Information for staff

Whether you have continued to work on campus as a critical worker, you are returning to campus, or are working remotely, we are committed to supporting you and our top priority is your health and safety.

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On

Work on campus

We’re working to government guidelines and with our own risk assessments to facilitate the safe delivery of on campus activities, which cannot be carried out remotely. If you currently can work from home please do so. Activities on campus are restricted to those which cannot be carried out remotely, including but not limited to teaching activity for specific courses, research activity which requires access to specialist facilities and critical support roles required for the safe operation of our campus.

Research

Our research facilities remain open for research and innovation activities that cannot be carried out remotely. Staff and research students who need access to laboratories or other facilities to undertake research and innovation related activity, and those that provide essential support for this activity, can continue to travel to campus to undertake this work. Please continue to follow the guidance from your department on accessing research facilities at the University.

In light of the government announcement regarding a return to a national lockdown the AMRC Training Centre has moved all of its teaching online.

Coronavirus advice pages: latest information from the AMRC

Teaching

In line with government guidance, the majority of courses will be delivered online until at least 17 May 2021. Some courses with a practical or practice-based element resumed face-to-face teaching from 8 March. We will regularly review our position and will notify you of any planned changes to the delivery of teaching with as much notice as possible. 

Other areas of work

Unless it has been deemed as essential on-campus work, other colleagues, including professional services staff, will need to continue to work remotely. This will help us to reduce the numbers of people on campus.

Travelling to campus

If you are returning to campus, you will probably be planning your travel options. To help inform your travel decisions, please review the relevant return to campus risk assessments.

Personal transport should be used over public transport where possible and, for those of you who are in a position to do so, we encourage you to walk or cycle in. If you do need to use public transport, remember to take advantage of our discounted travel passes

Cycle to work scheme

Our cycle to work scheme means you can save up to 42 per cent on the cost of a bike and cycling safety accessories. The scheme is open from now until 30 June 2021, with a maximum limit of £2,500 to be repaid interest free over a period of 12 months. You can find out more and apply through The Deal - find cycle to work in the benefits and discounts menu.

We also have a number of electric bikes available for hire in a new try-before-you-buy initiative. You can hire an electric bike for two months at a time free of charge, but we do ask users to put down a security deposit of £150. This will be refunded at the end of the two months, providing the bike is returned in working order. Electric bikes are available to purchase via the cycle to work scheme.

If you are cycling to campus, we have more than 1,400 cycle spaces available

Car parking and permits

Parking will continue to be free of charge for staff and students in early 2021 and we will monitor this arrangement as the year progresses. We will continue to operate a permit system to ensure the car parks are being used by those on University business. Those already with a permit should display this on their vehicle when visiting campus. Permit expiry dates will be extended to September 2021. For more information visit Parking Services.

University Library

Access to the Information Commons and Western Bank Library is available in bookable slots. For further details and other updates, including information for researchers and for staff who teach, visit the University Library information page.


Safety on campus

For those already back working on campus, we have carried out comprehensive risk assessments and have strict hygiene and social distancing measures in place. If you are working on campus, remember that wearing a face covering, washing your hands and keeping a safe distance are the most effective actions you can take to stay safe.

If you are due to return to campus, you will receive detailed instructions from your department about the safety precautions required for your area of work and on campus. You will also be asked to complete a mandatory return to campus training course.

Don’t forget to download the free NHS Covid-19 app and scan the QR code when visiting pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, gyms and libraries across campus, when open.

Visit our covid dashboard for daily reported Covid-19 cases for staff and students.

Suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19

If you, a direct report, or one of your students, is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or has a confirmed case of Covid-19, please refer to our managing a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 protocol. This protocol provides individuals, line managers and faculties/departments with step-by-step instructions. Please note that guidance is provided for both for staff who are working remotely and those who are working on campus.

The most important actions are outlined below:

  • Individuals: self-isolate, book a test, inform the University
  • Line managers: for confirmed staff cases on campus, you must complete the Staff Reporting Form
  • Departments: if a student tells you they are self-isolating, please remind them that they must complete the Student Reporting Form
Our Covid-19 rules, restrictions and guidance

To keep our community safe, we all have a role to play. It is our social responsibility to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

For further information, visit Safety: rules, restrictions and guidance

You may also find it helpful to refer to our protocol for removing yourself from serious and imminent danger, and your community, your responsibility, which sets out the expected behaviours to help us all navigate our responsibility to ensure a safe, inclusive and healthy environment.

When to intervene if you think someone is not following the safety guidance

If you are concerned that anyone in our community is not observing the health and safety measures we have in place, there is no expectation that you should intervene. However, if you feel comfortable to do so and want to say something, you can remind them of our rules, restrictions and guidance as above. You could also raise any concerns with your line manager. We absolutely do not want staff to put themselves in a confrontational situation so please do proceed with sensitivity, empathy and caution.

Student compliance with safety rules

All students are expected to wear a face covering, unless exempt, and maintain social distancing rules at all times whilst at the University. We know that the majority of our students are following our Covid-19 safety rules but if you have any concerns, please let us know:

Raise a concern about a breach of Covid-19 rulesYou can also find the form on our safety and support page. We will investigate what you tell us, and, where appropriate, take necessary action against any misconduct. 

Ventilation in teaching spaces

In the colder months, for pool teaching rooms, we have made every effort to accommodate scheduled on-campus teaching in mechanically ventilated rooms for temperature and comfort reasons. If, however, you are continuing to work in a naturally ventilated room, it is vital that you open windows to aid airflow and ensure the best possible ventilation. Both mechanical and natural ventilation methods mitigate against the spread of Covid-19. For further details, refer to our decisions and actions to help keep you safe.

When to wear face coverings

All staff and students are required to wear face coverings in teaching spaces at all times, unless exempt.

