Back-to-School Leave Options for Parents and Caregivers

The University of Iowa understands the added stress and uncertainty for parents and caregivers of school-aged children adapting to COVID-19-related school disruptions and closures. During this time, we want to remind employees of new and existing leave options.

COVID-19 Leave Options

Paid leave options available for parents to care for children during school closures, virtual learning, and illness related to the COVID-19 pandemic include:

  • Emergency paid sick leave: Up to 80 hours (prorated for part-time employees)
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) paid leave: Up to 10 weeks
  • Board of Regents paid sick leave: Up to 80 hours (prorated for part-time employees)
  • Family caregiving leave: Through exhaustion of sick leave
  • Vacation
  • Expansion of catastrophic leave: No cap on donation hours that can be received

Note: Some leaves may not apply for UI Health Care employees.

Please see COVID-19 leave scenarios for additional information and talk with your HR representative or supervisor regarding your options.

New: Expansion of Catastrophic Leave

New changes to the Catastrophic Leave Program provide additional support to employee parents of children ages 18 or under who are impacted by:

  • COVID-19-related school or child care closures
  • Hybrid or virtual learning, as required by school district
  • Hybrid or virtual learning, as opted by employee
  • Medical need to keep child(ren) at home from school or childcare: Medical needs may include having a child or other household member who is at high risk for severe illness according to CDC guidelines, or the need to quarantine if identified by public health as a contact to COVID-19.

See the catastrophic leave page for more information.

Updated: Just-in-Time Child Care Resources

Our local child care landscape is constantly evolving. We will regularly update the just-in-time child care page with information about:

  • Child care referral resources
  • Tutoring resources
  • Volunteer child care resources
  • Back-up or occasional child care resources

Workplace Flexibility

Flexible work arrangements may provide the flexibility necessary for employees to balance demands of work and home this school year. Types of flexible work arrangements supported by the University of Iowa include:

  • Remote work
  • Flex time
  • Compressed work weeks
  • Job shares
  • Reduced hours

Learn what types of workplace flexibility may be compatible with your work situation.