Dear UNCG Faculty and Staff,Following our previous announcement for employees on March 11, the following is offered as clarification guidance based on questions regarding mandatory employee status and teleworking options.
The key points are:
- UNCG is open and employees are expected to work and deliver on their job expectations. This includes all employees, not just those designated as “mandatory” (see below).
- Consistent with state and UNC System guidance, supervisors will offer maximum flexibility to telework/work from home if jobs can be done as effectively remotely as they can be on campus. Supervisors can make this decision on a department or case-by-case basis. Regardless, everyone is accountable for ensuring the work of the University continues to get done at a high level and that we all meet our expectations.
- If a job cannot be performed remotely, then telework is currently not a viable option.
- This will be the policy unless the University announces a change to a different operational condition (such as condition 2 or 3).
Supervisors should immediately notify employees that would be considered mandatory should the University reduce and/or suspend operations due to COVID-19. Notification may be made verbally but preferably should be made in writing with as much advance notice as possible. Employees that may be designated as mandatory include those that perform the following functions:
- Senior leadership of critical central University functions;
- Activities related to direct patient care;
- Activities related to supporting students who remain on campus;
- Maintenance/operation of University infrastructure critical during a public health emergency;
- Maintenance/operation of critical University sponsored research activities.
This would also include the following types of positions:
- Public safety personnel;
- Physicians, nurses,and other health professionals who provide direct patient care;
- Maintenance and administrative staff essential in a health care setting;
- Essential University-wide utilities and physical plant personnel;
- Administrative and operational staff that support critical functions;
- Lab animal care personnel; and
- Residential and other staff who perform critical functions in support of the student population.
Normally, mandatory employees are permanent employees. If permanent staff is unavailable or not qualified to perform essential functions, temporary employees may be designated as mandatory. However, temporary employees may not be eligible for any additional compensation due to their designation as mandatory.
Student employees cannot be designated as mandatory.
Employees who have health conditions or other personal circumstances that would cause them to not report to work need to discuss their options with their supervisor. Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate action. Employees designated as mandatory may be subject to disciplinary action for willful failure to report for or remain at work.
Supervisors are encouraged to consider teleworking options for employees that may conduct their work at a remote location. Supervisors must ensure that employees who work remotely are reporting into work on a regular schedule and are available during their working hours.It is up to individual supervisors to decide which employees may telework based on the nature of their work and which may not. Not all positions may be afforded this opportunity depending on impact to University operations and the ability to perform critical operations remotely.
Regardless of mandatory or non-mandatory status, maximum consideration should be afforded to granting teleworking flexibility to those individuals who are identified by public health authorities as at high risk or who are caregivers for such individuals.
Supervisors may elect to utilize the University’s teleworking policy to prepare employees for teleworking and/or document expectations. However, it is not required for supervisors to complete a teleworking agreement for employees approved to work during this situation.
As you may work with your employees on flexible work arrangements, keep in mind that ITS has put together a website https://keepworking.uncg.edu/ to assist those working remotely.
Currently the University is considered on a normal operating schedule with a majority of classes being transitioned to an on-line environment. Therefore, all employees are expected to report to work (either on campus or remotely). As under any other circumstance, employees should notify their supervisor and use appropriate leave if they need to miss work.
We recognize that this is a challenging environment here at work, and as we collectively adjust our lives, ComPsych, the University’s Employee Assistance Program, is a resource available to help employees through stressful situations and events. Those who may worry about the development of COVID-19 and its impact may utilize this free service which is available as a University benefit.
It is critically important to stay connected and informed during this time. Please regularly check our dedicated coronavirus webpage. Bookmark it for easy access. We update it frequently. Ensure you are monitoring your email as we will update conditions as soon as the information becomes available. We strongly recommend downloading the UNCG Mobile app for your phone from the iTunes App store or the Google Play app store. This is an easy way to access news, and we will push notifications to your device when they are important. Finally, please follow @UNCG on whatever social media platforms you use. This is a fast, easy way to stay up to date.
Your HR Business Partner is available to help you if you have any questions or want to discuss how best to manage your team as the University deals with the effects of COVID-19.