Initiating COVID-19 Workforce Readiness Plan April 8, 2020
Message to Staff in Payroll Classification 1500
As we face an unprecedented time of change and uncertainty, we know you may have questions about your role, especially as thousands of clinicians and staff have faced disruption due to postponed or cancelled patient care, as well as changing assignments and workloads.
At the same time, it is urgent that we reorient our operations to fight COVID-19 effectively and be prepared to take care of our patients and one another to the best of our ability.
Because of these factors, we are announcing a series of temporary measures today that will help reduce uncertainty and ensure we are operating as responsibly and effectively as possible in responding to this crisis.
Our priority is to support our frontline caregivers and to ensure all employees have stable income in these uncertain economic times.
Not everyone’s work will be affected, but we believe it is important that all leaders and employees understand what UK HealthCare is doing to support our people and our patients.
UK HEALTHCARE COVID-19 WORKFORCE READINESS PLAN
Under these temporary measures, all employees will remain in full base paid status through the pay period ending April 25. After April 25, workloads will be triaged as follows:
Remain in current position – We anticipate direct care providers to remain in their current positions and continue to provide patient care or support essential operations. No changes to pay or benefits are expected for staff in these positions.
Redeployment – UK HealthCare is doing everything possible to keep employees working and ready for the roles needed during this crisis. One way we are doing this is by redeploying employees to areas of need.
- If an employee is redeployed to another position, the employee will continue to receive their current rate of pay and benefits.
- Shift differentials will be provided to hourly employees where applicable and based on shift worked.
- Appropriate training will be provided to ensure well-prepared teams are in place with the required skills to provide the care needed.
- If after two redeployment offers an employee chooses not to work, the employee will be moved to an administrative no pay status. UK will continue to pay the employer portion of the health benefit premium for up to 90 days or until the employee returns to work.The employee will need to pay their portion of the health benefit premium while in administrative no pay status. Sick time and vacation leave will continue to accrue.
The employee will receive corrective action at the probationary level upon return to work.
The employee can apply for unemployment; however, eligibility decisions are made by the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance.
Redeployment not possible – For employees with no redeployment options available, UK HealthCare wants to continue to offer its support during the COVID-19 crisis.
- After April 25, employees may elect to use accrued vacation, holiday or bonus leave. Sick leave is unable to be used for this purpose.
- When vacation, holiday and bonus leave is exhausted, employees will transition to administrative no pay status and are eligible to apply for unemployment.
- UK will pay both the employer and the employee portion of the health benefits premium for up to 90 days or until the employee returns to work.The employee will not pay a health benefit premium during this time.
- Sick time and vacation leave will continue to accrue.
- Ongoing attempts will be made to find the employee work, even if it is less than regular worked hours.
What to do if your position is affected?
- Contact your manager for information about your position.
- Managers will identify any employees who are eligible for redeployment and share a survey link with them – Request to Redeploy
Other temporary measures:
- Managers may complete a survey to request redeployed employees for various work assignments – Request for Redeployed Worker.
- Any illness, including COVID-19 related, will use sick leave.
- Employees in a WEPP position who are ill during the COVID-19 crisis may use their emergency leave or any bank of previously accrued sick leave.
- During our Code Yellow Standby and eventual Code Yellow, no vacation leave will be approved. All essential personnel shall be available during this time.If employees are unable to take vacation, accrued vacation will be extended over to April 1, 2021, or for non-exempt employees, up to two weeks paid out at the employee’s request.
Vacation pay-out can also occur in the usual November timeframe.
We recognize the temporary measures outlined above will be disruptive. Please understand they are done with an enormous sense of gravity.
UK HealthCare has a unique mission and community responsibility to serve the good of our patients, our peers, our state and our country. We must use the knowledge, skills and abilities of our employees to the greatest extent possible to prepare for and respond to this global pandemic.
We are doing our very best to support and protect you – our greatest asset – and our patients.
I am proud and honored by the courage, dedication and leadership that our teams so naturally demonstrate to patients and each other every day. Even during this frightening and uncertain time, our direct care providers continue to provide a human connection that patients need as they navigate illness and fear.
You are making a difference in peoples’ lives. This is what we have all trained for, and this is our opportunity to brighten an otherwise dark time for many of our patients and community.
I am confident that we will come through this crisis together, with more pride and determination than ever.
Mark F. Newman, MD
Executive VP for Health Affairs
Please consult the Workforce Readiness section of our FAQs for answers to frequently asked questions.