FAQs for staff

Page last updated: Friday 29 May, 11:00

This page is being regularly updated to reflect the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), World Health Organisation (WHO) Public Health England (PHE) and other sources including local partners. 

This page contains information including:

Questions for staff

1) Questions relating to employees supsected or diagnosed with Covid-19 UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

I have been diagnosed with Covid-19 (coronavirus) – how should I inform my line manager?
Do not come into work.  You should inform your line manager by telephone or email as soon as possible and agree how you will keep in touch.

I am being tested for Covid-19 (coronavirus) – what should I do?
Do not come into work.  Telephone or email your line manager to inform them as soon as possible and make arrangements to update your line manager by phone or email as soon as you have the test results.

I have am self-isolating – what should I do?
Do not come to work. You should inform your line manager by telephone or email as soon as possible about the fact that you are self-isolating and the reason for this. 

What should I do if I become unwell at work?
If you become unwell at work with coronavirus symptoms you should go home and refer to current NHS guidance, available via the links below:

How can I find out more about Covid-19 and self-isolation?
You can find out more on the following websites:

2) Questions relating to employees with underlying health conditions UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

I have an underlying health condition and I am worried about attending work – what should I do?
The government has issued guidance for those with underlying health conditions. You should discuss any concern regarding attending work with your line manager as soon as you can.

3) Questions relating to sick pay and payment during self-isolation UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

Will I be paid whilst I am self-isolating?
Yes – the University will pay any member of staff who is self-isolating, due to Covid-19.

Will any Covid-19 related absence count towards my sick pay entitlement?
No - the University will need to keep a record of absence related to Covid-19, including absences related to self-isolation.  However absences related to the virus will be discounted for the purposes of sick pay entitlement and absence management. 

I am employed on Support Staff terms and conditions of employment and I am still on probation.  Do I qualify for Sick Pay? 
Yes - the University has agreed a temporary change to policy allowing Support Staff who are on probation to qualify for sick pay if the sick leave is related to Covid-19.

Do I have to provide a sick note (fit note) if I have Covid-19 or if I am advised to self-isolate?
The University recognises that due to the particular current circumstances relating to Covid-19 it may not be possible for you to provide a sick note (fit note), particularly for self-isolation. However, if you do have a sick note (fit note) please ensure that you send this to your line manager as soon as you are safely able to do so.

I am due to start working at the University and have been told to self-isolate – will I still get paid?
Yes – your employment with the University will be effective from the date specified in your contract of employment. However you should liaise with your line manager to ensure that your details (and in particular your bank account details) are entered onto University systems to ensure payment can take place.

Will I be asked by the University not to attend work and if so will I still be paid?
You may be asked by the University not to attend work, for example, if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or if you live with someone with Covid-19 symptoms. If you are asked not to attend work it is important that you do not do so. You will continue to receive your usual pay.

4) Questions relating to payment for essential workers during restricted campus operations UPDATED - 27 March, 11:45

What is the payment for essential workers during the restricted campus operations?
In recognition of the groups of staff who will be required to support essential services across campus during the period of restricted campus operations, an exceptional, special payment of £75/week (£15/day) subject to tax and NI, will be paid to this group of staff.

Who is eligible to receive this payment?
All staff up to and including grade 8, regardless of terms and conditions of employment will be eligible to receive this payment if they are required to work on campus during the period of restricted operations.

Is the amount subject to tax and NI deductions?
Yes – the amount is subject to tax and NI deductions.

Will the amount be pro rata for part time staff?
Yes – the payment is a flat payment of £75/week or £15/day for those staff required to work on campus during restricted campus operations regardless of the number of hours worked each day.

Can the amount be paid on a monthly basis in the normal pay run?
No – as the University will be operating in a period of restricted campus operations, processing exceptional payments of this kind will create additional pressures on the payroll team. There will be one total payment made for the weeks applicable from 30 March – 31 May, paid in June salaries.

5) Questions relating to payslips UPDATED - 24 April, 16:00

I cannot access my payslip online and have a query about my pay. What should I do?
If you cannot access your payslip online, please check your bank account in the first instance to see whether your pay is as expected. If you have any concerns regarding your pay or think it appears incorrect, you can raise a query on the Payroll IT service desk.  If you don’t have access to the internet at home, you can call 0121 414 3030 to speak to a member of the Payroll team.  If your call cannot be answered, please leave a voicemail and a member of the Payroll team will contact you as soon as they can.  As the Payroll team are working remotely and don’t all have access to this number, you are encouraged to use the Payroll IT Service Desk if at all possible and only where you think your pay is incorrect.    

6) Questions relating to recording general sickness absence or sickness absence relating and to Covid-19 UPDATED - 27 March, 11:45

Will absence from work be recorded?
Yes - the University will need to keep a record of absence related to Covid-19. However absences related to the virus will be discounted for the purposes of absence management and sick pay entitlement. 

