UI Health Care COVID-19 Unpaid Time Off and Vacation Give Back Program Frequently Asked Questions for Staff
Modified on 6/29/2020 at 09:27am

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What code do I use in ELMS and the UI timekeeping system to request and record unpaid time?

Tracking of unpaid time usage will be made through the employee’s usual University timekeeping system currently utilized by each employee (University Time and Attendance System or ELMS).

Be sure to talk with your supervisor before entering unpaid time.

ELMS:

  • MANDUT: Mandatory Unpaid Time
  • FMLA MANDUT: FMLA Mandatory Unpaid Time

University Time and Attendance System:

  • Code 37: Merit Temp Layoff Undertime
  • Code 86: FMLA Merit Temp Layoff Undertime
  • Code 38: P&S Temp Furlough
  • Code 39: FMLA P&S Temp Furlough
How do I submit vacation hours to give back?

Employees can give back vacation hours at any time utilizing the Workflow form at: https://workflow.uiowa.edu/form/vacationgiveback

Be sure to talk with your supervisor before giving back vacation time.

Non-Clinical departments within the Carver College of Medicine are not eligible to participate in the vacation give back program and must satisfy the requirements under Option 1, unpaid time.

Given back hours will be submitted for reduction every month and will be deducted from an employee’s available balance all at once.

Employees should only submit hours once they have accrued enough vacation time to satisfy at least half of the requirements of their chosen option. For example, an employee electing to give back 100 vacation hours must give back at least 50 hours prior to January 1, 2021, and can only submit a give back form when they have accrued 50 hours of vacation time.

General

How long will this program be in effect?

This program will be in effect beginning July 1, 2020, through the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2021.

Who is required to participate in this program?

All UI Health Care employees employed as of July 1, 2020, including those in the Carver College of Medicine and all UIHC orgs, will be required to participate.

Non-Clinical departments within the Carver College of Medicine are not eligible to participate in the vacation give back program and must satisfy the requirements under Option 1, unpaid time.

How will the required number of unpaid hours or given back vacation hours be determined for each employee?

The required number of unpaid hours to be taken or number of vacation hours given back will be based on an employee’s classification and 100% base salary. See below for more information.

Additionally, the required number of hours to be utilized will be prorated based on an employee’s appointment percentage as of July 1, 2020. Any subsequent position changes will not impact the required number of hours.

How does an employee determine their 100% base salary for the purposes of determining their requirements?

An employee’s 100% base salary can be calculated by dividing their current salary by their appointment percentage and multiplying by 100%. For example, an individual with a $30,000 salary and a 60% appointment has a 100% base salary of $50,000 ($30,000 / 60% x 100%).  The employee options tool also will display an individual’s 100% base salary.

An employee can find their salary and appointment percentage in Employee Self Service by searching for “Appointment & Salary History.”

 

Are new hires who begin employment after July 1, 2020, required to participate in this program?

No.

Are medical residents required to participate in the program?

No.

Will any exemptions for participation in the program be approved?

Federal requirements do not allow an H-1B visa individual to be placed on unpaid leave. Temporary employees, hourly bi-weekly employees, and student employees are not included in the program requirements and therefore are exempted.

May employees choose how they participate in this program?

Eligible employees may choose to participate by taking unpaid time off (Option 1), giving back accrued personal vacation time (Option 2), or utilizing a combination of both Options 1 and 2.

Employees in non-Clinical departments within the Carver College of Medicine are not eligible to participate in the vacation give back program and must satisfy the requirements under Option 1 only.

Is there a deadline by which employees must identify their chosen option?

No. However, managers, leadership, and HR representatives will closely monitor employees’ progress toward meeting their obligations. If leadership determines that employees have not made sufficient progress toward meeting their obligations, it may be necessary to mandate unpaid time away from work, thus removing the flexibility from employees.

It is therefore in the best interests of every employee to make a good faith effort to fulfill their obligations as soon as possible. This can be accomplished by working with your manager and requesting the unpaid time in ELMS. The sooner everyone works to fulfill their obligations, the more flexibility and discretion they will have over how they meet the program requirements.

