HR & Payroll News

Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) September 2021 Update

The Commonwealth of Virginia reactivated Public Health Emergency Leave (PHEL) effective September 1, 2021. Eligible employees may use PHEL to:

  • Self-isolate due to their positive test results for COVID-19 (if symptomatic); and/or
  • Provide care to an immediate family member that is self-isolating due to a positive test result for COVID-19.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic may telework for the isolation period (per CDC’s guidance) provided their position duties are suitable for telework.


PHEL Balance

  • Employees who did not use PHEL during the 2021 leave year may use up to 80* hours of PHEL for the reasons stated above.
  • Employees who used PHEL during the 2021 leave year may use the remaining balance of PHEL for the reasons stated above.
  • Employees who exhausted their 2021 PHEL balance during the current leave year are not eligible to use PHEL.

*Leave is prorated for benefited part-time employees and non-benefited part-time employees.


Requesting PHEL

Eligible employees must:

  1. Contact the HR Benefits Liaison to request PHEL; and
  2. Upload positive COVID-19 test results to the Benefits Secure File Share Dynamic Form.

The HR Benefits Liaison will review the test results, check the employee’s PHEL balance and notify the employee if the leave is authorized as PHEL. If the leave is authorized as PHEL, the employee must submit a paper timesheet to by the end of the pay period. Please note that the HR Benefits Liaison will only confirm PHEL balances for employees who request PHEL and submit positive COVID-19 test results.

Please review the PHEL Summary for additional information.  If you have questions after reading the PHEL Summary, please contact the HR Benefits Liaison at