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Further Guidance for Managers From UIC HR Regarding COVID-19

In conjunction with the recent University of Illinois System messages regarding COVID-19, I am writing to provide some additional guidance for managers regarding human resources policies and practices. Individuals who are experiencing illness symptoms should contact their medical provider just as they would for any other medical issues. On a case-by-case basis, individuals may be designated to quarantine or to self-isolate. In those cases, it is up to the department (with Dean or Vice Chancellor final approval) to allow individuals to work remotely.

Medical Referral to University Health Service

If you have an employee who indicates they may have been exposed to COVID-19, the employee should be directed to contact University Health Service (UHS) for guidance. UHS will verify the information and make recommendations.  If self-isolating/quarantine is recommended, the Work Status Report will indicate either off work for 14 days from the last of last day of exposure, or work from home if approved by the supervisor.  UHS will also advise on seeking treatment by their primary care provider if needed.  When the self-isolating/quarantine period has ended, the employee can again call UHS for a phone screen to be returned to work.  At that time a new Work Status Report will be generated and sent to the supervisor.

Appointments and Information

Working From Home

There is no general University policy regarding remote work options, however under the circumstances the attached agreement must be completed for each employee that will be allowed to work from home for a temporary period.  The following guidelines outline the considerations, conditions and procedures under which a remote work option can be considered.

  • Employee Suitability
    • The employee has the ability to work independently
    • The employee has good organizational skills
    • The employee has good time management skills
    • The employee is  self-motivated
  • Job Duties
    • The job does not require face-to-face interaction with co-workers or customers
    • The job does not require access to and use of special equipment or files available only on campus
    • Measurable goals and objectives can be established in advance of a crisis
  • Communication/Equipment
  • The alternative work site has required equipment for communication (phone, fax, and/or computer)
  • If the campus is closed, alternative meeting sites can be arranged if meetings become essential
  • There are certain jobs that do not lend themselves to telecommuting. Since there are many individual or work group specific situations, performing certain tasks in a telecommuting environment is up to the managing unit supervisor’s discretion. Following is asample list of tasks that may or may not be    acceptable to pursue in a telecommuting environment:
    • Acceptable
      • System administration
      • Technical writing
      • Software development
      • Graphic design
      • Course development
      • Administrative and financial related tasks (e.g., email, reports, budgets – requires remote VPN access)
      • Web development
      • Programming
      • Individual work
    •   Unacceptable/Challenging
      • Anything that requires face-to-face contact with internal or external customers (front-line support)
      • Anything that requires hands-on contact with equipment
      • Interviewing and performance reviews
      • Clerical support
      • Hardware-related services
      • Contract discussions
  • Necessarily, the decision must be made on the basis of these factors. If the manager and employees agree that telecommuting may be a viable option as part of a crisis response program, the following standards are incorporated into the attached agreement that must be executed with each employee who is authorized to work under these circumstances.
    • The agreement does not change the terms and conditions of employment with UIC.
      • Employees are responsible for:
        • Working substantially similar hours and dates as they currently do;
        • Compliance with all University Rules, policies, practices, and procedures;
        • Establishment of an appropriate work area in their home
        • Protection of University information assets
        • Any tax implications related to the home-based work space
        • Reporting any injuries sustained by the employee at the home work location and in conjunction with their regular work duties
      • The department will be responsible for:
        • Monitoring the work product and efficiency of the employees
        • Supplying any equipment needed on a case-by-case basis
        • Will be an option only for as long as determined necessary and advisable by the University as part of the crisis response.
      •  We strongly recommend that each manager consider these issues in advance of a crisis, particularly with regard to critical work groups or employees whose contributions may be required to maintain operations.  Advance discussions and preparations will facilitate rapid and effective responses to any situation.
      • Specific elements of the delegation of authority include:
        • Any decision to recommend or authorize telecommuting should be based a documented business case for continued operations.
        • All involved work groups and employees will understand and agree that telecommuting is an option only for so long as determined necessary and advisable by the University, and will not create a right or expectation that telecommuting will be an option at any time in the future.

A telecommuting agreement form to be filled out in all cases is attached and copies should be forwarded to Human Resources. Additionally, all off-campus use of University equipment must be documented on the attached OBFS form.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Michael Ginsburg

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

Off Campus use of University Equipment (Please select Download Option to complete form)

UIC HR Telecommunication Agreement