I have a retirement or termination date in 2021; how does this program impact me?

If you have an established termination date within the first three months of the fiscal year, then you would have no obligation under this program. However, if you have a planned termination date October 1 or later, then you must meet the appropriate obligation from the following:

Retirement/termination Date:

 July 1-September 30:           No requirement for participation

October 1-December 31:      Half of the requirement

January 1 or later:                Full requirement

Option 1: Unpaid Time Off

How many unpaid days/hours must employees take?

Merit employees who select this option are required to take forty (40) hours of unpaid leave during the fiscal year.

SEIU and non-bargaining P&S employees with 100% base salaries of $50,000 and below, who select this option, are required to take forty (40) hours of unpaid leave during the fiscal year.

SEIU and non-bargaining P&S employees with 100% salaries above $50,000, who select this option, are required to take eighty (80) hours of unpaid leave during the fiscal year.

May vacation or compensatory time be taken in lieu of unpaid days?

No, this is not allowed.

May an employee volunteer to take someone else’s unpaid days?

No, this is not allowed.

May an employee take unpaid time off during an already approved FMLA leave?

Yes. Employees should contact the University Benefits office with questions regarding insurance premium impact.

Are unpaid days/hours prorated for part-time employees?

Yes, unpaid days/hours are prorated for part-time employees. For example, if a part-time Merit or FLSA non-exempt employee works 20 hours a week, or half time, they are required to take 2.5 days or 20 hours of unpaid days. A part-time FLSA exempt SEIU or P&S employee is required to take a normal full workweek of unpaid time.

Required unpaid hours will be based on an employee’s appointment percentage as of July 1, 2020.

In what increments do employees need to take unpaid time off?

FLSA non-exempt employees (Merit, and certain SEIU and P&S employees) may utilize unpaid time in increments as small as half of a workday (4 hours).

FLSA exempt employees (most SEIU and P&S employees) must utilize unpaid time off in full week increments (Sunday through Saturday). They must not perform any work during those weeks.

How do I determine my FLSA status?

Your FLSA status is identified within your ePersonnel file in Employee Self Service. Additionally, you can contact your supervisor or Human Resources Representative for more information regarding your status.

Are employees able to perform work remotely during their unpaid time off?

No, an employee shall not perform any University-related work while utilizing unpaid time off.

Non-exempt employees may not work more than their scheduled FTE in the week in which unpaid time off is taken. For example, if an employee normally works 40 hours in a week, and takes 8 hours of unpaid time, then the employee cannot work more than 32 hours during that workweek.

Exempt employees are not permitted to work any hours during an unpaid workweek.

How does unpaid time off impact SEIU employees utilizing the six-week scheduling cycle?

Employees utilizing the six-week scheduling practice should take a full week off (Sunday through Saturday) within one six-week cycle and work their remaining hours in the remaining five weeks. For example, a 100% employee who is normally required to work 240 hours in the six-week cycle will take one week off within the six weeks and will be required to work 200 hours in the remaining five weeks.

How are Weekend Option employees affected?

Weekend Option employees have a 60% FTE, so their obligations are prorated. Some Weekend Option employees earn $50,000 or less and are therefore obligated to take twenty-four (24) hours of unpaid time (i.e., one weekend) or give back thirty (30) hours of accrued vacation. Others earn excess of $50,000 and are therefore obligated to take forty-eight (48) hours of unpaid time (i.e., two weekends) or give back sixty (60) hours of vacation.

Because this cost saving program is mandatory, if Weekend Option employees elect to take time off without pay, that time would not be counted toward their limitation of two weekends off per six-month period.

Weekend Option employees have historically tended to accrue vacation hours up to the maximum allowed. Weekend Option employees are therefore strongly encouraged to elect Option 2 (see below) and give back accrued vacation. This would allow them to manage their accruals and continue to work their normal number of weekends without loss of pay.