How do I record my sickness absence related to Covid-19?
Please do not record this sickness absence in Core Systems. 
Instead you should advise your line manager of any Covid-19 related absence and they will inform their designated point of contact. The University will be required to report to government bodies on absence related to Covid-19 so it is important this information is fed through in a timely manner.

Do I need to notify my manager if my reason for absence changes? 
Yes, if your Covid-19 related reason for absence changes because you have suspected or confirmed coronavirus you will need to contact your line manager and inform them of the change.

Do I need to contact my manager each day?
No, you are not required to contact your line manager every day but you should keep in contact frequently to keep them updated on your situation.

What should I do if I cannot get in contact with my line manager?
If you are unable to contact your line manager you should contact their designated representative or your HR Adviser.

Should I report absence related to Covid-19 even if I am not due to work on that day?
Yes, you should inform your line manager of any Covid-19 related absence even if you are not due to work for some or all of that period.

If I am working from home do I still need to notify my manager if I have to self-isolate or if I have confirmed Covid-19?
Yes, if you are working from home you must notify your line manager of any change in your circumstances related to Covid-19.  You must also inform your Line Manager if you need to take sickness absence for any reason other than Covid-19. 

How should I report sickness absence that is unrelated to Covid-19?
If you have any sickness absence unrelated to Covid-19 symptoms and you are unable to work, please report this as you normally would to your line manager who can then record this on Core Systems.  Please also continue to advise your line manager if you are unable to work for any reason whether or not it is Covid-19 related. 

7) Advice and support for staff who are worried about their wellbeing and Covid-19 UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

I have an underlying health condition and am worried about attending work – what should I do?
If your health condition is identified by Public Health England (PHE) as putting you at higher risk if you were to contract Covid-19 then you should discuss this with your line manager as soon as possible. Detailed PHE guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK and protecting older people and vulnerable adults.

What support is there for staff who are worried about their wellbeing and Covid-19?
The University wellbeing services – Workplace Wellness provides a 24/7 helpline for immediate emotional support, debt management services, general advice and information. The helpline access number is: 0800 1116 387.  

In addition the University’s wellbeing services are available remotely (by Telephone or Skype) for Employee Advice and Listening, Disability and Occupational Health Management Referral appointments. Staff with existing appointments will be contacted directly.

The charity, Mind, has provided information and support in relation to coronavirus and your wellbeing.

Are Occupational Health appointments still available to staff?Occupational Health clinical appointments (for vaccines, blood tests and health surveillance) are for the moment suspended following the latest PHE guidance.

8) Questions relating to employees working from home UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

How should I work from home?
The University has transitioned to a remote working and restricted campus operations. Please refer to detailed guidance online for more information.

The Remote Access Service allows you to access your University files and data wherever you are. The service can be accessed on any computer running Windows, macOS or Linux.

For off-campus access, you also require a smartphone that has a Two-Factor-Authentication (2FA) application installed such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator.

Information and guidance about working remotely from home is available on the Human Resources webpage and at KB14867 on the IT Service Portal.  

We are experiencing unprecedented use of the University's Remote Access solutions as a result of the current situation. Not every service needs you to use our Remote Access Service, and many are available via web-browsers over any internet connection. For guidance on which ones you can use without Remote Access and best practice ways to work with University systems, please refer to KB14883 on the IT Service Portal.  

Information provided on the IT Service Portal is regularly updated according to feedback received and identified IT issues. It is recommended that you check the IT Service Portal regularly for updates: itservicedesk.bham.ac.uk

If you need support or advice from IT Services, please make the IT Service Portal your first port of call:

  • Identified issues and current Service Desk opening hours are noted under IT Services Status.
  • Self-help is available for many topics.
  • If you can’t find the information you need using our self-help support Live Chat is now available during opening hours, or you can Report a Fault or Make a Request either by logging a ticket online or by calling 0121 414 7171.

I am self-isolating – will I be asked to undertake work from home?This depends on whether or not you feel well. If you are feeling well and self-isolating for precautionary reasons it is expected that where possible all efforts should be made for you to undertake some work remotely. This should be agreed between you and your line manager on a case by case basis.

9) Questions relating to employees taking leave to look after a dependent as a result of Covid-19 UPDATED - 27 March, 11:45

I am struggling to fulfil my contractual hours/duties during the period of restricted campus operations. What support is there for me?
The University has guaranteed full pay for all staff who cannot continue to work normally. In return, we anticipate that all those who are required to work on campus or have the facility to work remotely will use their best endeavours do so in line with the requirements of Schools and Professional Services functions. It is recognised that by doing so, staff may be working reduced hours or at different times of the day than they would normally work. These are exceptionally difficult circumstances and it is important that all colleagues work together on a ‘best endeavours’ basis to continue to support the University’s operations remotely as much as they can.

Do I need to tell my line manager if I am unable to complete my contractual hours/duties?
Please ensure that you are in regular contact with your line manager and discuss any particular issues you are experiencing either working remotely or on campus and any impact this is having on your ability to fulfil your hours/duties. This is a difficult time for everyone, regardless of home circumstances and the University asks that during this time everyone does what they can, when they can, on a ‘best endeavours’ basis to continue to support the University’s operations remotely as much as they can.

