As an employment benefit, leave provides a means for faculty and staff to take approved time off from work for various reasons. Leave packages may vary slightly depending upon employee classification. For detailed information about leave benefits, select your employee type below or contact the VCU Human Resources Leave Administration office. Note: Please contact your HR Professional for leave forms.
Leave during the pandemic (PHEL)
Updated: January 12, 2022
VCU has generous paid leave programs for faculty and staff, and Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) is an essential category of leave covering faculty, staff, adjunct faculty and hourly employees. The purpose of PHEL is to provide a temporary emergency benefit rather than an ongoing expanded leave program during the Covid-19 pandemic. PHEL is activated at the state level by the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM); criteria for usage are also defined at the state level.
As of January 10, 2022, PHEL has been activated again by DHRM.
All employees, including wage employees and adjunct faculty, are eligible for up to 40 hours of PHEL during the 2022 leave year (unless otherwise notified by DHRM) to attend to their own medical needs and/or those of their immediate family members due to positive cases of COVID-19. The amount of PHEL for adjunct faculty and hourly employees is prorated based on average hours worked. If an employee exhausts their 40 hours of PHEL, they will need to use their own leave (university/sick/personal/annual).
Criteria for using PHEL beginning January 10, 2022
Employees may use PHEL with their manager’s approval by submitting medical documentation which meets the following criteria:
- Up to 40 hours of PHEL may be used to attend to an employee’s own illness due to a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 and they are symptomatic. Employees who are positive for COVID-19 but asymptomatic may telework for the isolation period (per VDH guidance) provided the position’s duties are suited for telework.
- Up to 40 hours of PHEL may be used to attend to an immediate family member who has contracted COVID-19 through a confirmed positive test and they require home care.
- Up to 8 hours of PHEL may be used to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine or booster. The 8 hours of PHEL used for this purpose will be deducted from the 40 hour limit.
- Up to 8 hours of PHEL may be used to recover from side effects resulting from obtaining the vaccine or the booster. The 8 hours of PHEL used for this purpose will be deducted from the 40 hour limit.
Quarantining due to a COVID-19 exposure and coordination of childcare/school arrangements are no longer covered by PHEL. These situations will need to be covered by the employee’s university, sick, annual or other leave type.
Once the employee’s allotment of PHEL is used, employees may use appropriate and available personal leave balances or leave without pay. Documentation of a positive Covid-19 test or documentation of the administration of a vaccine or booster is required to access PHEL leave.
See also: Emergency leave guidelines
Updated: Jan. 21, 2022
- University and Academic Professionals (UAPs) and 12-month Faculty will be able to carry over up to four weeks (160 hours) of leave above the allowable maximum on January 10, 2022.
- Any leave hours above the maximum carry over for the specific employee category plus the extra 160 hours will be subject to carry over limits on Jan. 9, 2022.
- The additional 160 hours carried over are not payable to employees upon separation from the university. Leave payouts for UAPs are limited to the maximum amounts contained in the Working @VCU Great Place policies.
- The hours carried over will expire on Jan. 10, 2024. Note: This means that employees will have two years, until 2024, to use the leave hours carried over.
- Classified staff should refer to the update on the classified staff leave page.
- To use excess leave, employees should select "Code 15 - Excess Leave Carry Forward" in RealTime.