How will unpaid days be scheduled? Must the employee receive approval by the supervisor before taking an unpaid day?

Employees and supervisors are expected to work together to develop plans to ensure continuity of work and productivity to the greatest extent possible while the program is in place, including redistributing or removing certain duties as needed.

Employees must receive approval from their supervisor before taking unpaid days, similar to any other request to be absent from work.

May departments tell employees when to take the unpaid days?

A department should allow as much flexibility as possible when granting unpaid time off requested by the employee. Supervisors and Human Resources Representatives must monitor unpaid time usage closely and frequently to ensure it is being taken.

What is the impact on benefits?

Unpaid days will not impact benefit coverage, contribution levels, or leave accrual rates. Specific types of benefits and points of interest are listed below:

Health, Dental, Life, and Long-Term Disability Insurance: Health, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance coverage, and the University’s premium contributions for these insurances will not be directly affected. The employee’s full share of the premium, however, must be paid despite the reduction in work hours or insurance coverage will be discontinued. Therefore, if an employee’s pay during the period is not enough to cover the employee’s share of the premium then the missed insurance deductions will go into arrears and the appropriate amount will be deducted from the employee’s next paycheck.

Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts: If the employee receives enough pay to make the FSA contribution, the contribution will continue. If the employee does not receive enough pay to make the FSA contribution, then the missed FSA contributions will go into arrears and the appropriate amount will be deducted from the employee’s next paycheck.

Federal Withholding, State Withholding, and FICA: The amounts deducted from the employee’s pay in each of these categories will be adjusted each pay period based on the salary earned.

TIAA-CREF: Employer and employee contributions will continue. Contributions will be based on base salary less any unpaid time reported during periods of unpaid time off. If you have questions, please contact the University Benefits office.

IPERS: For questions regarding the impact of unpaid time IPERS contributions, please contact a retirement benefit counselor at 515-281-0020 or 1-800-622-3849.

Are employees eligible to file for unemployment benefits when taking unpaid days?

Employees may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. For additional information regarding eligibility, employees should access the Iowa Workforce Development website at https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/file-claim-unemployment-insurance-benefits.

If I elect to take unpaid leave, may I still request vacation/comp time during the year?

Yes, but additional time off is not guaranteed. Although employees may elect unpaid time away from work to meet their respective cost-savings obligations, the organization must remain appropriately staffed to provide high quality and safe patient care. This means that employees who elect unpaid time must work with their supervisors to schedule that time and must still follow normal procedures for requesting vacation. Employees are strongly encouraged to utilize unpaid time (if that is the option that they elect) in lieu of vacation to reduce the impact on staffing.

Will electing to take unpaid time affect my FMLA eligibility for next year?

No, unpaid hours will not be deducted from employees’ total hours worked for FMLA eligibility purposes.

When is an employee’s paycheck affected after their unpaid time off?

Paycheck impacts will always be a month in arrears. For example, an employee who takes unpaid time off in August will see a reduction in pay on their October 1 paycheck.

Will there be new codes in ELMS and the UI timekeeping system to request and record unpaid time?

Yes, tracking of unpaid time usage will be made through the employee’s usual University timekeeping system currently utilized by each employee (University Time and Attendance System or ELMS).

ELMS:

  • MANDUT: Mandatory Unpaid Time
  • FMLA MANDUT: FMLA Mandatory Unpaid Time

University Time and Attendance System:

  • Code 37: Merit Temp Layoff Undertime
  • Code 86: FMLA Merit Temp Layoff Undertime
  • Code 38: P&S Temp Furlough
  • Code 39: FMLA P&S Temp Furlough
What if an exempt staff member performs work during their unpaid week?

If an exempt staff member performs any work during a designated unpaid week, unless otherwise approved by the employer, UI Health Care reserves the right to take any measures reasonably necessary to address the non-compliance, including but not limited to: requiring the use of vacation leave for undertime days within the designated furlough week and/or designating another unpaid week to recover any savings lost due to the non-compliance.

Option 2: Vacation Give Back

How many hours of vacation time will employees give back?