Do I need to take dependents leave if I am unable to work during restricted campus opening due to caring for a dependent?
No – you do not need to take dependents leave. As a result of the significant changes to the ways in which we are having to work, there is no longer any need for staff to record that they are taking ‘Dependents Leave’. This was introduced as an exceptional measure prior to the University’s move to restricted campus operations. The University recognises that the situation has changed considerably since that point and therefore with immediate effect there is no requirement for staff to record this form of leave if they are unable to fulfil their normal hours/duties due to caring responsibilities. However, we would ask that staff still maintain regular contact with their line manager to discuss what work, if any, they are able to undertake while caring for dependents.

10) Questions relating to restricted campus operations UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

What does restricted campus operations mean? 
In order to minimise the risk to staff and the wider community, we will be moving to a restricted campus operation model by the end of term 17:00 on Friday 20 March until Monday 1 June, at the earliest. During this time the majority of University staff will be required to work remotely and only essential staff will be on campus. 

Between 16 and 23 March 2020 the University will be transitioning to online teaching and by next Monday 23 March, we will move to online delivery for the remainder of this term which means that there will be no face to face teaching activity. During the transition week all programmes will move online, subject to College approval.

How will staff be affected during restricted campus operations?The University is working closely with Public Health England and will continue to follow the advice and guidance set out by the UK Government.

We anticipate that we will need to continue to deliver our education online when term resumes on Monday 27 April, including the delivery of online examinations and assessments due to commence on Monday 4 May.

During restricted campus operations, the majority of University staff will be required to work remotely and only essential staff will be on campus. In addition, only essential buildings and services will be open and operating.

Will I be able to access certain buildings during restricted campus operations? 
Buildings and facilities within them will have restricted access and unless you have pre-authorised approval to access a building you will be denied entry, even if a building appears to be open. All staff are asked to respect this position and to extend this respect to our whole community.

The majority of buildings will be closed and most staff will be working from home. However, a defined number of buildings that have been identified as essential will remain partially or fully open through the period of restricted campus operation but will only be accessible to specific staff for pre-agreed reasons. We also recognise that some buildings or facilities may require several days to fully close and line managers will advise staff if they are required on site after Friday 20 March to support this. If you are required to be on campus during the period of restricted campus operations please ensure that you are wearing your University ID.

While the majority of students have already returned home and will remain at home until campus returns to normal operations, we will be keeping the student residences open to support those students who are unable to return home. The Main Library will be closed from 17:00 on Friday 20 March but we are enhancing our online library services and will be identifying alternative study space on campus for those students who are unable to travel home. The Guild will also be closing from Friday 20 March.

Will the University closed days during the Easter holiday be affected? 
During the University closed days (Friday 10 – Wednesday 15 April inclusive) it is expected that staff will be on leave as normal, unless you are specifically requested to undertake essential duties.

How will restricted campus operations affect events? 
All events scheduled on campus involving external visitors from 23 March to 1 June will be moved to virtual provision, postponed or cancelled.

Staff considering attending events off campus during the 23 March to 1 June should explore with the organiser whether the event is still running or if there is alternative online option.

We will continue to keep this under review, monitoring any changes in public health advice.

During a period of restricted opening of campus will I still get paid?
Yes - you will still get paid during a period of restricted opening of campus.

I am unable to work from home due to the nature of my role and my role is not considered to be an essential service. What will happen to me and my role during the restricted campus opening? 
Please be assured that staff who cannot work remotely and whose role is not deemed to be an essential service will continue to be paid.

I am a member of staff based at the UoB Dubai campus, does this all apply to me?
The UK and Dubai campus are working closely together but the in country situation is different. For up to date information on Dubai, please go to the Dubai FAQs.

11) Questions relating to employees taking annual leave UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

If I am working from home during the restricted opening of campus, can I cancel and rearrange my annual leave?
Staff working from home during the restricted opening of campus are expected to be fulfilling the duties of their role as they would normally, but from an alternative location (their home). The normal provisions for taking annual leave which is provided for rest and recuperation therefore apply. However, the University is conscious that we are in unprecedented times and many individuals’ travel plans will have been disrupted.

If a member of staff wishes to cancel or rearrange their annual leave, they should discuss this as normal with their line manager. Where possible, the University will accommodate any requests to cancel or rearrange annual leave. However, it should be noted that as it is unclear when normal full opening of the University will resume, future requests for annual leave may will be subject to operational requirements.

Can I carry over unused annual leave to the next annual leave year?
No, the normal maximum limits of carry over of annual leave (a maximum of 5 days) to be taken within 3 months of the start of the new annual leave year will still apply. Any unused leave of more than 5 days cannot be carried over and therefore you are encouraged to ensure that you spread your annual leave throughout the leave year, regardless of whether you are working remotely or not.

Will annual leave still be taken as normal during the University’s period of restricted opening?
Yes, existing annual leave should still be taken as normal with advance agreement by your line manager, noting as outlined above, you will not be able to carry more than 5 days into the next annual leave year.

