News for Employees
Virtual Learning Supports Inclusion Efforts
A variety of online professional development opportunities are available at no cost to UW–Madison employees who wish to foster inclusion in themselves and others. Several online workshops will be offered this spring, including Teaching Inclusively and Equitably (a four-part series), Emotional Intelligence Conversation Cafés, and Bystander Intervention: Stepping in with Care and Confidence. All workshops will invite attendee participation, and training in the virtual learning platform will be provided. Advance registration is required, and instructions on how to join the sessions will be emailed to registrants. For more information, visit go.wisc.edu/6103hn.
TSA Retirement Program Offers Live Webinars
The UW Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) 403(b) Program is a supplemental retirement savings program that allows employees to invest a portion of their income for retirement on either a pre-tax basis, an after-tax basis (Roth), or a combination of both. Participation in the UW TSA Program is voluntary, with employees making the entire contribution; there is no employer match. Live webinars scheduled for April, May, and June will provide information about the TSA Program and other topics related to budgeting, investing, and planning for retirement. A basic introduction to the TSA program is scheduled for Monday, April 20, at 11 a.m. The webinars are free, and registration is required.
IRA and HSA Contribution Deadlines for 2019 Extended
In March, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced special Federal income tax return filing and payment relief in response to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. Because the due date for filing Federal income tax returns has been postponed to July 15, the deadline for making contributions to your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) for 2019 is also extended to July 15, 2020. Similarly, under this relief, you may make contributions to your Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2019 at any time up to July 15, 2020. Contributions to a Wisconsin college savings account must be made by April 15, 2020, to qualify for the 2019 Wisconsin income tax return subtraction.
COVID-19 Information from Human Resources Now Online
UW–Madison employees can find answers to frequently asked questions on a new website prepared by the Office of Human Resources. The website provides information on the impact of COVID-19 on issues such as reporting to work, telecommuting, leave policy, health and well-being, campus buildings and transportation, international employees, and more. With the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to change rapidly, updates and additions to this website are expected. Employees are encouraged to check the site periodically for updates. Employees should also continue to visit the central site for the campus community at covid19.wisc.edu, which provides important information regarding health guidance, campus operations, and more. The new human resources information is available at hr.wisc.edu/covid19. Questions about this information can be directed to one’s supervisor or local human resources contact.
Confidential Mental Health Services Available to Employees and Families
UW–Madison employees and their families are encouraged to take care of their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are experiencing concerns about illness, finances, loved ones, and more. The current situation also requires adjusting to new realities, while physical distancing can make many feel isolated. The Employee Assistance Office (EAO) offers free, confidential counseling on personal or professional concerns to UW–Madison employees, significant others, and family members Monday through Friday during business hours. At this time, appointments for phone or video chats are available the same week they are requested. For 24/7 access to counselors, contact EAO partner LifeMatters. Visit hr.wisc.edu/employee-assistance-office for details.
Find Resources for Supervising Remotely
Supervising Remotely, a new website designed for managers and supervisors, offers a collection of best practices and resources for supervising others who are working remotely. The content addresses issues such as setting clear expectations, communicating regularly, managing workloads, and leading with trust. Recommendations are also provided for sustaining engagement, inclusion and diversity principles while working remotely. The site, developed by the Office of Human Resources, provides links to online professional development resources from UW–Madison and LinkedIn Learning.
COVID-19 Paid Leave Benefit Expanded
UW–Madison is expanding the COVID-19 paid leave benefit to support impacted employees through May 1. This provides additional paid leave if an employee is unable to work due to COVID-19 related issues, including the inability to work remotely. The COVID-19 leave is no longer limited to a certain number of hours.
In addition, any unused vacation carryover balance will not expire this year as it typically would on June 30 (for faculty, Academic Staff, and limited appointments) or December 31 (for University Staff). Instead, vacation carryover balances will remain available for an additional year until June 30, 2021 or December 31, 2021, respectively.
Please see the full revised COVID-19 Pandemic Employee Work Location and Leave Policy for details, and contact your supervisor or your local human resources office with any questions.
How to Enter COVID-19 Leave
Employees who are eligible for COVID-19 leave must enter any COVID-19 leave correctly in order to receive this emergency paid leave. COVID-19 leave can be entered from any location using a computer or mobile device and an internet connection. Go to MyUW and click on the “Time and Absence” module. Use the Timesheet to enter the COVID-19 leave, and be sure to use the correct Time/Absence Code based on your employment type. If you need assistance, contact your local human resources contact or your supervisor. A link to online instructions is provided below.
Resources for Working Remotely
A new website, Organizational Effectiveness at a Distance, is now available to the campus community. The site, developed by the Office of Strategic Consulting, provides a collection of resources to help employees work remotely. It includes information on running effective virtual meetings, supervising staff from afar, and making decisions online, as well as other tips for staying productive and staying well. Explore this collection of resources at strategicconsulting.wisc.edu.
Fees for Employee Parking Suspended
Payroll deductions for parking permits, bus passes, and other transportation-related services are suspended until campus resumes normal operations. The suspension became effective March 23. Individuals who paid in full will receive adjusted refunds for the time campus is partially closed. Please keep your permit and/or bus pass and do not return it to Transportation Services if you will need to use it prior to August 31, 2020. Learn more at transportation.wisc.edu.