Updated Human Resources policies in response to COVID-19

March 27, 2020

Colleagues:

Following consultation with you and other leaders across the University, I write with an update on our human resources policies as we continue to manage and respond to the impacts of the unprecedented public health crisis on our Harvard community. As you know, two weeks ago we shared a number of enhancements to our human resources policies, including continuing pay for 30 days for those whom there are no alternate assignments or work available due to shifts in the campus population and allowing advance use of up to 14 days of paid sick leave.

At that time, we made a commitment to continue to review and revise our policies to respond to the rapidly evolving impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. In line with that, I want to share the following updates with regards to our core staff and contract workers, as well as our childcare centers.

  • For Harvard employees (core staff including administrative/professional, support staff, and service and trade workers) who are well and available to work, but their duties cannot be performed remotely or because of the shifts in population on campus they no longer have work to perform, we will guarantee their regular pay and benefits through May 28, 2020. This includes Harvard employees providing dining and custodial services. Additionally, we will expand eligibility for this guarantee of pay and benefits to part-time contingent employees who are less than half time (LHT). 
  • For contract employees working in dining, custodial and security roles, the University will provide financial relief in the form of pay and benefits, if they are well and available for work, but displaced from their contract assignments due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and unable to obtain new assignments. Employees of Harvard’s 14 major suppliers of these services are eligible for this support, for work disruptions between March 10 and May 28, 2020. The University is working with these suppliers to ensure its financial support will be used for the direct benefit and financial relief of contract food service workers, custodians and security guards. 
  • For the six independent, non-profit childcare centers that operate on the Harvard campus, the University is providing a financial stabilization package to enable the centers to continue to operate through June 2020, ensuring employment stability for their approximately 180 employees, if COVID-19 related closures remain in place until that time. Under normal conditions, these centers serve 380 families in Boston, Cambridge and Harvard communities. 

For our workforce, who each day are so critical to the success of this institution, this unprecedented public health emergency has created innumerable challenges. The steps I share today are aimed at providing greater certainty for them in these uncertain times with regards to their pay and benefits, and greater stability for them and their families.

You can see more details on these updates to on the Human Resources Coronavirus Workplace Policies webpage. And, I ask that you share these updates with staff within your units and schools. Thank you for your continued partnership and leadership in guiding Harvard through the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sincerely,

Katie Lapp