I have bought additional annual leave which I cannot now use. What will happen to this?
Any bought additional annual leave which is unable to be taken in the current annual leave year, will be carried over on an exceptional basis to the next annual leave year.

12) Questions relating to volunteeringUPDATED - 27 March, 11:45

Where can I find more information about volunteering?
We are currently working on further guidance which will recognise the different types of volunteering and provide a process for staff who wish to volunteer to follow.  We are aiming to publish this shortly and will also keep updating the FAQs.

13) Questions relating to government advice on social distancing, self-isolation and shielding UPDATED - 27 March, 11:45

Where can I find out more about social distancing?
Further information regarding social distancing is avaiable on the governement website.

Where can I find out more about self-isolation?
Further information regarding self-isolation is available on the government website.

Where can I find out more about shielding?
Further information regarding shielding is available on the government website.

English is not my first language, where can I find translated information?
The government has a dedicated webpage where full, up to date information can be found regarding Covid-19 which has been translated into many languages.

14) Questions relating to sponsored employees/researchers under Tiers 2 and 5 UPDATED - 9 April, 12:20

I have been told by my line manager to work remotely/from home. Do I need to record this as an absence on the Core system?
No, as you will be working off campus within the UK, you do not need to record this as an absence on the Core system.

I wish to return to my home country – what implications does this have on my visa?
We may need to report this to the Home Office and/or withdraw sponsorship. Please contact the HR Immigration Team via the HR Service Portal for further guidance.

I am a sponsored worker and have an absence due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) – will this affect my visa?
The Home Office latest guidance confirms that it will not take enforcement action against sponsors who continue to sponsor workers absent due to coronavirus. Such authorised absences do not need to be reported to the UKVI – that could be due to illness, self-isolation or inability to travel due to travel restrictions. Please inform your line manager and the HR Immigration Team via the HR Service Portal of any absences, so that a record can be kept for UKVI audit purposes.

I am a visa holder in the UK and my leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020?
The Home Office has confirmed that your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). You must update your records with the UKVI Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) if your visa is expiring and you were not planning to stay in the UK using the online form

For further information and the latest Home Office position in relation to this please access the COVID-19 immigration guidance

Please also ensure that you keep up to date and monitor the current advice on the COVID-19 outbreak and self-isolation, particularly if you have recently entered the UK from overseas:

15) Questions relating to apprenticeships UPDATED - 9 April, 10:40

I am an apprentice – does the employee guidance apply to me?
Yes, as an apprentice you are an employee of the University and therefore the FAQs for employees refers to you.

Will my one to ones with the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager continue?
During the period of campus restricted opening, one to ones with the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager will not take place face to face. However, alternative arrangements can be made via telephone or skype.

What will happen to my off the job training?
All of our providers are now set up for remote delivery of your training. As a minimum, you should have been contacted by your assessor / coach to agree a phone call / skype meeting and been supplied with information on how your off the job training will be covered. If you do not have a meeting booked in or do not have this information please contact the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager.

Because apprenticeship off the job training must then link in with what you do in the workplace there may a requirement for some apprentices to take a break in learning. This would not commence until at the earliest late April. Should this be required the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager will discuss this with you.

The Apprenticeship Scheme Manager will continue to pass on information to managers and apprentices as and when this is available.

What will happen to my end point assessment?
It is likely that there may be a delay to this. This will be deterined with your training provider and on a case by case basis. Further advice will be provided once the University is clear how long the restricted period of campus operations will last for.  

How will I continue to get experience in the workplace?
Speak to your line manager in the first instance about what you can do to support the team during the restricted opening of campus and ensure you check your email regularly.

16) Questions relating to PGR students and their supervisors UPDATED - 01 April, 10:15

The University Graduate School has prepared information for PGR students and their supervisors.

17) Questions relating to Worklink UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

Where can I find out more about Worklink queries related to Coronavirus? 
Worklink have a separate set of FAQs relating to contractual queries for their workers, which are available on the Worklink section

18) Questions related to Furlough UPDATED - 19 May, 08:50

I have been furloughed. What is the impact of this on my contract and terms and conditions of employment?

You remain an employee of the University and there is no change to your terms and conditions of employment during the furlough period.

How long will furlough last? 
The length of your furlough period will be detailed in your letter confirming the arrangement.  At present, the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is open until 31 October 2020, although it may be extended beyond this date. If there is any change to your furlough period, you will receive a further letter.

What does furlough mean?
Furlough means a temporary leave of absence. In effect, all this simply means is that the University does not require those staff members who have been furloughed to carry out any work while they are furloughed.

Why have I been furloughed?

The Government has introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) as a result of Covid-19. This Scheme is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely impacted as a result of Covid-19. 

How has the University decided which staff to furlough?
The University has considered which staff to furlough in line with the specific CJRS rules set out by the Government and the HMRC.  

What pay will I receive whilst being furloughed?
You will continue to receive 100% of your regular pay through the payroll.  The University will reclaim 80% of your regular pay from the government. 

