“This is yet another way for us to reward our employees for their loyalty and hard work. When I established the Work-Life Task Force to develop recommendations for helping our employees better balance their work and their life away from work, these new changes are exactly the ones I had in mind. As one of the many recommendations provided to me by the Work-Life Task Force, this revision to the Human Resources policy will make the prospect of working at UK more inviting and will enhance our ability to recruit and retain high-quality employees.”
-- Lee T. Todd Jr.,
University of Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2003) -- In another step forward in making the work-life of its employees more flexible and convenient, the University of Kentucky has enhanced and broadened the use of Temporary Disability Leave (TDL) and Funeral Leave, UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. announced.
“This is yet another way for us to reward our employees for their loyalty and hard work,” Todd said. “When I established the Work-Life Task Force to develop recommendations for helping our employees better balance their work and their life away from work, these new changes are exactly the ones I had in mind. As one of the many recommendations provided to me by the Work-Life Task Force, this revision to the Human Resources policy will make the prospect of working at UK more inviting and will enhance our ability to recruit and retain high-quality employees.”
The basic changes to the UK Human Resources policy governing TDL include expansion of the definition of “family,” allowance that all employees are eligible to use up to 30 working days of accrued TDL over a 12-month period for illnesses of those included in the definition of “family,” and elimination of the “66-day rule” that stipulated an employee must have a balance of 66 days of accrued TDL before being granted time off for the illness of a family member.
“One of the biggest advantages of this policy change is to allow employees the use of TDL for those extended family members for whom they provide care or for other individuals who reside in the home and were not covered by the previous definition of ‘family,’” said Karen Combs, co-chair, UK Work-Life Task Force. “This new allowance is a big step toward fulfilling this university’s desire to provide a compassionate, flexible and enticing work experience.”
Previously, the policy stipulated that TDL could be used in providing care for only the following family members during their illnesses: spouse, unmarried child living at home, or other relative living in the household. “Family” is now defined for these purposes as including spouse, child, grandchild, mother, father, grandparent, brother, sister (includes step- and half-relatives and in-laws of the same relationship), or legal dependent of the employee, irrespective of residence. In addition, accrued TDL may be used to care for any other person who resides in the employee’s household for whom the employee has an obligation to provide care.
Also, the policy formerly stated that only five consecutive working days of TDL could be used for a single family illness or injury, or five working days used singly over a period of six months. Now, UK employees are eligible to use 30 working days of accrued TDL over a period of one year, and they are no longer required to have a TDL balance of 66 days before using it for these purposes.
The other significant change is to the Funeral Leave policy, which now includes increases in the number of days off with pay a UK employee is allowed to take for the death of a family member or friend.
Leave for the death of a parent, brother, sister (including half-relatives), spouse, child, or other relatives for whom the employee is directly responsible has increased from three working days to five. Two additional days are still available for extensive travel. This provision now also includes any other person who resides in the employee’s household, as well as “in loco parentis” relationships. “In loco parentis” is defined as those who had day-to-day responsibilities to care for and financially support a child or persons who had such responsibility for the employee when the employee was a child. A biological or legal relationship is not necessary.
Time off in the case of death of a direct descendant grandparent (of whatever degree), a grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or in-law relative has been increased from one working day to two, with two additional days available for extensive travel.
“We have even changed the title of this policy from ‘Funeral Attendance Leave’ to simply ‘Funeral Leave,’” Combs said. “We felt this was important because we want to emphasize the potential for our employees to need more than time off to attend a funeral. Many times, especially with closer relatives such as parents or children, an employee needs the extra time to not only make satisfactory arrangements but also sufficient time to grieve. For our employees’ well-being, we want them to be able to do this.”
UK employees or prospective employees can view these new policies in their entirety on the Web.