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New COVID Flex Hours Interim Policy

A message to benefits-eligible employees was sent from VP for Human Resources Elizabeth Zacharias providing information on the COVID Flex Hours interim policy.

Sent on March 5, 2021

Dear Colleague,

University leadership recognizes that the global pandemic continues to pose significant challenges to our health and well-being, and to that of our community. To support you as you navigate the ongoing demands brought about by COVID-19, Stanford is offering COVID Flex Hours, effective March 1 through August 31, 2021*.

This interim policy provides up to 80 hours of paid time to eligible employees, to be used for dependent care, wellness, and self-care issues arising from the impacts of COVID-19. The intention of COVID Flex Hours is to ensure that you can take the time you need to care for yourself and your family during the pandemic.

Stay Up to Date

Editor's Note: The interim policies outlined in this article have been extended since this article was first published. Resource pages linked here are continually updated, so click through to review the most current policies and guidance related to working at Stanford through the pandemic.

Eligibility and Qualifying Uses of COVID Flex Hours

COVID Flex Hours may be used to care for yourself or a family member with COVID-19; to care for a family member who is in quarantine or who is at home because of school/childcare closures due to COVID-19; to quarantine due to personal travel; and to receive the COVID-19 vaccination or for its related side effects. You may also use up to 24 of the 80 hours to address self-care and personal wellness related to the impacts of COVID-19.

For details about eligibility and qualifying uses, please see the COVID Flex Hours policy page.

Using COVID Flex Hours

The use of COVID Flex Hours for non-quarantine or non-illness-related purposes is subject to your manager’s approval, and you should discuss scheduling arrangements with your manager in advance, whenever possible. You can use COVID Flex Hours in short increments, and you do not need to provide verification to use the time. 

COVID Flex Hours provides flexible time for you to address COVID-19 challenges that arise as you continue working during the pandemic. They are not intended as a substitute for using your vacation time. I encourage you to continue to use your accrued vacation to take a break from work, relax and recharge. 

Please work with your manager to determine how and when to use the time available to you.

Report Time in Axess

Please report your time via the new COVID Flex Hours paycode in Axess. For usage related to self-care, timecard entries should include the “COVID Flex Hours-Self-Care” comment in Axess. If you have questions, please contact your school/unit HR Manager.

Thank you for your continued resilience in the face of this pandemic. I hope you will utilize this resource and take the time you need to care for yourself and your family.

With best regards,

Elizabeth Zacharias, Vice President for Human Resources

Benefits & Rewards, Working at Stanford