What comprises regular pay?
Regular pay includes your basic salary, and where applicable Compulsory Guaranteed Overtime and/or Compulsory Guaranteed Shift Pay. Your pay will be subject to the normal deductions for tax and national insurance and your pension contributions.

I would like to be furloughed – how do I apply?
The decision to furlough is an employer-led one, rather than employee-led, therefore you cannot apply to be furloughed. The University is responsible for identifying staff to be furloughed, in line with the Scheme rules.

Should I be worried that I have been placed on furlough?
There is no need to be concerned if you are being furloughed. This does not change your terms and conditions of employment and you remain an employee of the University throughout the furlough period.

Are the Trade Unions aware that staff have been placed on furlough?
The Trade Unions have been consulted regarding the University’s plans to make an application under the Government’s CJRS, however due to reasons of confidentiality, they are not aware of which individual staff members have been furloughed.

Can I still take annual leave whilst on furlough?
Yes, you can still take annual leave whilst you are furloughed. Please ensure that your line manager is aware if there are any periods whilst you are on furlough that you will be on annual leave.

What can I do whilst furloughed?
Whilst furloughed you cannot undertake any work for the University. Whilst furloughed, it is for you to decide how to spend your time.

Can I work for another employer?
Under the terms of the CJRS, there is nothing to prevent someone who has been furloughed from seeking secondary employment. However, as you remain an employee of the University and bound by your terms and conditions of employment, should you wish to seek secondary employment, you can only do so by complying with any authorisation process set out in your terms and conditions of employment. You must discuss and agree this with your Line Manager.

Can I undertake training whilst furloughed?
Yes, you can undertake some self-directed training whilst being furloughed eg. you could access LinkedIn learning.  However you cannot undertake any University directed training.

Can I volunteer whilst furloughed?
Yes, you can undertake volunteering whilst being furloughed.

 

Questions for line managers

1) Questions for dealing with members of staff who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, are being tested for Covid-19 or are showing symptoms of Covid-19 UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

What do I do if a member of staff is diagnosed with Covid-19?
If a member of staff informs you that they have a confirmed diagnosis please escalate immediately to the relevant Senior Officer or Head of School (as well as your HR Business Partner), who will alert the University’s Strategic Emergency Response Team (SERT).

What do I do if a member of staff informs me that they are being tested for Covid-19?
If a member of staff informs you that they are being tested for Covid-19 (Coronavirus) please escalate immediately to the relevant Senior Officer or Head of School (as well as your HR Business Partner), who will alert (SERT).  

What should I do if someone becomes unwell at work?
If someone becomes unwell at work with coronavirus symptoms they should go home and refer to current NHS guidance, available via the links below:

What should I do if someone with Covid-19 comes to work?
You should contact your relevant Senior Officer or Head of School immediately and they will liaise with you to ensure appropriate action is taken.

If someone with coronavirus comes to work, the workplace does not necessarily have to close.

The local Public Health England (PHE) health protection team will be in contact with the University to:

  • discuss the case
  • identify people who have been in contact with the affected person
  • carry out a risk assessment 
  • advise on any actions or precautions to take

2) Questions for dealing with members of staff who are self-isolating UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

How can I find out more about Covid-19 and self-isolation?
You can find out more on the following websites:

If a member of staff is self-isolating – can I ask them to undertake work from home?
It is expected that where possible (providing an individual is feeling well and the responsibilities of their role enables working from home to take place), all efforts should be made for them to undertake some work remotely and this should be agreed between you and the member of staff on a case by case basis.

A member of my team does not want to come to work because they are worried about catching Covid-19 – what should I do?Some employees might feel they do not want to go to work if they're afraid of catching coronavirus. You should listen to their concerns.  If they have an underlying health condition follow the advice outlined below. If they do not have an underlying health condition identified by the Government as putting them at higher risk, if they do not have such a health condition and it is operationally possible you could allow them to take some annual leave or unpaid leave. However if the member of staff has no valid reason why they should not attend work, you cannot accommodate annual leave or unpaid leave you should make them aware that a refusal to attend work could be considered as a failure to follow a reasonable management request.

3) Questions relating to sick pay and payment for members of staff during self-isolation UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

Please refer to the sick pay section outlined in the staff FAQs.  

4) Questions relating to recording staff sickness absence relating to Covid-19 UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

Will absence from work be recorded?
Yes the University will need to keep a record of absence related to Covid-19, including absences related to self-isolation. However absences related to the virus will be discounted for the purposes of absence management.

How do I record Covid-19 related absence for members of staff in my team?
Please do not record this absence in Core Systems. Instead you should provide this information to the designated point of contact within your College/Department as soon as possible. The University will be required to report to government bodies on absence related to Covid-19 so it is important this information is fed through in a timely manner.

What is the key information I need to collect if a member of staff contacts me to report a Covid-19 related absence?
You need to record their reason for absence, the first date of absence and a potential return to work date if known.

