FAQs for staff

Page last updated: Tuesday 4 August, 14:15.

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 - 08 June 11:00

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.

The NHS Test and Trace service will ask you to share information about your recent close contacts.

Any non-household contacts who need to self-isolate will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service. They will receive a formal notification (either a phone call, letter, email or text message) setting out how long they need to self-isolate for. 

Workers can use this notification to inform their employer that they have been told to self-isolate. 

The period of self-isolation will be for 14 days from the point of most recent contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus. 

I have symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) – what should I do?
You should follow Government advice if you have or develop coronavirus symptoms of a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste or if you're told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus. 

You should also notify your line manager.

Government advice encourages that you alert people you have had close contact with in the 48 hours before symptom onset. If any of those close contacts are colleagues, please inform your line manager as soon as possible, confirming whether or not you have alerted those colleagues. At this stage, those close contacts should not self-isolate, but they:

  • must avoid individuals who are at high-risk of contracting COVID-19, for example, because they have pre-existing medical conditions, such as respiratory issues
  • must take extra care in practising social distancing and good hygiene and in watching out for symptoms
  • will be better prepared if the person who has symptoms has a positive test result and if they (the contact) receive a notification from the NHS Test and Trace service explaining they need to self-isolate.

Further information regarding the newly launched NHS Test and Trace Service is available on:

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. Please also refer to the question above regarding displaying Coronavirus symptoms.

I 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. 

The government has launched their new Test and Trace service, which alerts people if they have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus and as such, should stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day they were last in contact with that person. 

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:

Further information abouthow to book a test if you have coronavirus symptoms is available on the NHS website

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

What is the new Test and Trace service?
The Government has launched their new Test and Trace service, which alerts people if they have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus and as such, should stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day they were last in contact with that person.  

You should follow the new advice (which applies in England only) if you have or develop coronavirus symptoms of a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste or if you're told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you've been in contact with a person who has coronavirus. You should also notify your line manager if you are required to self-isolate.

What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 on campus – will the University carry out testing and tracing? 
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.


2) Questions relating to health and wellbeing UPDATED - 07 July, 17:00.

I have an underlying health condition and I am worried about attending work – what should I do?
The government's advice on staying alert recommends that clinically vulnerable people stay at home as much as possible but also that all workers who cannot work from home should travel to work if their workplace is open.  Please discuss with your line manager whether you can work at home or whether there are any other adjustments which will assist you to return to work (such as staggered start and end times, only working with the same small group of people etc). Your manager can complete a form with you to document any agreed actions. 

If your health condition is identified by Public Health England (PHE) as putting you at significantly higher risk of severe illness (clinically extremely vulnerable) if you were to contract Covid-19 and you have been advised to shield by a healthcare professional, then you are not required to attend campus.  You must however still inform your line manager that you have been advised to shield as soon as possible.

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? 
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, Citizens Advice, 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, however we are planning to reinstate these during July (this date is dependent on confirmation of the building being re-opened and social distancing precautions being in place for these clinics.  Staff that are due for health surveillance will be recalled initially and then those who had appointments postponed will be contacted with a new appointment date.

I am shielding, do I have to come back to campus?
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.  The period for this has been extended to 31 July 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 1 August 2020. The advice from 1 August 2020 is that you can go to your workplace (if you cannot work from home), as long as the business is “Covid-safe” in line with government guidelines (which the University has followed).  You should discuss any return to work with your line manager.  There are some staff who are shielding who have been able to work from home during restricted campus operations and should continue to do so.

I live with or care for someone who is shielding, do I have to come back to campus?
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 who 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, through a discussion with your line manager before you return, 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.

I am not shielding (have not received a letter from the government) but I am worried about returning to campus because I think I am at a higher risk from COVID-19?
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. Your line manager will discuss your return with you and this will give you an opportunity to discuss any concerns.  They can discuss measures to support your return and will complete a Covid-19 Return to Campus Discussion form which has been designed for use during the current period. Occupational Health can assist with an assessment if managers require help.  

