Occasionally, adverse weather or other emergencies may lead the university to delay or close operations. In the event this occurs, employees should be aware of their status and responsibilities during such an event. We address some common questions related to university delays/closures below.
1. How will I know if the university is on a delay or closed?
The UK website, local news and radio will carry news of a closure or delay. To receive automated texts or emails, you may sign up for UK Alert notifications. UK Alert allows you to choose your preferred methods of contact.
2. What is Plan B?
Normal operations (everyone coming into work on their scheduled time) is Plan A. Plan B is instituted in an emergency and requires certain designated staff (UK HealthCare, Facilitates Management, Auxiliary Services, UK Police, etc.) to report to work on-site. Other staff may perform their functions remotely during the emergency and are considered designated to work remotely. A supervisor may determine it is not possible for certain staff to work either on-site or remotely during Plan B; these staff are considered non-designated. Plan B is outlined in Human Resources Policy and Procedure (HRP&P) #71, University Emergencies.
[Note: Designated employees are required to come to work on a normal schedule regardless of any delays or closures.] If you are unsure if you are a designated employee, see below for details or contact your supervisor.
3. Are UK HealthCare clinical employees (non-hospital) required to report to work on a normal schedule during delays or closures?
UK HealthCare facilities operate on a normal schedule during university delays or closures. As a result, employees in these areas are considered designated and should report to work at their regular start time.
Employees in health care colleges have been classified as designated, designated via remote access or non-designated. Employees should check with supervisors if they have any questions about their status. Employees in clinical departments of the College of Medicine on the UK HealthCare payroll (1500 personnel area) will not receive equivalent time off (at a future date) for hours worked during an official university closing or delay.
For details regarding UK HealthCare policy regarding Plan B staffing for University Emergencies, as of June 15, 2022, click here.
4. How do I know if I am a designated employee?
You should be notified of your status by your supervisor. In general, designated employees include but are not necessarily limited to:
- All UK HealthCare employees (payroll area 1500), which includes all those working in hospitals, clinics, clinical departments of the College of Medicine and administrative units (except as indicated by the employee’s supervisor). View the UK HealthCare policy on Plan B staffing during university emergencies here (as of June 15, 2022).
- All Facilities Management (Medical Center and campus) employees.
- Food Service and Environmental Service employees working in UK HealthCare and student facilities.
- Information Technology employees such as telephone operators, data center operations staff and designated network specialists.
Employees designated to work remotely may include but are not limited to individuals with a remote or hybrid work location, those who are capable of intermittent remote work and/or employees in positions with functions that can be performed remotely. If you have questions, please check with your supervisor to confirm your status.
5. Will work done by designated employees during periods of closures or cancellations count as "comp time?"
Designated employees reporting to on-site work in non-UK HealthCare areas during Plan B events will receive their regular rate of pay and receive an equivalent amount of time off with pay (to be taken within six weeks). Employees designated via remote access receive their regular rate of pay during a Plan B event but will not receive an equivalent amount of time off with pay to be taken later.
UK HealthCare employees' attendance during Plan B events will be counted as normal time with no equivalent time off with pay. View the UK HealthCare policy on Plan B staffing during university emergencies here (as of June 15, 2022).
6. How should regular, non-designated employees indicate delay or closure time on their timesheets?
Non-designated employees should not report to work during the delay or closure. Indicate the appropriate period of time on your timesheet with a 7407 Emergency Closing absence/attendance code. For example, if the university operates on a two-hour delay and you are a regular employee whose normal start time is 8 a.m., indicate the time between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. as a 7407 Emergency Closing code. You will be paid for this time. Non-regular employees are only paid for actual hours worked and will not be paid for the Emergency Closing time if they did not work. Please check with your supervisor regarding specific use of the Emergency Closing time code for your situation.
7. How do weather- or emergency-related delays/closings affect employees who work remotely?
The purpose of emergency closing is to limit the number of people on the university’s campus in order to provide the safest environment possible in the emergency condition. Employees who work remotely, either in a hybrid or remote work arrangement, are able to continue their work during these circumstances. While supervisors are responsible for determining the employee’s Plan B status, generally employees who can work remotely will continue to do so.