What should I do when the member of staff returns to work?
You will need to inform your designated point of contact as soon as possible that the member of staff has returned to work and the date they returned.

Do I need to report changes in the reason for absence? 
Yes, if the Covid-19 related reason for absence changes because of suspected or confirmed coronavirus you need to report this to your designated point of contact as soon as possible.  

5) Questions relating to wellbeing UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

For questions relating to wellbeing and those members of staff with underlying health conditions, please refer to the Wellbeing section of the staff FAQs.

6) Questions relating to recruitment UPDATED - 09 April, 10:15

How do I complete right to work checks off campus? 
Guidance on the right to work checks by skype can be found on the HR section of the intranet. Please contact the Recruitment team for further guidance if you cannot conduct the right to work check by skype.

I have a new starter joining the University shortly, should I delay their start date?
New joiners’ start dates may be retained.  However please plan appropriately around their induction and bear in mind it may be necessary to amend start dates.

How do I support my new starter on their first day?
If you have a new starter joining during a period of restricted campus access, please communicate directly with them as soon as possible to advise of the need for them to work from home where this is possible.

Hiring managers should engage with new starters working from home on a regular basis to ensure they are adequately supported.

Please find details regarding UoB induction

ID cards will be made available as and when operationally possible and the campus is fully open and can be collected from HR Operations and Recruitment.

I have a new starter joining the University and have planned a working from home schedule for them, how can they obtain remote access?
New starters are able to contact the IT Service desk on 0121 414 7171 to obtain their username, passwords and to request remote access whilst off site on or after their start date- this must be initiated by the employee.

How can new starters access Core Systems?
Core systems can be accessed via remote access here: http://uobcore.bham.ac.uk
All canvas training can be accessed here: https://canvas.bham.ac.uk/courses/30113

I have a new recruitment requirement - how do I obtain approval?
Due to the current Covid -19 situation, all Professional Services (Central and College) vacancies, and posts currently in the recruitment process, have been placed on hold.

All recruitment requests are to be submitted for review to your College Post Approval Group or your Senior Officer for professional services.

Types of vacancy
All vacancies are covered by this; open-ended posts, fixed term appointments, temporary/agency staff, secondments (new or extensions), acting up-arrangements, core or externally funded, irrespective of grade. 

Approval Process:
Professional Services roles
Exceptionally, a case may be made to proceed with recruitment if the post is:
1.       critical to managing the Covid-19 emergency
2.       critical to the University’s recovery from Covid-19.

All requests for appointments are to be considered by the Head of Budget Centre against the criteria above and submitted to the Registrar and Secretary for final approval, and the request should also detail the total cost of the appointment.  If approved the decision will be communicated by the Registrar and Secretary to the HR and Finance Business Partners for action.

For College based Professional Services roles, the request, following CPAG consideration, should be submitted by the College Director of Operations for approval by the Academic Registrar with subsequent submission to the Registrar and Secretary for approval if appropriate.

Academic Posts
All new core funded posts should be presented to CPAG in the usual manner, and if approved by CPAG, will require approval from the Provost via the Head of College.

All (wholly) externally funded Academic posts can proceed as usual.  But please do so with some caution as the global environment may change the position for some of our funding bodies – you can proceed but should do so where there is confidence that the money will follow.

Can I still progress any advertising I had planned?
All new advertising requirements are to be approved through CPAG or your Senior Officer.

Once approved the vacancy details with advert content and job description should be uploaded onto the recruitment platform Taleo as normal.

All current live adverts will continue to progress until the closing date and will then require approval to progress any further via the above approval routes.

I had interviews planned that were paused, when can they progress?
All planned interviews that relate to a vacancy that is externally funded can continue by skype. Guidance on the right to work checks by skype can be found on the HR section of the intranet.

All other interviews will be reviewed at CPAG or by Senior Officers for a decision on whether these can go ahead.

I have already made a verbal offer to a candidate and they have accepted, can a formal offer be issued?
The University aims to honour all offers of employment already made.

For recruitment that is currently in progress verbal offers should not be made unless confirmed approval for the recruitment to continue has been received.

I have a recruitment campaign or scheduled interviews that have been paused, what information can I provide to the candidates?
Please contact your Recruitment Advisor for guidance on correspondence that should be issued to candidates during this period.

How do I complete right to work checks if by skype?
Right to work documentation can be accepted as a scanned copy fully verified (sign and dated), follow up procedures will be implemented to ensure original documentation is obtained when possible.

Will there be a delay with pre-employment checks?
The majority of pre-employment checks are conducted online and these should continue as normal.

For roles where face to face appointments or ID is required for verification such as occupational health clinics or DBS, risk assessments should be utilised in these circumstances and will be monitored by the recruitment team.

My recruitment campaign has been paused for review - can I hire a temp to cover in the interim? 
Where you have not received approval to progress with a recruitment activity, you should explore how the activity can be placed on hold or how it could be shared within existing resource across the organisation.  The use of temporary workers as an alternative would be in exceptional circumstances only, and would require the same confirmed approval.

