COVID-19 Support for Academics

Leave Policies 

More information about these policies, including extensive FAQs, is available on the Academic Personnel website.

UC Expanded Paid Administrative Leave (EPAL)

UC’s Expanded Paid Administrative Leave provides academic appointees with 128 hours of paid administrative leave for use when unable to work or telework because of: 

  1. Appointee’s own COVID-19 related illness or that of a family member

  2. Appointee directed not to come to worksite for COVID-19 related reasons and/or worksite has COVID-19 related remote work program or is under shelter in place order and it is not operationally feasible for employee to work remotely 

  3. COVID-19 related school or daycare closure requires appointee to be at home with child/dependent and it is not operationally feasible for appointee to work remotely or in conjunction with childcare commitment 

Can be taken intermittently, recorded in hours, and must be used no later than June 30, 2021. 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)

Under the Department of Labor’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act, academic appointees are eligible to receive 80 hours of paid sick leave if unable to work or telework because of: 

  1. Quarantine or isolation order 

  2. Told by health care provider to self-quarantine 

  3. Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking diagnosis 

  4. Caring for individual subject to quarantine/isolation order or who was told by health care provider to self-quarantine 

  5. Caring for child whose school/place of care is closed or child care provider unavailable b/c of COVID19 

  6. Other substantially similar condition specified by HHS Secretary

Must be taken in a two-week block, no later than December 31, 2020.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Expanded Family & Medical Leave (EFML)

The Department of Labor’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act expands the use of family and medical leave to include situations where child care is unavailable. Academic appointees who have been on payroll for at least 30 calendar days are now eligible to take up to 12 work weeks of family and medical leave if unable to work or telework because of: 

  1. Caring for child whose school/place of care is closed or child care provider unavailable b/c of COVID-19 (same as reason #5 under EPSL). 

Must be taken in blocks of at least two weeks, no later than December 31, 2020. 

First two weeks of EFML are unpaid unless appointee elects to use other available paid leave (e.g., Emergency Paid Sick Leave). Therefore, EFML provides up to 10 workweeks of paid leave. Any prior use of Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitlement in 2020 reduces appointee’s entitlement under EFML. Any use of EFML also reduces FMLA entitlement in 2020 assuming appointee is eligible for FMLA. 

Leaves and Workload Modifications for Ladder-Rank Faculty

Ladder-rank faculty can use leave or arrange for temporary workload modifications for caregiving purposes. Learn more


Academic Accommodations (for ladder-rank faculty)

Campus reviewers in the future will understand that the COVID-19 pandemic had a prolonged disruptive impact on research and teaching, and will interpret records of review periods including the pandemic accordingly. Make sure that you discuss the consequences of the pandemic on your record in your self-evaluative statements.

One-time Offset in Merit Review

For ladder-rank faculty with clear evidence of significant loss of productivity due to COVID-19 (including the loss of childcare or other changes in family/personal obligations), such that they cannot earn a full-step advance, a half-step offset will be provided as a one-time measure so they receive a full-step advance or the equivalent thereof. Learn more

COVID-19 “Stop the Clock"

Ladder-rank faculty can request a one-semester or one-year extension of the tenure clock due to COVID-19 related disruptions including the loss of childcare or other changes in family/personal obligations. Learn more


Dependent Care Needs

New!: Berkeley CareBubbles

Berkeley CareBubbles is a parent-to-parent resource to help UC Berkeley community members meet their child care needs during the Covid-19 pandemic. Find other Cal families looking to trade childcare, share tutors, create bubbles, and more. Visit for more information.

New!: Rec Sports Educational Enrichment & Out-of-School Time Programs

The Rec Sports Department has developed three unique youth program offerings for the children of UC Berkeley faculty and staff members. These engaging programs meet and adhere to City of Berkeley guidelines for camps and recreational programs, California Department of Public Health guidelines for day camps, guidelines of the American Camp Association, National Afterschool Association, USA Gymnastics, and USA Skateboarding. Learn more

Be Well at Work Resources

University Health Services Be Well at Work has a number of resources, including written materials and support groups for addressing work/life issues during Covid-19.

Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports

  • Help and discounts for finding nannies, child care centers, tutors, etc., as well as information and resources (Please note that not all represented employees are eligible for this UCOP-sponsored program. Consult with your union representative for more information).
  • Bright Horizons Family Resources for Life at Home.

Expanded program and hours available!: Bright Horizons Back-Up Care program

Bright Horizons provides all benefits-eligible academic employees back-up care when their regular child or adult/elder care is unavailable. Eligbile employees can use up to 120 hours of back up care through June 30, 2021. Learn more

Berkeley Parents Network

Berkeley Parents Network is a site for Bay Area parents to seek advice, exchange information, and make parent connections.

Early Childhood Education Program (ECEP)

UC Berkeley's ECEP is working under various new protocols and procedures to comply with health and safety guidelines. Due to this, class sizes have been significantly reduced and have resulted in less availability of care spaces for families.

ECEP’s 2020-21 school year will commence with limited enrollment based upon the enrollment priorities established by the University.

They will continue to accept applications from new families for their waiting list, however at this time they will not be able to provide care for any new families.