What are the latest UMS updates for employees pertaining to available leave options, pay guidance, COVID-19 testing and training resources?

FFCRA Extended to March 31, 2021

Please take note that the original Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) legislation expired December 31, 2020. However, employers such as the University of Maine System have been granted the option to allow employees to continue to access any unused FFCRA sick leave/family care balances up to the limit of eighty (80) hours and FFCRA Childcare Family Medical Leave of ten weeks to address appropriate circumstances such as child or home care coverage as a result of COVID-19.

While not legally required to offer an extension of the FFCRA benefit, UMS recognizes the unique challenges its employees confront as a result of the pandemic and has determined it will extend available FFCRA benefits as provided for in the recent Federal legislation to March 31, 2021 or until new legislation is enacted, whichever is sooner.

Updated Workflow Support Chart Provides Guidance

For the latest guidance on the process of accessing appropriate leave options, documenting Pandemic Leave requests, and the potential to use remaining FFCRA balances, please consult the updated Employee Workflow Support Chart featuring easy-to-follow pathways to meeting challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Testing

As highlighted in Chancellor Malloy’s message of January 8, a schedule of comprehensive testing protocols will be in place during Spring Semester to ensure the safety of all who work on our University of Maine System campuses. More details will become available following today’s announcement of the System’s approach to testing for the spring semester

Scenario Guidance

There will continue to be certain workplace scenarios requiring sensitive and thoughtful navigation to maintain a safe working and learning environment. To meet the ongoing needs of employees, an updated scenario reference document is now available to assist in finding our way through these challenging times. We hope that it may prove beneficial. 

As always, should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your campus HR Partner or get in touch with your Employee Benefits Center at benefits@maine.edu or 1-207-973-3373.