7) Questions relating to Worklink UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

 Please refer to the Worklink section for further details.

8) Questions relating to annual leave UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

Please refer to the annual leave section of the staff FAQs for further details.

Questions relating to phased campus reopening

1) How will campus reopening affect me? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The campus repning programme will span many months in order to reopen buildings in a safe, prioritised and controlled manner. Whilst this process will begin on 1 June, during the first few weeks there will be a very limited extension of the activity currently taking place on campus. It is anticipated that gradually buildings will re-open for some staff over the next 2-3 months.

2) Who is allowed on campus during phase 1 of reopening? UPDATED - 03 June, 15.00

Only those people who have received authorisation to be on campus are allowed during Phase 1 of reopening. If you have not been advised by your line manager, with authorisation from the appropriate Director of Operations or Senior Officer, that you are allowed back on campus then this means that you will need to continue to work from home for the time being.  Please do not come on to campus unless you are authorised otherwise you risk putting the safety of colleagues at risk. This includes any part of campus, even for recreational purposes.

3) Do I need written authorisation to be allow on campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

Your line manager will write or email you with a letter advising you of your planned return to campus. You will be asked to watch and complete the online training module on social distancing before you return to campus and will be required to watch the return to campus video before you return.

You will also be issued with a coloured lanyard for your ID badge- to be worn at all times that you are on campus during June to assist the security team assessing that only authorised staff are on campus at any time during the phased reopening period.

4) When will I be allowed back on to campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The decision over which activities will take place on campus and when buildings will open is made by the Provost on the recommendation of the PVC Research, PVC Education and the Registrar.   

5) I want to collect some things from the office - am I allowed to come onto campus to get them? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

No, you cannot collect items from the office at the moment as we focus on reopening activity. It is important that the University carefully manages the gradual reopening of campus in a phased manner and many buildings will remain closed. We are working to implement a safe system to manage and facilitate this type of requests. It is important that only critical requests are considered in the first instance – please contact campusaccess@contacts.bham.ac.uk for more information. For now, it is critically important that only those who are authorised to do so, attempt to gain access to campus.

6) Can I come on to campus to have a meeting with someone who is working back on campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

No, not at the moment.  Only those staff who are authorised to be on campus to work during the current Phase of operations are allowed on campus. For the time being you will have to continue with virtual meetings on Zoom or Skype.

7)I am struggling to do my work remotely/from home - how do I apply to be included in the list of people who can work on campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

Please speak to your line manager in the first instance, to discuss in detail what is causing you difficulties in working remotely/from home. Where possible, the University will do everything it can to overcome any barriers and support staff to work remotely, where there role allows this.

 

There is no application process to be included in the groups of staff who can work on campus – this is driven by the University determining which groups of staff are critical to its phased approach to campus reopening and therefore required on campus.

8) I am concerned about the impact of further delays to my research if I can't get back onto campus - what is the process for being added to the list of people who are allowed to work on campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The decision over which research activities should be prioritised in each phase of reopening are based on recommendations from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research in collaboration with the five College Directors of Research. If you have particularly concerns about the impact of delays on your research please contact your line manager in the first instance.

9) How will you make sure staff who are on campus are safe? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The University will  conduct individual building risk assessments before each building on campus reopens and then will conduct risk assessments on an ongoing basis. As part of these assessments, the University has taken into account Government guidance in respect of measures which should be adopted in different workplace settings and the University has put in place measures to ensure that staff feel as safe and protected as they possibly can whilst on campus. It is recognised that the workplace after lockdown will look considerably different to that prior to lockdown in March 2020 and that this is likely to be unsettling for staff initially. The University will continue to review the measures it has put in place and change or amend these as necessary to ensure that campus is as safe a place as possible for the whole University community. To assure staff on their safe return to campus there is a wealth of information – return to work videos, campus social distancing arrangements etc. on the staff intranet.

10) Will I have to wear a face mask/face covering on campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

No, face masks/coverings will not be mandatory on campus, it is therefore down to individual choice as to whether you wish to wear one. However, if you are travelling to campus by public transport, the Government do advise that commuters wear a face mask/covering if at all possible.

11) What social distancing measures are being put in place on campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The University is putting in place the following measures to enforce social distancing as much as possible: changing entry and exit points of buildings to manage the flow of people accessing buildings; marking 2m intervals in heavily used thoroughfares, ensuring desks are spaced 2m apart and also restricting the number of people in the workplace at any one time. It is likely that many of the homeworking arrangements in existence now will remain in existence for the foreseeable future. Information regarding the University approach to social distancing can be found on the staff intranet.

12) How will the University make sure that shared spaces like kitchens, toilets, stairs and lifts are safe for staff to use? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The University will ensure that shared spaces are cleaned thoroughly and regularly throughout the day. Furthermore, hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes will be available, should staff wish to clean any surfaces themselves prior to using them. These spaces will form part of the building risk assessment and the social distancing arrangements that are implemented before buildings reopen.

