ENHANCED BENEFITS FOR FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
This year, Harvard’s many family-friendly and medical leave benefits will be enhanced with increases in paid time off. Modeled after, and in compliance with, the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MAPFML) benefit, Harvard goes beyond the state offering with a more generous private Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) plan.
Beginning January 1, 2021, Harvard’s new PFML benefit is available for employees who require medical care for a condition not covered under short-term disability, who are bonding with a new child, or who are attending to family needs related to military service. Starting July 1, 2021, paid leave to care for eligible family members with a serious medical condition will also be available.
To initiate your PFML benefit, you’ll need to:
talk to your manager and either your local HR contact or Leave of Absence Specialist about your need to take the leave, and
- contact the administrator of the benefit, Lincoln Financial Group, at 844-228-2501 or through MyLincolnPortal.com.
Your paid leave may run concurrently with short-term disability or maternity leaves. Lincoln will coordinate the various programs to make sure you receive the highest level of pay or benefit for which you are eligible.
The details of the paid leave policies differ depending on your employment status at Harvard. Find more about the plan that you are eligible for here:
Administrative and professional staff, nonunion staff, postdoctoral fellows (internal and external working on Harvard research)
Bargaining unit members including ATC, HUCTW, HUPA, HUSPMGU, Local 26, and SEIU (custodian and arboretum)
- Active benefits-eligible faculty and other academic appointee
Leave may also be available to non-benefits-eligible employees.
New parents should note that the new bonding leave may still be available to you if you experienced the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child in 2020.
CULTURE LAB FUNDING INCLUSIVE PROJECTS
If you have ideas about how to make Harvard a more inclusive community, where everyone feels confident that they belong, then the Harvard Culture Lab wants to hear from you.
As part of the University’s mission to establish a culture of inclusive excellence, faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, and academic personnel are invited to apply to the Culture Lab Innovation Fund to pilot your ideas that will bring about positive changes in our community. Applications will open later this month.
This year’s focus is on projects that promote racial justice, mental health, and rebuilding community—or feel free to submit an idea addressing an area of your interest. Proposals should have a direct connection to the Harvard community.
The Culture Lab is part of Harvard’s Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging (ODIB), and you can keep up with news and upcoming events by visiting the regularly updated ODIB news page, signing up for emailed updates, and exploring the many resources on the Learning Hub.
Mind & Body
The turbulence of the past year is starting to settle and make way for clarity. Take a moment to set yourself up for success in the new year.
- As working from home continues into 2021, be sure to keep up with ergonomics and comfort in your home workspace. A comfortable workspace can pay dividends in terms of health and productivity.
- Use myBlue to find a doctor, review benefits, estimate costs, track claims, discover discounts and health tips, and more. Sign up on the Blue Cross Blue Shield website, from the app (App Store or Google Play), or by calling 888-389-7732. Harvard’s BCBS plan also entitles you to exclusive member offers on fitness gear and services from Blue365.
- Plan for the year ahead with the University’s downloadable 2021 holiday calendar.
Learning & Growing
Let’s all take a deep breath and welcome the new year with new ideas and mental frameworks.
- Tackle some career resolutions by tapping into the new selection of professional development courses from the Center for Workplace Development.
- Apply mindfulness in your daily life by embracing uncertainty, mitigating digital overload, and addressing issues of isolation. Register now (HarvardKey required) for a series of 90-minute workshops with author Thomas Hübl starting on January 26.
- Deepen your engagement with issues relating to diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIB) by signing up for DIB Academy (HarvardKey required), a six-session course that explores how power and privilege affect people, policies, procedures, and practices.
Living & Working
The Office of Work/Life can help you keep your commitments to yourself this month and all year long.
- Start the year off right with a class from the Office of Work/Life. Check out the program calendar (HarvardKey required) to register.
- Develop strategies to adapt to and overcome adversity. Register for KGA’s webinar Building Resiliency During Challenging Times, scheduled for noon on January 13.
- Due to COVID-19, caring for older and younger family members has become more complicated. Find answers to your questions on Care@Work’s new online resource center, which features helpful podcasts, webinars, and guides.
Finances & Security
January is a great month to evaluate your financial situation and see what changes are needed.
- Want to bump up contributions to your Tax-Deferred Annuities and 457(b) accounts? In 2021, you can contribute up $19,500 (or $26,000 if you’re age 50 or older). Contact HURC (HarvardKey required) or call 800-527-1398 to make changes.
- Take control of your financial future. Start by registering for a class or one-on-one consultation to better understand retirement income, investing, or other money issues.
- If you or a family member needs an educational loan or would like to save money by refinancing and consolidating an existing one, the Harvard University Employees Credit Union can help.