January 15, 2021
Last year, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was enacted by Congress to provide employees with additional benefits to navigate the responsibilities of work and life during the global pandemic. The federal legislation focused on two areas: emergency paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave. The Act, which became effective April 1, 2020, expired December 31, 2020. We were hopeful that Congress would act to extend the FFCRA prior to its expiration, but that did not occur.
As a result, it is important to note that the paid sick leave provisions under the FFCRA were only valid through December 31, 2020. Emergency paid sick leave hours are documented and reported on the Leave and Pay Exception Report with the following codes: ELH (emergency paid sick leave for OPS hourly employees) and ELS (emergency paid sick leave for all other employees).
December 31, 2020, which is under the pay period ending January 7, 2021, was the last day to use emergency paid sick leave hours or emergency family and medical leave hours. Please speak to your department payroll processor for more information.
I encourage you to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the leave alternatives below that are available to you as UCF employees, should the pandemic result in a need for leave beyond your accrued balances.
Knights Care Leave Share
Through the Knights Care Leave Share program, those employees who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and have exhausted their personally accrued leave are eligible to apply for 80-hour grants of shared leave, up to 400 hours total.
An employee is adversely affected if the disaster has caused severe hardship to the employee, or to their immediate family members, that requires the employee to be absent from work. Examples of hardship include personal medical emergencies, quarantine and/or self-isolation mandates, or inability to work or telework due to a government stay-at-home order. If you’re experiencing hardship, reach out and ask for assistance. We are here to help.
Employees interested in learning more can visit the Knights Care Leave Share Program website.
UCF Foundation Employee Relief Fund
With donor support, last year we were able to help 68 employees with grants of $250, totaling $17,000. We have many employees who no longer have paid leave options now that the FFCRA has expired, and therefore gifts to the Employee Relief Fund will provide immediate relief for employees who need emergency funding to get through this difficult time.
Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a university-funded benefit that offers the support and resources you need to address any personal challenges and/or concerns that may affect your personal well-being and/or work performance. It is confidential and free to all faculty and staff (excluding OPS student employees) as well as their eligible family members, including spouses, dependent children, parents and parents-in-law.
Employees are encouraged to learn more about the EAP and make use of this program if they or an immediate family member of their household would like professional help in dealing with a personal problem. Contact Health Advocate at 877-240-6863 or visit HealthAdvocate.com/members for more information.
The COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt impacted us all, introducing uncertainty and disrupting our ordinary way of life, but what remains constant is that in challenging times we Charge On. We must remain vigilant about COVID-19 and take personal responsibility to protect ourselves and those around us, no matter where we are.
We will face the challenges ahead with the same courage, positivity and devotion that we have demonstrated this past year. Thank you for all you do to support our students and our university.
Armor Up, Knights, and Charge On!
Associate Vice President
Chief Human Resources Officer