Note: In some circumstances, supervisors may determine that an employee working remotely cannot perform their work as it is dependent upon other employees or departments to complete work. This situation would fall under the Emergency Closing hours guideline (employee would not work until university re-opening) and receive Emergency Closing compensatory time or pay for hours of emergency closure.
8. What if an employee loses power at their remote or hybrid work location?
Utility outages local to the employee who is working remotely are not a reason to use emergency closing leave. Instead, supervisors should discuss with employees what work they can do during the (hopefully short) period of utility outage, how to flex the schedule later in the work week and availability of applicable leave, etc. If solutions are not sufficient for the period of the outage, the supervisor should contact HR Employee Relations.
9. What happens if a designated employee doesn't report to work on time during a Plan B closure or delay?
Per HR Policy & Procedure #71, designated employees who are required to work during a period of emergency, but who do not report to work as scheduled, may be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment. NOTE: If an employee is already scheduled to be off work (vacation leave, temporary disability leave, funeral leave, etc.), the employee does not get additional emergency closing leave. The time should remain as vacation leave, temporary disability leave, etc.
10. What happens if a non-designated employee is unable to report to work by the delayed opening?
In the event a non-designated employee is unable to report to work by the delayed opening, the employee must first contact their supervisor. Non-designated employees who are unable to report to work at the delayed university opening time may take the additional time away from work as vacation leave with supervisor approval.
11. Do non-designated employees (non-UK HealthCare) working non-standard schedules receive the same emergency closing leave time for delayed openings as employees who work 8 a.m. to 4:30 (or 5) p.m.?
We strongly encourage employees working non-standard schedules to check with their supervisors on department practices regarding scheduling in the event of an opening delay. Below, we have listed a few examples of managing delayed openings for employees who reported to work at communicated, delayed start time (e.g., a two-hour delay would mean a 10 a.m. communicated, delayed start time):
Scheduled start time is earlier than 8 a.m. – will receive the given number of hours of emergency closing pay and will need to use accrued, unused vacation or holiday leave to cover any missing time; can forgo the missing hours with no corrective action; or work with their supervisor to determine if they can “make up” the missing time during the same work week.
Example: Employee’s scheduled start time is 7:30 a.m. and reports to work at communicated, delayed start time of 10 a.m. Employee would use 2 hours of emergency closing time and 30 minutes of vacation leave.
The scheduled start time is after 8 a.m. but prior to the delayed start time – will receive emergency closing pay for the time period between their scheduled start time and the communicated delayed start time.
Example: Employee’s scheduled start time is 8:30 a.m. and reports to work at communicated, delayed start time of 10 a.m. Employee would use 1.5 hours of emergency closing time.
Tips for Supervisors
These tips are a guide for supervisors to assist them in determining whether employees should be designated to work either on site or remotely during a university emergency. Supervisors should communicate with their next-level managers to ensure employee designations align with the operational needs of their area. If there are potential situations in which some or all of your staff may be assigned as designated in the future, discuss them with each employee individually and as a group. Communication of expectations prior to emergency events is important.
We have an important event planned. Should everyone working the event be designated?
In many cases, university events will be canceled during a university emergency. If it is determined by your leadership and university safety officials that an event will continue as scheduled, staff can be designated for the event.
We have a critical deadline during the emergency. Can staff be designated so we can meet the deadline?
Deadlines internal to the university are often extended due to the emergency, though some, such as payroll entry, may require some employees to be designated to meet the deadline. If deadlines are not able to be extended, then employees may be designated to work to meet the deadline.
If employees can work remotely, should they be assigned designated to work remotely status?
The purpose of emergency closing is to limit the number of people on the university’s campus in order to provide the safest environment possible in the emergency condition. Employees who work remotely, either in a hybrid or remote work arrangement, are able to continue their work during these circumstances. While supervisors are responsible for determining the employee’s Plan B status, generally employees who work remotely will continue to work.
If the employee can continue important work during the emergency from a remote location, establishing that employee as designated working remotely likely makes sense. However, the ability to complete work remotely should not be the only consideration when deciding whether to designate an employee. Please note again that this status means the employee is available and actively working the duration of their shift. This is different from the occasional checking of email, for example.
Please see also the official university statement regarding Plan B processes by clicking here.
For more details on University Emergency (Plan B) policy (HR Policy & Procedure 71.0), click here. If you have questions, please contact Employee Relations at (859) 257-8758.