Merit employees who select this option will give back fifty (50) hours of their accrued vacation time during the fiscal year.

SEIU and non-bargaining P&S employees with 100% base salaries of $50,000 and below who select this option will give back fifty (50) hours of their accrued vacation time during the fiscal year.

Other SEIU and non-bargaining P&S employees, with 100% base salaries above $50,000, who select this option will give back one hundred (100) hours of their accrued vacation time throughout the fiscal year.

Non-Clinical departments within the Carver College of Medicine are not eligible to participate in the vacation give back program and must satisfy the requirements under Option 1 only.

May employees choose to give back compensatory time instead of vacation time?

No.

Are given back vacation hours prorated for part-time employees?

Yes, given back vacation hours are prorated for part-time employees.  For example, if a part-time Merit employee works 20 hours a week, or half time, they will be required to give back 25 hours of vacation time.  A part-time SEIU or P&S employee with salary of $50,000 or below who works 20 hours a week will be required to give back 25 hours of vacation time.

Required given back hours will be based on an employee’s appointment percentage as of July 1, 2020.

What is the process for submitting vacation hours to give back?

Employees can give back vacation hours at any time utilizing the Workflow form at: https://workflow.uiowa.edu/form/vacationgiveback

Given back hours will be submitted for reduction every month and will be deducted from an employee’s available balance all at once.

Employees should only submit hours once they have accrued enough vacation time to satisfy at least half of the requirements of their chosen option. For example, an employee electing to give back 100 vacation hours must give back at least 50 hours prior to January 1, 2021, and can only submit a give back form when they have accrued 50 hours of vacation time.

 

 

 

What is the impact on benefits?

The vacation give back has no impact on benefits and employees would continue to accrue vacation.

Is an employee still able to donate vacation time to other employees as part of the Catastrophic Leave Program?

Yes, however the donation of vacation hours for this purpose will not meet the requirements of the vacation give back option under this program.

When will my vacation give back hours be deducted from my vacation accruals?
Updated on 07/31/2020 at 8:00 am

Vacation give back hours will be loaded during or around the first week of each month. Hours submitted will include vacation give back requests made in the previous month and deducted from vacation balances before that month’s accruals are applied.

For example, if a 100% staff member earning 16 hours of vacation accruals monthly with a balance of 480 hours on July 1, 2020, elects to give back 50 hours of vacation in July, then their total vacation balance as of August 1, 2020, will be 446 hours, assuming no other vacation time was utilized during the month of July.

  • 480.0 – vacation balance on July 1, 2020
  • – 50.0 – vacation give back hours in July 2020
  • + 16.0 – vacation hours earned on August 1, 2020 for July 2020
  • = 446.0 – total vacation balance as of August 1, 2020

 

Check your personal options

Open the Excel tool on The Point

On campus, just enter your health care EmployeeID in the highlighted cell in read-only mode in the Excel tool on The Point. Information and requirements for each option will display. Employee information is as of July 1, 2020.

You will not find your health care EmployeeID on your badge. It is your University ID that is located on your badge. See next question for more information on how to locate your EmployeeID.

You can access this tool on The Point from home via Citrix Remote Access. See the question below for more information. 

Note: This tool does not apply to faculty. 

Where do I find the health care EmployeeID?

Your health care EmployeeID can be found in “My ePersonnel File” under “My Career” in Employee Self Service.

Supervisors can find their direct reports health care EmployeeID in “ePersonnel File (Direct Reports)” under “Human Resources Systems” in Employee Self Service.

Note: You will not find your health care EmployeeID on your badge. It is your University ID that is located on your badge. 

How do I access this tool from home?

The tool is located on the homepage of The Point under Top Links. You can access The Point from home via Citrix Remote Access.

How do I use Citrix Remote Access?

If you have a HealthCareID, you have access. Citrix Remote Access can be accessed by any computer with an Internet connection and a web browser by visiting https://desktop.healthcare.uiowa.edu.

See the handout on Citrix Remote Access for more information.