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 plan the safe return of colleagues to campus at the appropriate times. If you are currently working remotely away from campus please continue to do so unless otherwise instructed.
Our research facilities, including the AMRC and Nuclear AMRC, are open. Operational decision-making on the management of on-campus research activity sits at faculty level with the appropriate risk assessments in place. The AMRC Training Centre is operating with a model of workshop and classroom delivery, with the appropriate safety measures in place.
Departments are delivering blended learning with a reduced amount of face-to-face teaching and with additional risk mitigation measures in place to ensure the health and safety of our staff and students.
We continue to monitor the situation carefully, as well as developments on a national, regional and local level, and we will adjust our response accordingly. This means that we may have to change how we deliver teaching at different times throughout the year, depending on the national and local circumstances.
Latest news: Moving teaching online by 9 December
As per government guidance, departments must suspend in-person teaching by 9 December for the rest of the term to allow students to travel home from 3 to 9 December. Arrangements will vary across disciplines and specific local guidance has been shared by departments and faculties. There is as yet no flexibility in the government position, so the only current exemption for stopping face-to-face teaching is for healthcare students on clinical placements.
- 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 in University car parks will be free of charge for staff and students who are returning to campus until January 2021. We will, however, continue to operate a permit system to ensure that our car parks are being used for University business. This also means we can contact vehicle owners in an emergency, and will allow us to understand what demand there may be for parking facilities moving forward. Please note that we have now ended our free parking provision for NHS workers at nearby hospitals.
If you already have a parking permit, please display this on your vehicle when visiting campus; there is no need to display a scratchcard. The expiry date will be extended from the end of September to the end of December so our campus wardens know it is valid.
- 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 autumn term 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
Those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, are strongly advised by the Government to stay at home and not go to work. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, and working on campus, you should stop doing so. Please speak to your manager for further guidance and support. If your role cannot be carried out from home, you will continue to receive full pay.
- 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 other childcare arrangements
We are aware that with a rise in cases locally, there may be full or partial school closures and we would like to reassure colleagues of our continued support for staff with childcare responsibilities. If your children have to self-isolate, or if normal childcare arrangements close without the need for isolation, please inform your line manager to make suitable arrangements.
As before, we hope you can continue to be as flexible and pragmatic as possible about the amount of and type of work that can be undertaken in these circumstances. Your wellbeing is important to us and we appreciate the additional concerns that these circumstances cause for those with caring responsibilities. For more support, please also visit the resources put together by our parents staff network.
- Additional Christmas closure days
This year the University will be closed from 19 December 2020 to 3 January 2021 (inclusive). We hope that this allows the majority of staff to take a well-earned break, while preserving their annual leave to take throughout the year.
- 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.
Return to campus/autumn term shared drive
Visit our return to campus/autumn term shared drive for all the latest guidance documents including risk assessments, guidance for managers, and Covid-19 frequently asked questions.
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