13) I am shielding, do I have to come back to campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

Those individuals shielding, will have been written to by the Government sometime in late March, advising them to shield themselves from others and adopt strict social distancing measures until 30 June 2020. The University does not expect or require any member of staff who is shielding in line with Government guidance (i.e. has received a letter to the effect outlined above) to return to campus prior to 30 June 2020 and will await further government guidance beyond this date. There are some staff who are shielding who have been able to work from home during restricted campus operations and continue to do so.

14) I live with or care for someone who is shielding, do I have to come back to campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

Where possible, the University will support those who are worried about coming back to campus, for example, if they live with someone who is shielding. It is important to note that the Government’s guidance in respect of Shielding, does not extend to those that also live within the same household as the person shielding. It is important that the University community works together to gradually reopen campus and that may mean that the University needs people in certain job roles to return to campus. The University will support staff with addressing and overcoming any concerns where possible regarding their return to campus, but it is important that the University limits the ongoing impact of Covid-19 as soon as it possibly can, which is through the University working together to gradually reopen campus.

15) I am not shielding (have not received a letter from the government) but I am worried about returning to campus bevause I think I am at a higher risk from COVID-19? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The University is looking at ways of supporting staff who think they may be at higher risk from COVID-19 due to for example existing health issues, age or ethnicity. In the first instance you should discuss your concerns with your line manager. They may refer you to Occupational Health who can determine whether there are any reasonable adjustments which can be put in place for you.

16) I rely on public transport to travel to campus and am anxious about having to catch the bus/train to get to work. UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

Please speak to your line manager in the first instance. The University will support staff wherever possible to try travelling at different times of the day to avoid peak hours and to ensure that staff are as comfortable as they can be using public transport. Information regarding public transport and social distancing measures etc. will be updated on the staff intranet site.

17) I have been advised that I will have to continue to work from home during the first phase(s) of reopening but I don't have the right kit (equipment/furniture/network access/broadband) to keep doing this for a long period of time Will the University provide me with right kit to work from home? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

In the first instance please discuss with your line manager what you feel is missing from your current equipment and what you would reasonably require for a longer period of working from home. The University is aware that since the move to restricted campus operations, staff have been working on a best endeavours basis, both in terms of the work they are delivering and also in terms of their workstation set up at home. The University is exploring different options of providing staff with more equipment, where this is deemed critical and more information to those working from home for an extended period of time will be made available in due course.

18) I understand that the government is offering £6 per week tax rebate to support the costs of people who are working from home, how do I access this? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

Information regarding the tax rebate scheme is available on the government website

Please note however, that the claim is for the tax year and therefore any expenses incurred after 6 April 2020 will not be able to be claimed until the end of the current tax year, i.e. 5 April 2021. Claims can be made for previous years however. 

19) At the moment I am combining remote working with carer responsibilities and would struggle to come to campus to work - will I be able to continue to work from home? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The University recognises that many staff have caring responsibilities and will seek to support staff by being as flexible as possible with working hours/days whilst ensuring that the University’s overall operations are not impacted by this and that the University can continue to strive towards limiting the impact of Covid-19 by starting to operate as normally as possible, as quickly as possible. 

20) I have been furloughed because I can not carry out my job remotely - will I be included in the first group of people who are coming back on to campus? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The University is managing a phased return to campus. Staff will be contacted individually to advise them if they are on the list of staff to return under phase 1 and those staff who are currently furloughed will be given 5 working days’ notice of a return to campus, unless otherwise agreed. 

21) What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 on campus - will the University carry out testing and tracing? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

Anyone who thinks they might have symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who has should get themselves tested (the government is now offering testing for everyone over the age of 5) and only come on to campus if they have a negative result. If we are made aware of a confirmed case among staff who are back on campus then we would carry out contact tracing as we did before we moved to restricted campus operations. Colleagues in MDS are also leading a piece of work to look more broadly at testing, tracing and temperature checking particularly as we move to Phase 2 of reopening.

22) Can I still take annual leave? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

During these difficult times it is more important than ever that staff take care of their wellbeing and take time away from work. This is especially important when for many, remote working and constant access to technology can blur the home/work boundaries. We therefore want to encourage everyone to take annual leave during this difficult period to focus on rest and recuperation and to ensure that people are able to switch off from work. It's important to spread your annual leave over the remainder of the leave year to ensure everyone can use their leave and to enable managers to balance leave requests for all colleagues.

23) Can I carry over annual leave to next year? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

The University has taken the decision, that on an exceptional basis, for the current annual leave year, we will increase the amount of annual leave that can be carried over from 5 days to 10 days. Ordinarily staff must take leave that is carried forward within the first 3 months of the start of the next holiday year, however on an exceptional basis, this period has been extended to 12 months for the 2020/21 holiday year.

24) If I am required to work on campus will I receive the £75 per week essential workers payment? UPDATED - 29 May, 11:00

No, this payment will cease on Monday 1 June. This was an exceptional payment for those required to come onto campus to support essential services during the period of restricted campus operations. 

Colleges

Professional Services