

On December 31, 2020, the additional leave programs provided in the federal Family First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA) ended. In support of employees in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic period, effective January 1, 2021, the University will extend the opportunity for up to 80 total combined hours of paid leave for employees affected by COVID-19.  The leave program is not a continuation of the FFCRA leave.

For such paid leave to be granted, the following requirements must be met:

  • The employee must not have previously used 80 hours of COVID-19 leave as was provided by the federal Family First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA). 
  • Due to Coronavirus the employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine order.
  • The employee has been directed by the Department of Health or other health authority to quarantine due to Coronavirus.
  • Due to Coronavirus the employee is subject to extended campus return-to-work guidelines (up to14 days rather than the seven- and ten-day options provided by the AR Department of Health).
  • The employee is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • The employee must provide care for their dependent child whose school or daycare is closed due to COVID-19.
  • The employee must be unable to work from home due to illness or have a job in which working from home is not possible.
  • The employee must provide (within a reasonable time established by the campus) appropriate physician, school, Department of Health or equivalent documentation supporting the leave utilization.  

Employees who used a portion of the available FFCRA 80 hours in 2020 may use the remainder as COVID-19 leave in 2021 but in no case may use a combined total of more than 80 hours.

Including leave previously used under FFCRA, COVID-19 leave is limited to no more than total of 80 hours for any combination of quarantine, illness or childcare leave eligibility.

The 80-hour maximum will be prorated for less than full-time employees.

Employees using COVID-19 leave will be eligible to receive full pay but not to exceed $511 per day or approximately $133,000 annualized.

Whenever possible, work from home rather than paid or unpaid leave should be used.

Failure to provide appropriate documentation for COVID leave will result in recharacterization of the leave taken as sick, vacation or leave-without-pay within the established leave use guidelines. (Sick leave may not be used for childcare purposes due to school closure.)

Qualified leave may be applied retroactively to January 1, 2021.   

COVID-19 leave guidelines will be modified, suspended, or ended as necessary to meet changing needs and regulations of the current pandemic environment.

If you have received a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 from a facility other than the Pat Walker Health Clinic, you must complete the required self-reporting form.

If you believe you may qualify for COVID-19 leave or have any questions, please contact HR Assist at hrassist@uark.edu or 575-4044.

Katherine Moore
Assistant Director of Benefits
kem051@uark.edu or 575-3717

Cheyenne Roy
Leave Specialist
ceroy@uark.edu or 575-4159

HR Assist
hrassist@uark.edu or 575-4044