Furlough Program

Last updated 11:00 am MST, July 1, 2020

Only employees who have time funded by sponsored awards will be subject to the Furlough Program. If you do not charge time to sponsored projects, please visit the Furlough-Based Salary Program page instead.

The required furlough days will be proportionate to the FTE (hours) distributed to sponsored accounts, such that employees who are 100% supported by sponsored awards will have zero furlough days required. Furlough days will also be proportionate to appointment type: academic or fiscal.

The purpose of this framework is to enable proper accounting of grant vs. non-grant requirements in a fair and timely manner while continuing to advance the University in the near and long term.

Download Furlough Calculator (.xlsx)
Use this Excel sheet to determine your furlough time.

Announcement - July 1, 2020:

The Furlough and Furlough-Based Salary Programs have been delayed until Aug. 10. For more information, please view President Robbins' June 30 email.

During this delay period, please do not schedule or take Personal Flex Time or Furlough time.

We recognize that employees have made plans that cannot be changed. In this case, please consider changing Personal Flex Time or Furlough time to vacation, sick, or compensatory time, as applicable. If for some reason, this is not possible, please contact HR-COVID19-Questions@email.arizona.edu.

Please continue to regularly visit this page. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Quick Facts

What Is a Furlough?

A furlough is unpaid time away from work. When you take furlough time, you are not working nor performing job duties. This includes not taking calls nor responding to emails.

The University does not expect that you "make up for lost time" when you are in the office. Employees and supervisors are expected to work together to develop plans to ensure continuity of work and productivity to the extent possible while the program is in place, including redistributing or removing certain duties as needed.

Supervisors may work with Human Resources for assistance in developing plans.

What Is Sponsored Funding?

For the purpose of this guidance, sponsored funding is defined as: Federal, state, or other government or private contracts; grants; awards from non-profits; and cooperative agreements. The term “sponsored” does not include funds generated from indirect costs recovery, royalty sharing, gifts, or state general funds.

For University of Arizona purposes, sponsored funding is in the 3XXXXXX-4XXXXXX account range.

Find Community Financial Resources

The University recognizes the challenges that many of you may face as a result of this program. We have gathered some resources and information that may be of assistance during these difficult times.

On this page, find links for unemployment benefits, food and housing assistance, the employee emergency fund, and other information.

View the Resource Page

Determining Your Furlough and Effect on Pay

Please review the following information related to your gross annualized pay and position to learn the furlough time that you will take and the associated effect on pay. Employees whose annualized pay is less than $44,500 are exempt from the program.

Furlough Time

Your furlough time is determined by gross annualized pay. If you know your gross annualized pay, view the calculator now to see how you are affected.


Download Furlough Calculator (.xlsx)


Coming soon - UAccess Employee calculation tool.

Gross Annualized Pay

Your furlough time is determined by gross annualized pay. Here is how to determine yours.


Gross annualized pay (PDF)

Supervisor Guidance

Supervisors and unit leaders, you play an important role in planning and managing the Furlough Program. Review our guidance page for ideas and information to help you in developing plans.

Visit the Supervisor COVID-19 Guidance Webpage

Scheduling and Recording Furlough Time


Supervisors can offer flexibility based on operational needs and the needs of employees. For assistance with developing plans, supervisors can contact their Human Resources Organizational Consultant.


To document the use of furlough time, enter the number of hours taken on your timesheet in UAccess Employee.

Time Reporting Codes

  • UFP - Furlough time (Positive)
  • UFE - Furlough time (Exception)

If you are eligible to accrue vacation and/or sick time, you will continue to accrue vacation and/or sick leave at regular accrual rates based on FTE.

Frequently Asked Questions - Furlough Program Only

During the Furlough Program, Human Resources, Payroll, and RII will capture who is charging time to sponsored funding awards. Periodically, as researchers charge more hours to sponsored funds (and new sponsored projects commence with additional researchers), the projection of required furlough days will be calculated, communicated, and tracked so that researchers can balance their furlough requirements as the year progresses.

Employees who begin on the Furlough Program will continue participating in the Furlough Program, regardless of future funding changes. They will not move to the Furlough-Based Salary Program. The number of required furlough days will be reassessed at that time.

Employees who begin doing work on sponsored accounts later in the year will transition to the Furlough Program. The prior salary reduction will be considered when calculating the number of furlough days expected for the remainder of the year.

Yes. Faculty can increase the proportion of salary paid on a grant as long as the increased effort is worked on the research project. They cannot receive a salary increase, unless the increase was already scheduled and is in accordance with University policy requirements. The required furlough days will be progressively reduced depending on the percentage of sponsored funding.

Please contact your business office to determine these percentages. Beginning July 6, UAccess Employee will provide your furlough balance taking into account any percentage of funding by sponsored awards.

T32 Trainees, post-doctoral fellows, and contract workers are not University of Arizona employees and are excluded from the Furlough Program. Postdoctoral Research Associates hired under UHAP Chapter 12, undergraduate, and graduate students are also excluded from the Furlough Program.

We are committed to ensuring that we complete our sponsored research, which is why we have exempted the proportional efforts on sponsored awards. Sponsoring agencies expect institutions to have policies in place regarding the payment of salary and wages for employees that reflect no more than the percentage of time actually devoted to the project. The Arizona Board of Regents / State of Arizona has the legal authority to impose furloughs on employees. Funding agencies do not have a basis to object to such a policy as long as the policy does not violate the terms and conditions of the grant/contract and all funds remain available for applicable grant/contract activities.

No, these individuals are not exempt. They will participate in the Furlough-Based Salary Program. However, if any portion of their salary is funded by sponsored projects, they would participate in the Furlough Program.

Because faculty who receive sponsored projects funding will participate in the Furlough Program rather than the Furlough-Based Salary Program, there will be no effect on the NIH cap. Total compensation remains the same, and the faculty member must take their furlough time as calculated based on the percentage of effort (hours) charged to sponsored projects awards, not on the percentage of salary paid by the award(s). UArizona will continue to pay the cost share for amounts above the salary cap.

No. If your sponsored project agreement has a required cost share amount, work with your program officer on options to cover the cost sharing commitment in light of the University of Arizona’s furlough policy. Please also refer to the earlier question on treatment of salary above the NIH cap. On a few occasions, a modified furlough plan may have been permitted, but only when necessary to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and avoid additional costs to the university. Contact the Director, Postaward Services in Sponsored Projects and Contracting Services with additional questions.