COVID-19 policies for employees to get year-end review

With the end of the fall semester, senior leaders are preparing to review several COVID-19-related actions taken to help employees manage their work and home lives throughout the pandemic. 

Changes made in leave and time off policies, hiring approvals, temporary hours and on-site Employee Assistance Program services are among the topics that will be reviewed.

"Many employees have voiced how these programs have helped support them and their families as they navigated unexpected challenges," said Kristi Darr, vice president for university human resources. "Since the pandemic began, we have adapted to support a changing work environment and the needs of our workforce."

When these actions were initially considered, end dates were placed on the programs to ensure they would be revisited in light of changing regulations and guidance, Darr said. For example, the federal government put an expiration date of Dec. 31 on the required Families First Coronavirus Response Act leave. Other policies have the option to stay in effect while the state of Iowa remains in a state of emergency. 

Darr said there's uncertainty about the timing of new or updated federal information that would help inform the decision-making process into the new year.

"Because of that uncertainty, we will need to consider short-term adjustments to these programs, as they may need to pivot as new information becomes available," Darr said. "One thing is certain, and that is we will continue to look for ways to support unit flexibility and support workers during these stressful times."

More information will be shared as decisions are made.