Employee Care Resource Update

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12 October 2021

Colleagues,

As the fall semester enters its second month, we would like to thank you all for your support and for welcoming us back to our beautiful and vibrant residential campus. The energy and enthusiasm of the 47,936 students who live, study and work with us is remarkable.

As everyone knows, the arrival in the United States of the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 means that we are still operating amid a high rate of cases across the country, including here in Wisconsin. The lingering uncertainty has raised new concerns about the disruption, particularly for caregivers of unvaccinated children and elderly or immunocompromised family members. UW − Madison will continue to be flexible as COVID-19-related disruptions occur by providing options to employees, including:

  • Remote work: In accordance with the remote working policy, remote working arrangements will be considered on a case-by-case basis. School / college / division management, together with supervisors, is responsible for deciding where remote working is possible and where it may hinder the performance and mission of the unit. Remote working offers flexibilities to help manage caregiver responsibilities.
  • Reasonable accommodation: Reasonable accommodations for an employee’s disability or medical condition may be available under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. For concerns or questions related to a disability or an underlying medical condition, employees can contact their Divisional Disability Representative (DDR).
  • Other options: For concerns or questions unrelated to an employee’s disability or medical condition or where ADA is not applicable, employees may contact the human resources department of their school, college or division to discuss their questions and concerns. Other options include, but are not limited to, job sharing / splitting, alternating work week, variable hours, and reassignment.
  • Resources: Employee tips, supervisor tips, and caregiving resources are available at https://hr.wisc.edu/covid19/family-caregiving/. A new resource is being developed by the OHR that describes the different options available to employees, including better definition of accommodations, workplace flexibilities, remote working and time off, and guides employees, supervisors and others in managing disruption. This resource will be posted on the OHR Family Care website.

Unfortunately, not all situations can be adapted, for example when it has been determined that remote work is not feasible or that the work needs to be done at a particular time and in a specific location, as is the case with in-person instruction or managing some research experiences. In situations involving teaching responsibilities, please contact your department head and your school / college administration for assistance in dealing with the circumstances in a manner consistent with the learning objectives and obligations of the course. .

Employees seeking help balancing work and caregiving responsibilities are encouraged to raise concerns with their supervisor or manager to explore options to meet their needs. Show solidarity with one another in these very difficult times. Each employee concern will be assessed individually by supervisors based on the tasks, work environment and workplace needs.

Employees who have questions or concerns about particular demands or options available to them are urged to consult their human resources representative at their college, school or division. In addition, the Office of Human Resources makes family care resources available to employees at https://hr.wisc.edu/covid19/family-caregiving/.

We appreciate your continued efforts to support our university community.

Truly,

John Karl Scholz

Provost

Rob cramer

Acting Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Steve ackerman

Vice-Chancellor for Research and Higher Education


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