Paid COVID-19 Leave

Program Discontinued

The University of Arkansas System has announced COVID paid leave for all employees was discontinued Friday, February 25, 2022. After this date, employees absent due to COVID illness, quarantine, isolation, quarantine care of a child, or for other COVID-related issues may use sick leave, annual leave, or leave without pay in accordance with applicable University leave policies. Employees using COVID paid leave for absence through February 25, 2022, can find details about the policy below. 

In support of employees in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic period, the University of Arkansas System offers an opportunity for up to 80 total combined hours of paid leave for university employees affected by COVID-19. 

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.  
  • Parents who are unable to work remotely who are quarantined with a child who is having to isolate due to diagnosis, exposure, or childcare/school closure.

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

Katherine Moore
Assistant Director of Benefits or 575-3717

Stephanie Marave
Human Resource Specialist or 575-8764

HR Assist or 575-4044