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.
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.
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.
In line with government guidance, the majority of courses will be delivered online until February half-term. Some courses are exempt and will be taught in person. We will continue to work with departments to respond to the latest guidance from the Department for Education and update staff and students on what the guidance means for their courses in due course.
We will regularly review our position, with the first review taking place at the beginning of February, and we will keep you updated. We 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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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
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.
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.
We absolutely do not want staff to put themselves in a confrontational situation so please do proceed with sensitivity, empathy and caution.
- 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.
The exception is in shared office spaces. If you are more than 2 metres away from others and at a desk, you may remove your face covering. However, if you are moving around the room you must wear it.
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.
- How to report health and safety concerns
If you are working on campus and have any concerns about health and safety, it is really important that you tell us about them as soon as you become aware of any potential issues. We can then act on your feedback to ensure we keep our community safe.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ventilation in teaching spaces
As we enter the colder winter 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- School closures and critical worker status
In line with government guidance, schools will only remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will be learning remotely until the February half-term. We can confirm that the Department for Education has clarified that teaching and support staff in universities are classed as critical workers. If you are planning to apply for a place at your school and require a confirmation letter, please contact email@example.com.
We appreciate that not all staff will secure a place at school for their child, and that this will put extra pressure on staff with homeschooling responsibilities. Your wellbeing is important to us and we appreciate the additional concerns that these circumstances cause and will continue to be as flexible as possible.
For more support, please also visit the resources put together by our parents staff network.
- 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.
- 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.
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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