Identifying Employees as Essential

The University of Maryland’s Emergency Preparedness Plan references the identification of university employees who will be designated as “Essential” during a catastrophic event or major emergency. This is one of the important tasks of the Plan. Essential employees are those who are subject to being required to report to work during a catastrophic and/or weather emergency.

The University has developed a process to identify and track Essential university employees, with the addition of a new field that has been added to the PHR System. This field is labeled “Essential?” and is found on the PHR Appointment Information Screen. Please note that if an employee has multiple appointments, it is possible that they are designated Essential in one unit and Not Essential in another unit based on their job responsibilities. Therefore, each unit will have the ability to determine the correct Essential designation independently.

The PHR Creators have the ability to update this field for employees who hold appointments based on their PHR security access. There are four selections to choose from as follows:

  • Not Applicable – Employees who are not considered essential and are not subject to being required to report to work for major catastrophic events or weather/operational emergencies.
  • Catastrophic – Employees who are subject to being required to report to work to maintain continuity of University services in the event of a major catastrophic event, usually the result of an external force such as natural disaster, pandemic outbreaks, etc., or other catastrophic event designated by the University.
  • Weather/Other – Employees who are subject to being required to report to work because of inclement weather or operational emergencies such as snow removal, flooding, electrical outages, etc.
  • Catastrophic & Weather/Other – Employees who are subject to being required to report to work to maintain continuity of University services in the event of a major catastrophic event AND who are also subject to being required to report to work because of weather or operational emergencies.

This field can be updated by the PHR Creators at any time in response to changes to departmental emergency preparedness planning as directed by the responsible departmental administrator, and as event circumstances change. There is no additional approval routing required, but employees should be notified of changes to their status. In addition, a PHR WOW report will be available by the end of October assist departments with tracking and updating their essential employee lists.

Please share this information with all individuals within your units that should be aware of this new PHR feature. Should you have any further questions regarding the Essential Employee Identifier, please contact the PHR Service Center at (301) 405-7575.

Last updated: April 10, 2013

Last updated: April 10, 2013