Early planning for COVID-related furloughs

April 10, 2020

Tori Tragis

— by Dan White, chancellor

On April 7, I released a communication on preparing for COVID-related furloughs. Your Vice Chancellors and I are working through what this looks like and they will be sharing details with deans and directors early next week.

Some COVID-related furloughs will be required, but each will be considered individually and with the goal of preserving the jobs of furloughed employees. Each will include some consideration of the ability to reprogram work where possible, minimizing furlough hours or durations for individual employees. 

At this point we are looking at two different categories of furlough notices:

  1. 100% furlough — Job function is not required during COVID-19 due to type of duties performed. For example, if the job is a salesperson in a store that is closed, the job cannot be performed.

  2. Partial furlough — Job function is needed but not at current percent of effort.

    1. Job function is only partially needed as some of the functions can be performed remotely but in person functions cannot be performed.

    2. Job function timeframe is shortened. For example, a contract period that does not need to be performed in the summer because some summer programs are cancelled. 

Before furloughs are approved, supervisors will be asked to determine if job functions can be shared with other units to maintain full percent of effort for staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Per the emergency regulation change (PDF) , furlough notices will have a minimum notification period of 30 days for temporary, COVID-19-related furloughs. The furlough notification period doesn’t start until a notice is received. It is my expectation that no furlough notices would be issued until at least the middle of next week. I have received several questions about whether COVID-related furloughs could be compounded by future non-COVID-related furloughs. There are many unknowns at this point but we will certainly be vigilant so as to not doubly penalize employees. 

I also received questions about COVID furlough benefits (both UA benefits and unemployment benefits). Many questions about COVID-19-related furloughs and benefits are included on the UA Coronavirus website. 

This is a difficult time, and we are working hard to minimize the impact to our people as much as possible. Please reach out to your supervisor if you have questions, and please review the many programs and resources available through the Employee Assistance Program . Thank you.