In language classes, or in classes where students or staff rely on facial signals for communication, clear visors should be worn.

Staff and students must also wear face coverings in meeting rooms, when moving around buildings, and in other indoor areas around campus even when 2 metre distancing can be maintained. This will help reduce the transmission risk associated with repeatedly putting on and removing your face covering.  

In hospitality venues it is a legal requirement to wear a face covering when you’re not eating or drinking – for example when walking to your table or the toilet.

It is also a legal requirement to wear a face covering on public transport, in shops, supermarkets, and in other indoor spaces, such as the communal areas of student accommodation, both on and off campus.

We appreciate there might be local considerations and any specific requirements will be communicated by departments.

Testing for staff 

All staff working on campus, and all students, are eligible to book a test at our Covid-19 Testing Centre, and we recommend that everyone who attends campus uses the facility. Test slots should be scheduled within the hours you are on campus to avoid unnecessary travel. Repeat tests should be at least three days apart. This test is only if you are not showing any Covid-19 symptoms. If you develop symptoms, self-isolate, book an NHS test and inform the University.

In addition, we have received confirmation from the Office for Students that staff and students are now able to order free packs of rapid lateral flow tests via the government coronavirus web pages to use at home. These can be used in combination with our test centre to meet the expectation of two tests per week for students, and for staff where needed. It is recommended that wherever possible staff and students should undertake three supervised tests at our testing centre before transitioning to home testing to ensure they are confident in conducting the test. Visit the testing section of these web pages for further information.

Guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable

The government advises that people who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work, and should shield. You should work from home if possible, but if there are limitations on what you can do from home, speak to your line manager in the first instance. Staff will continue to receive full pay during the time they are away from the University.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, and have received a vaccination against Covid-19, you should still continue to shield, in line with NHS guidance. 

For colleagues at increased risk from Covid-19

Please be assured that we are undertaking equality impact assessments to identify and help mitigate the impacts of returning to campus for different groups of staff. In their risk assessments and return to campus plans, departments are taking into account risk factors for Covid-19 including age, gender, ethnicity and existing health conditions. Any extra precautions are provided in the detailed instructions people returning to campus receive from their departments.

If you are at increased risk from Covid-19 and you feel that more can be done to support you, please speak with your manager or the management level above if they have been making the return to campus plans. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, you may also speak with your trade union, your faculty director of equality, diversity and inclusion, the Black, Asian and Other Minority Ethnic (BAME) Staff Network, the health & Safety team, the equality, diversity and inclusion team in HR or your faculty HR team. However you raise the issue, HR will work with you and your department to help find a solution.


Learning and teaching

Visit the learning and teaching guidance section of our shared drive for the latest guidance documents.

Information for students

For information for students including teaching, Library access and services, autumn term exams, extenuating circumstances, study abroad and leave of absence, visit the learning and teaching section of these web pages.

Support

Hybrid teaching guidance with key considerations and advice is available from Elevate.

Digital learning support is available from APSE.

Information for staff who teach is available from the digital library.

A comprehensive package of support and guidance to help your planning and practice for learning and teaching for the academic year 2020-21 is available from Elevate.


Research

Visit the research, fieldwork and travel guidance section of our shared drive for the latest guidance documents.

Support for researchers and guidance from research funders can be found on our Research Services web pages.


Support and wellbeing

Flexible working

The Vice-Chancellor and University Executive Board are committed to doing everything they can to help ease the pressure that they know so many colleagues are feeling. They are working with departments to identify core priorities for colleagues and to help balance workloads.

During this difficult time it is really important that we focus on our key priorities. We must be as flexible as possible and we must acknowledge that other activity, projects and workload may need to be delayed, rearranged or simply stop as we seek to deliver those priorities and balance everything else in our lives.

To support this approach, you might like to use this practical guide to working flexibly. It is designed to help you build flexibility into your working day, balance work and home life, and give you more time to look after your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those you care for, whilst ensuring we are able to deliver on our core priorities.

Remote working

If you are working from home, visit our remote working web pages where you can find information about working safely and securely, email signature templates and more.

If working from home is having a detrimental effect on your wellbeing, you can also speak to your line manager about using the dedicated office space at 3 Solly Street (Velocity Building) to offer some respite away from home for part of the working week.

We also encourage managers and colleagues to use our working from home stress risk assessment.

Remember that you may be able to make a claim for tax relief on some expenses of working from home. Visit the GOV.UK web pages on claiming tax relief for further details. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended to the end of March 2021. Some staff were already on furlough leave and are likely to remain so for a further period following the announcement. Some staff, who were previously furloughed, and had returned to work, may be eligible to be furloughed again dependent on the work that they do and the extent to which it has been impacted by the second national lockdown. We will be contacting affected staff to update them and advise them of any specific action they need to take. In the meantime please talk to your manager if you have any questions about the furlough scheme.

Annual leave

During these challenging times, whether you are working remotely or on campus, it is really important that you look after your wellbeing by continuing to book annual leave when you wish to take time off. Please do this in the normal way via myJob for approval by your line manager.

For the leave year 2020-21 we have increased the maximum additional annual leave that can be bought to 20 days.

Wellbeing services and guidance

We understand that this is a challenging time, whether you are working remotely or on campus.

If you are struggling please do talk to your manager or contact the staff helpline and counselling service.

A range of services, support and guidance are available on our wellbeing pages, including:

Staff networks

We have a number of staff networks to support key groups of people in aspects of their work and personal lives. Our networks continue to operate during this challenging time and are adapting to the new and ongoing changes to provide you with a safe and confidential space.


Covid-19 guidance and information

Visit our Covid-19 Guidance & Information shared drive for all the latest guidance documents including risk assessments, guidance for managers, and Covid-19 frequently asked questions.

 

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