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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Latest update

We are reviewing our Covid-related policies and procedures in light of the new lifting of lockdown restrictions. This review takes into account the latest guidance from the Department of Education and central government alongside advice from our own academic experts and local partners, including the local Public Health Team. As we have done throughout the pandemic we will continue to review our guidance and keep staff and students informed of any changes.

Your continued safety in our learning environment is our primary concern. While we continue our review, and begin to make changes on-campus, we ask that you:

  • continue to maintain two-metre social distancing when visiting the campus
  • wear a face covering when working or interacting with people at less than two metres distance from you
  • do not come onto or remain on campus if you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. Anyone experiencing symptoms must self-isolate, book a test, and inform the University as soon as possible.

Work on campus

We’re working to government guidelines and with our own risk assessments to facilitate the safe delivery of on campus activities where required. Overall, individuals should continue to work from home if they can, and limit the amount of work that is done on the campus. However, as Government restrictions ease, we may be able to facilitate more people returning to work on campus where it is practical and beneficial to do so.

Research

Departments are responsible for identifying which research facilities in Covid secure buildings are able to open and operate safely. Many of these have already been opened, and are in use.

Teaching

For the latest teaching updates, visit: www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus/teaching

Enabling more people to work on campus

As we welcome more students back to Sheffield, we will gradually be enabling more people to return to their normal work locations on campus in line with government guidance and our own risk assessments. 

If you feel that you would work more productively back on campus or are struggling to work at home, you can speak to your manager to discuss what options are available for spending some time working on campus. Requests will be carefully considered to manage social distancing requirements.

It’s quite natural to feel a combination of both excitement and nervousness about the prospect of returning to your normal work location. If you have any concerns or anxieties at all about this transition, please talk with your line manager. 

If you won’t be returning soon, we encourage you to use the summer period to re-familiarise yourself with the campus and get used to the idea of returning in line with our longer term plans around hybrid working in a timeframe that works for your department, role and you.

You could take some first steps by speaking to people you know who’ve been working on campus throughout the pandemic, or by simply taking a walk across campus. You might even want to organise an outdoor meeting on campus with one or two colleagues following our guidance on the use of outdoor spaces at the University. If you feel it would be helpful, you can also talk to your manager about an organised visit to your work location in order to familiarise yourself with the changed working environment and the safety precautions in place.

Travelling to campus

If you are returning to spend some time working on campus, you will need to plan your travel to and from site. This is a great time to consider how you want to commute and to adopt new, sustainable behaviours if you can. 

We encourage you to walk or cycle to campus if possible. This is both recommended in the Government’s safer travel guidance and supports our vision for sustainability at the University. 

However, we do understand that this is not always possible for a number of reasons. If you are using public transport or travelling to campus by car (including car sharing), please follow the Government’s safer travel guidance. If you’re using public transport, remember to take advantage of our discounted travel passes.

Download our sustainable travel app

Staff and students are encouraged to take on the Step Up Sheffield challenge to use active and public transport methods. You can earn points which are redeemable at a range of University outlets, on the high street and can be donated to charity. 

Since the app’s launch, our staff and students have saved 293,414 kg of CO2 and burnt 57,270,582 calories! A new approach to commuting can be good for health, wellbeing and the environment.

To get involved:

  • Download the BetterPoints app from the App Store or Google Play store
  • Tap Join Now in the app and register with your University email address
  • You will automatically be eligible to join the Step Up Challenge. There will be a welcome message about this on your timeline in the app
  • Start tracking your active and sustainable journeys using your app

Cycling to campus

If you’re considering active transport methods why not look into cycling to work? We have over 1,400 cycle parking spaces at the University. View map and find further information about travelling by bicycle.

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 – search for ‘cycle to work’ in the benefits and discounts menu.

We also have a number of electric bikes available for hire in a 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 interested in hiring an electric bike, complete this Google form.

Car parking

If you have agreed with your department to spend some time working on campus and will be travelling to campus by car, please remember that you need to have a permit in order to park in our University car parks.

If you don't have a permit already you need to register online and apply at https://permit.shef.ac.uk (please note that if accessing off campus you will need to connect to the VPN first).

Parking on campus remains free of charge. Charging will be reinstated from September 2021 and further details will be shared in due course.

There are a number of car park closures around campus due a number of planned projects and emergency maintenance works. Staff and students can use car parking at NCP on Solly Street where there are discounts available.

We will continue to patrol and monitor our car parks and permits in use. This will help us issue the right number of permits from September to best manage the demand for car parking spaces.

For more information, visit parking services.

IT Support

IT equipment, such as desktop PCs, that have remained on campus throughout the pandemic should be checked by IT Support staff prior to use. IT Services are working closely with departments to make sure the equipment is up-to-date, working, and safe and secure. Your department will talk through any arrangements with you.

