What should I do if I become unwell at work?
If you become unwell at work with coronavirus symptoms you should inform your manager as soon as possible and go home. You should also arrange to have a test for coronavirus as soon as possible and inform your manager of the result. If you should test positive you will be asked to provide information on where you have been in the workplace and (as far as you are able) who you have been in contact with.
You should obtain an isolation note: https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note/ unless you are well enough to work from home in which case one is not required.
Further information about how to book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms is available on the NHS website.
Further FAQs relating to coronavirus symptoms, self-isolating and the test and trace process are available here.
I was previously shielding and I understand shielding is coming to an end?
The government has announced the end of shielding on 31st March 2021. Thereafter, if you can work from home you are advised to continue doing so.However, where is this is not possible, you can safely return to the University to work and you will be supported to do so.
Prior to working on campus, you should speak to your manager about any measures which would assist your return. If an Occupational Health referral took place in the Autumn term, there is no need for a further review to be undertaken, unless there have been any significant changes in the intervening period to your health which could impact on their risk in returning to campus. If significant changes have taken place then you should be referred to Occupational Health.
More information on the end of shielding provisions is available on the UK Government's website.
I have an underlying health condition and I am worried about attending work – what should I do?
You should have a discussion with your line manager explaining your concerns about attending work. Together you can discuss measures to support you feeling more confortable about attending work, together with any mitigating actions which may be required such as staggered start and end times etc.
I have several health conditions which don’t seem to be accounted for on the government’s advice – what should I do?
If you are affected by a number of different underlying health conditions you may need advice from Occupational Health. Your Line Manager or Supervisor can arrange this for you.
What support is there for staff who are worried about their wellbeing and Covid-19?
Staff can access support through The University’s Employee Assistance Programme, provided by an external partner, Health Assured.
Health Assured provides a 24/7 helpline to access to counselling and their other services on offer to you, such as:
- stress and anxiety
- Lifestyle addictions
Helpline phone access: 0800 028 0199
General health advice and information can also be accessed via a mobile app and the Health and Wellbeing Portal.
Find out more about accessing the Employee Assistance Programme.
The charity, Mind, has provided information and support in relation to coronavirus and your wellbeing.
Do employees who are self-isolating need to receive a self-isolation note from the government?
Those self-isolating can obtain a self-isolation note. You will be self-isolating if you or someone in your household, or in your support bubble has symptoms of coronavirus, or if you have been advised via the NHS test and trace system (or via the University’s Test, Trace, Protect system) that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. After discussion with your line manager, if you are able and well enough to work at home you should do so and in this scenario you will not be required to obtain a self-isolation note.
I’m pregnant, what is the risk related to Covid-19?
Whilst being pregnant can change the way your body responds to viral and other infections, all the available evidence to date suggests that pregnant women are at no greater risk of becoming seriously unwell than other healthy adults if they get coronavirus. For further information see: https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/pregnancy-and-coronavirus-information-pregnant-women
I’m pregnant. Are there circumstances where I would have a greater risk of severe illness if I become infected with the coronavirus, and should I work from home?
Some pregnant women are at greater risk of becoming seriously unwell with coronavirus infection, these women includes those who are:
- Greater than 28 weeks gestation
- Pregnant women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds
- Women over the age of 35
- Women who are overweight or obese
- Women who have pre-existing underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes
If any of these apply to you, you should raise this with your line manager at your earliest convenience so that they can arrange an assessment with Occupational Health - see https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/hr/wellbeing/index.aspx for the relevant referral form.
Is there any general advice for pregnant women on staying safe?
• Follow the guidance on staying alert and safe (social distancing) and appropriate use of face coverings for the general public and clinically vulnerable people, including pregnant women (this guidance covers England only - if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you should follow the specific advice in those parts of the UK)
• Keep mobile and hydrated to reduce the risk of blood clots in pregnancy
• Stay active with regular exercise, a healthy balanced diet, and folic acid and vitamin D supplementation to help support a healthy pregnancy
• Attend all of your pregnancy scans and antenatal appointments unless you are advised not to
• Contact your maternity team if you have concerns about the wellbeing of yourself or your unborn baby
What general advice would help me minimise my risk of catching Covid-19?
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Coughs and sneezes should be covered with a tissue and disposed of immediately (into your elbow if no tissue) followed by the washing of hands.
- Wear a face-covering while on public transport (this is now a mandatory requirement) and inside buildings on campus where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. Maintain social distancing (of 2 metres) when greeting others, this includes avoiding shaking hands.
- If working on campus, bring in your own refreshments.
- If you are provided with PPE for any reason, including working in closer proximity than 2m, this should be worn and the information on putting on and taking off this PPE must be followed.
- When using toilets, close the lid before flushing