Skip to main
University-wide Navigation

Leave Options

Sick Leave

If you are not well enough to work – whether at your normal work location or remotely – you should request sick leave, or Temporary Disability Leave (TDL).  

If you are unable to work due to the care of a sick family member, you should request sick leave.    


While travel plans may be on hold right now, we encourage you to continue to take your accrued vacation time. It’s still important to take time away from work when you’re able.  

With many of us now working from home, it can be easy for lines to blur between working time and non-working time. Supervisors should respect approved vacation leaves and allow employees to truly be away from their work while on approved vacation. 

For campus employees, vacation accrued during the 2018-19 fiscal year will expire on June 30, 2020. We encourage you to take this time you have available. Or, you can consider donating expiring vacation time to the Shared Leave Pool, which helps your UK colleagues who have exhausted their own accrued leaves. 

Additional Leave Options

Under new federal laws, two options may be available if you are unable to work or telework:  

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act – This act provides up to 12 weeks of leave, if you are unable to work or telework because you are caring for a child under 18 whose school or child care provider has closed due to COVID-19. 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act – This act provides up to two weeks of paid leave. 

More information on these leaves is available from Dr. Eric Monday’s April 1 announcement

The federal legislation that created these leaves exempts health care workers and first responders, whose work we all rely on during this global health pandemic. Therefore, UK HealthCare and UK Police employees do not qualify for these leaves. 

Retirement Savings

Our Certified Financial Planner Todd Macaulay recommends staying the course with your retirement savings, even amid economic uncertainty.  

However, a new federal law allows for more early access to your retirement savings if you meet certain eligibility related to COVID-19. Learn more about these options.  

View a full list of retirement FAQs below.

Learn more about these options


Especially during these challenging and changing times, we're here to support you. 

Take a few minutes out during your day to stop, breathe and learn more about how you can grow and maintain your well-being. If possible, join us and your colleagues online no matter where you’re working.

See our full schedule of presentations

Health Insurance

If you have a UK health insurance plan, testing and treatment for COVID-19 are covered just like any other illness. In addition, UK is covering any out-of-pocket costs, such as co-pays, for getting tested for COVID-19. This means any employee with a UK health insurance plan is not expected to pay any costs associated with being tested for COVID-19. Any subsequent related costs would be covered according to the provisions of the insurance plan, just like any other medical need. 

You also have options for virtual doctor’s appointments. LiveHealth Online is available to our health insurance plan members through Anthem. This service allows you to connect with a medical professional online. More information is available from UK Human Resources

UK HealthCare also now offers online visits. UK TeleCare allows you to conduct your healthcare visit via Zoom videoconferencing.  When video options are not available, telephone visits can be used for some interactions. 


As President Capilouto recently announced, the Kentucky General Assembly recently passed a one-year budget. The state normally operates on a two-year budget cycle. Given the uncertainty and economic fragility of the world we live in today, the legislature decided to move forward with only a one-year, largely continuation budget. 

Like the state, we will face difficult choices in the months ahead. We are focusing on the principles that drive our decisions, specifics about the challenges we face and some of the strategies we will use to confront this problem and prepare for a brighter future.

View President Capilouto's most recent campus message here.

Stay informed of all budget information and announcements here.

Retirement FAQs

What is changing with UK’s matching retirement plan?

UK will now provide a 100% match to your retirement savings. So, you will continue to contribute 5% of your salary, and UK will contribute an equal amount.

Will I still make a 5% mandatory contribution?

Yes, you will continue to make your employee contribution. Only the UK match has changed.

Why is this change happening?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created financial challenges for the University. By temporarily changing the amount the University matches for retirement savings, we can continue to provide a retirement match while also protecting our employees from further cuts, including job losses.

When will this change happen?

The change begins July 1, 2020, and will continue through June 30, 2021.

How long will this change be in place?

This change is temporary for one year, depending upon the financial recovery.

Do I need to take any action for this change to occur?

No, the change will occur automatically beginning July 1 and the funds will continue to be directed to the investments you have currently through TIAA or Fidelity.

Is it possible to still achieve the same retirement savings?

UK's voluntary retirement savings plans provide options for additional retirement savings. If you are in a position to increase your voluntary plan contributions, you can make up some or all of UK’s decreased matching contribution. View more information on enrolling in voluntary retirement savings.

How much can I contribute to a voluntary plan?

The University offers two voluntary plans, voluntary 403(b) and 457(b). The limits for each plan are $19,500 for 2020. If you are age 50 or older, you can save an additional $6,500.

Where can I find additional information?

For other questions, please contact HR Benefits by phone at (859) 257-9519, option 3, toll free at (800) 999-2183 or by email at

Does the retirement match reduction affect all eligible participants, regardless of salary?

Yes. Everyone who participates in any of our matching retirement savings plans will have their employer match reduced from 10% to 5% of their salary.

Low Operational Activity/Administrative No-pay Status FAQs

What does administrative no-pay mean?

Administrative no-pay status is a temporary unpaid leave. Some organizations may also refer to this as a furlough. Employees placed into this leave remain employees of the University and retain some benefits. However, employees are not working during this temporary leave and do not receive pay.  

How long will an administrative no-pay status last?

Each employee will be notified of an intended end date of their administrative no-pay status. The decision to place an employee in the no-pay status is based on how much work is available. Should the work situation change, an employee may be called back to work prior to the anticipated end date. In that event, a supervisor will contact the employee.

Do employees have options to keep getting paid?

Yes. Employees may choose to use available vacation, holiday or bonus day leave or use the new well-being days (deducted from TDL sick leave bank). Employees in an administrative no-pay status will continue to accrue leave time, just as they would if they were in a paid status.

In addition, we have extended the deadline for employees in an administrative no-pay status to convert sick time to additional vacation time. These employees can now convert their sick time until June 30, 2020. Employees must still maintain at least 66 days of sick time in their bank.

Can employees file for unemployment benefits?

We encourage employees placed into an administrative no-pay status to apply for unemployment from the state. The state has certain requirements it uses determine eligibility for unemployment as well as payment amounts.

How does being in administrative no-pay status impact health insurance coverage?

Health insurance coverage will continue through the administrative no-pay status. Employees experiencing a full pay period of administrative no-pay status will have both the employer and employee contribution to health insurance covered for up to 90 calendar days from the beginning of administrative no-pay status.

Can employees continue to use the Employee Education Program or the Family Education Program?

Yes. Employees in an administrative no-pay status still qualify for those programs.  

Should employees on administrative no-pay status participate in benefits open enrollment?

Yes. These employees should make their benefit selections that will take effect on July 1. Benefits open enrollment continues through May 15. More information on open enrollment is available from Human Resources.