University of Southern Indiana

COVID-19 Information for Employees

Childcare Updates for Fall 2020

August 18, 2020

The University of Southern Indiana’s commitment to meeting the public health challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic extends to ensuring University employees may work from home to attend to childcare needs, when determined appropriate.

The University is providing employees who have childcare concerns with additional resources, as well as the possibility to request temporary work considerations between August 24, 2020 through December 22, 2020. These considerations are related to children 14 years of age and younger and align with current or future decisions related to the schedule or school calendars for students during the Fall Semester being made by area K-12 public school districts.

The University wishes to support our employees—many of whom are parents of school-age children. This is a time when all community members must be flexible in responding to new information and, as such, the University reserves its rights to review, modify, and/or suspend its approach to the pandemic at any time.

What if my child’s school/day care is closed for a 14-day quarantine period due to an incident of COVID-19 and my child is not sick? I have no other childcare arrangements. 

Due to safety concerns, children should not be brought to work.

Supervisors may provide temporary remote work options for employees whose job duties can continue to be performed remotely. Supervisors (in consultation with their respective Vice President) have flexibility during this window of time to approve remote work and employees should work closely with their supervisors in order to determine eligibility and applicability. Working from home, or remote work, may not be applicable in all circumstances due to the nature of the job or the equipment required to perform the work.

If an employee is not able to work remotely, the following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities:

  • Use accrued "family sick" leave 
  • Use of accrued vacation leave
  • Use of accrued compensatory time (does not apply to exempt employees)
  • Use Families First Coronavirus Response Act EPSL and EFMLA 
  • Request unpaid leave under the Personal Leaves of Absence policy  


What if my child’s school/day care is requesting my child quarantine for a 14-day period due to an incident of COVID-19 and my child is not sick? I have no other childcare arrangements. 

Due to safety concerns, children should not be brought to work.

Supervisors may provide temporary remote work options for employees whose job duties can continue to be performed remotely. Supervisors (in consultation with their respective Vice President) have flexibility during this window of time to approve remote work and employees should work closely with their supervisors in order to determine eligibility and applicability. Working from home, or remote work, may not be applicable in all circumstances due to the nature of the job or the equipment required to perform the work.

If an employee is not able to work remotely, the following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities:

  • Use accrued "family sick" leave 
  • Use of accrued vacation leave
  • Use of accrued compensatory time (does not apply to exempt employees)
  • Use Families First Coronavirus Response Act EPSL and EFMLA 
  • Request unpaid leave under the Personal Leaves of Absence policy


What if my child’s school has delayed the start of the school year or in-person classes? I have no other childcare arrangements.
 

Due to safety concerns, children should not be brought to work.

Supervisors may provide temporary remote work options for employees whose job duties can continue to be performed remotely. Supervisors (in consultation with their respective Vice President) have flexibility during this window of time to approve remote work and employees should work closely with their supervisors in order to determine eligibility and applicability. Working from home, or remote work, may not be applicable in all circumstances due to the nature of the job or the equipment required to perform the work.

If an employee is not able to work remotely, the following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities:

  • Use accrued "family sick" leave 
  • Use of accrued vacation leave
  • Use of accrued compensatory time (does not apply to exempt employees)
  • Use Families First Coronavirus Response Act EPSL and EFMLA 
  • Request unpaid leave under the Personal Leaves of Absence policy  


What if my child’s school/day care is closed for an extended period due to COVID-19 and I have no other childcare arrangements? 

Due to safety concerns, children should not be brought to work.

Supervisors may provide temporary remote work options for employees whose job duties can continue to be performed remotely. Supervisors (in consultation with their respective Vice President) have flexibility during this window of time to approve remote work and employees should work closely with their supervisors in order to determine eligibility and applicability. Working from home, or remote work, may not be applicable in all circumstances due to the nature of the job or the equipment required to perform the work.

If an employee is not able to work remotely, the following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities:

  • Use accrued "family sick" leave 
  • Use of accrued vacation leave
  • Use of accrued compensatory time (does not apply to exempt employees)
  • Use Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) EPSL and EFMLA 
  • Request unpaid leave under the Personal Leaves of Absence policy


Will the University allow for the use of family sick leave for employees due to childcare needs related to COVID-19?

Effective July 1, 2019, a maximum of 20 days of an employee's accumulated sick time may be taken each fiscal year for illness of a covered family member. For the purpose of this Sick Time Policy, covered family members include spouse or domestic partner, children, parents, siblings, relatives who live with the employee, and relative (in-laws) of the same degree of the spouse/domestic partner who are dependent on the employee for emergency care. As of September 1, 2013, covered family members also include grandchildren and grandparents. The preceding relationships include step, adoptive and foster relationships. Such sick time will be designated by the employee as "family sick" on Time Reports. Employees will be allowed to use family sick leave through December 22, 2020, to care for their child whose school or place of care is closed (or childcare provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reason. This should also assist employees that have used up their allotment of leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  


Which factors should departments consider when determining if temporary work considerations are possible?

  • Operational requirements
  • Security of work data
  • Technological capabilities and equipment required to perform the work
  • Productivity

It is not uncommon to require employees in positions needing in-person contact/customer service or that rely upon specific equipment or supplies to work on-campus. Additionally, supervisory roles may be excluded from consideration for temporary work considerations. Some jobs that may not seem appropriate at first may be modified, with supervisor and Vice President approval so that employees can work remotely.


What childcare options may be available for University employees whose positions don’t allow for temporary work considerations?

With childcare in high demand, there are resources for parents available through 4C of Southern Indiana, Inc., a non-profit childcare resource and referral agency serving 28 counties in Southwestern Indiana. The 4C organization will be able to refer you to local childcare providers who have capacity.


Can I change the amount I am contributing to my dependent care FSA if my childcare expenses vary? 

Yes. The cost of coverage rules permits you to make changes to the Dependent Care FSA if there is a change in cost associated with a change in provider, rates by a provider, or change in work schedule impacting the need for care. If your dependent’s daycare or school has closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this would be considered a qualifying life event for those enrolled in a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. This must be completed within 31 days of the change in your dependent care.   


Are there any additional resources for parents navigating temporary work considerations?

As we are all learning how to adjust to the COVID-19 health crisis, there are many published articles and websites that provide advice on how parents can navigate these stressful times, here are a few to consider:

Are there any additional resources available to help employees navigate concerns regarding COVID-19?

The University provides a confidential employee assistance program through Deaconess CONCERN which provides assessment, short-term counseling, referral and follow-up services for eligible employees and members of their household. Family, marital, financial, or work-related problems are dealt with in a completely confidential manner by one of the EAP counselors. Employees and members of their household are eligible for up to eight free visits; additional visits are covered by most health plans. The cost of the EAP is paid by the University.

Contact Deaconess CONCERN
Toll-free: 800-874-7104
Local: 812-471-4611

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