Whilst we are running updates on desktops that have not been used for over a year, we recommend that staff with University laptops continue to use these on campus – University laptops will work seamlessly on and off campus.

IT Services continue to support all members of staff, whether you are working at home or on campus. 

For help with IT, please use our IT Service Desk on 0114 222 1111 which is available 8am–5pm Monday to Friday, or alternatively you can visit the IT Self Service portal where you can log your own IT query, or find answers to common problems in the knowledgebase.

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

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

The EFM Engineering team has done an assessment of all of the spaces where mechanical ventilation and/or natural ventilation is located. Where mechanical ventilation is installed, it is maintained throughout the University to current manufacturers specifications. This means that we are operating our equipment in line with the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers Covid-19 ventilation guidance document. We have maximised the airflows and removed all recirculation control from the mechanical ventilation to ensure full fresh air feed. The controls for these mechanically ventilated spaces rooms are managed and alarms monitored by our Building Services Management team, ensuring that any errors or faults are actioned immediately.

Where windows can be opened, staff should do so to enable natural ventilation irrespective of the cold/draft. Doors can also be held open to facilitate natural ventilation. The exception to this is fire doors, which must remain closed, unless they have proprietary hold-open devices, to enable them to automatically close in the event of a fire alarm activation.

If there is no mechanical ventilation, and the windows are un operable then the space should not be used unless a specific risk assessment has been undertaken to determine how the Covid risk will be mitigated. This will be highlighted by EFM in the Return to Campus Checklist, and is for the individual faculty and department to develop individual space risk assessments – and support is available from the Health and Safety team.

When to wear face coverings

You must wear a face covering, unless exempt, when:

  • moving around a building
  • where social distancing or good ventilation is difficult to maintain. This can include in workshops, laboratories, offices, libraries, teaching rooms and lecture halls
  • in hospitality venues when you’re not eating or drinking – for example when walking to your table or the toilet
  • in shops and in other indoor spaces, such as the communal areas of student accommodation.

You may wish to remove your face covering when ventilation is good, for example windows in the room can be opened to aid airflow or the room has a suitable mechanical ventilation system, and:

  • you're seated in a shared office/teaching/study space and at least two metres apart from another person
  • you're using a single occupancy workspace
  • a perspex screen is installed and you are at least two metres from others behind that screen
  • you’re teaching/presenting with other people and are at least two metres apart from each other
  • you are speaking, or providing assistance, to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • wearing one would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity
  • you're outdoors and you are at least two metres apart from each other.

Additional notes: 

  • Face visors or shields can be worn by those exempt from wearing a face covering but they are not an equivalent alternative in terms of source control of virus transmission.
  • In situations where staff and students rely on facial signals for communication, clear visors can be worn but they are not an equivalent alternative in terms of source control of virus transmission.
  • If you are returning to spend some time working on campus you will receive detailed instructions from your department about the safety precautions required for your area of work and on campus, including about face coverings. This will cover exemptions and the safe use of face coverings.
  • Local rules, for example in labs and workshops, may apply. Please follow any instructions provided by your department.
Rapid lateral flow tests

If you’re working four days or more on campus you should take two rapid lateral flow tests per week. If you're working three days or less or are spending ad hoc time on campus you may only need to take one test per week or take a test as and when you are on campus.

You can either book rapid lateral flows tests at our Covid-19 Testing Centre and/or you can use self-test kits available for collection from the following sites across campus:

Collection points from 10am–2pm:

  • Solly Street
  • English Language Teaching Centre
  • Elmfield
  • Medical School
  • AMRC Training Centre
  • Students' Union
  • Our Covid-19 Testing Centre: Level 4 of the Students' Union

Collection points from alternative times:

  • Heartspace (Student Recruitment Office) - 10am–3pm
  • The Diamond - 10am–4pm
  • The Edge reception - open 24/7

The self-test kits include instructions for use. You must bring your UCard when collecting a self-test kit. 

Another option is to order rapid lateral flow tests from the NHS website direct to your home.

Please note:

Rapid lateral flow tests are only if you are NOT showing any Covid-19 symptoms. If you develop symptoms, follow the step-by-step instructions on our managing a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 protocol to self-isolate, book an NHS PCR test and inform the University.

For colleagues at increased risk from Covid-19

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable, you can return to work on campus if it isn’t possible for you to work from home all the time. Please talk to your department about the latest guidance and any potential adjustments. 

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

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, please speak to your line manager about the option of working on campus 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. 

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.

 

Latest updates

The latest updates will be included in the Staff Update and reflected on this page.

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