What is shielding?
A small number of employees will have received a letter from the government requiring them to stay at home because they are classed as “clinically extremely vulnerable” – this is known as shielding. The period of shielding has been extended to 31 July 2020.   The University reserves the right to request a copy of this letter. There will also be people who are shielding because they have received a text or other communication from their GP or clinician instead of a letter from the government.

Do employees who are self-isolating have a letter from the government?
No - people who are self-isolating will not have a letter from the government; they will be self-isolating if they, or someone in their household, has symptoms of coronavirus, or if they have been advised via the new test and trace system that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.   

Does the University require employees who have an underlying health condition to come onto campus?
If you have an underlying health condition which is not one of the specific conditions identified by the Government you should attend campus when you are asked to do so.  Some employees may have an underlying health condition and have been identified by the government as clinically vulnerable (this includes people including those aged 70 and over, those with specific chronic pre-existing conditions and pregnant women). These employees are different to employees who are shielding but are also at greater risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. The University is working hard to follow all HSE and Government advice about adapting the workplace to ensure it is as safe as possible for employees to return. Your line manager will discuss your return with you and this will give you an opportunity to raise any concerns. It may be possible to put in place further adjustments such as staggered start and end times and/or continued working from home arrangements.  Your manager will discuss these and complete a specific Covid-19 Return to Campus Discussion form which has been designed for use during the current period. Occupational Health can assist with an assessment if managers require help.  

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. There are some buildings/locations (such as labs and corridors) where 1m+ social distancing means face coverings would be required as one of a number of important mitigating factors
  • 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 

3) Questions relating to sick pay UPDATED - 08 June, 11:00

Will I be paid whilst I am self-isolating?
The University will continue to pay sick pay to people who are self-isolating but we will keep this under constant review. If an employee is self-isolating but is well and able to work from home they should continue to do so.

Will any COVID-19 related absence count towards my sick pay entitlement?
No, COVID-19 related absence will not count towards University sick pay entitlement but the University will keep this under constant review.

I am employed on Support Staff terms and conditions of employment and I am still on probation. Do I qualify for Sick Pay? 
Yes, although this situation will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. This is due to the fact that it seems probable that the country will be dealing with the coronavirus on a long term basis and absences for coronavirus may become “normal” rather than “exceptional”.

Will employees need to provide a fit note (sick note) for coronavirus-related absence?
No, not currently but after 1 September 2020 we will expect you to obtain a fit note (sick note) for coronavirus-related absences. GPs are able to provide these virtually.

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.

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. 

Will Support Staff on probation get sick pay if they are on COVID-19 related sick leave?
Yes, although the University will keep is under constant review. 

What if an employee has been stranded abroad during the coronavirus pandemic?
As travel begins to open up they should make every reasonable effort to return to the UK so that they can return to work. In the meantime, if they can work remotely they should do so.

4) 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.    

5) 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.

6) Questions relating to employees taking leave to look after a dependent as a result of Covid-19 UPDATED - 08 June, 11:00

I am struggling to fulfil my contractual hours/duties. What support is there for me?
The University anticipates that all those staff 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.

Please ensure that you are in regular contact with your line manager and discuss any particular issues you are experiencing 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 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, however this position will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as the University starts to work through its phased approach to the reopening of campus. Staff should maintain regular contact with their line manager to discuss what work, if any, they are able to undertake while caring for dependents.

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?
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.  

7) Questions relating to employees taking annual leave UPDATED - 08 June, 11:00

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?
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.

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.

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.

8) 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 government 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.

9) Questions relating to Dubai UPDATED - 19 March, 15:00

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.

10) Questions relating to sponsored employees/researchers under Tiers 2 and 5 UPDATED - 31 July, 14:50

I am a new/existing staff member and will be entering/returning to the UK. Do I need to self-isolate?                                                                                            From 8 June, there will be new rules in place for entering the UK because of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The rules are for residents and visitors. When these rules are in place, you will:

  • need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK
  • not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK except in very limited situations (known as ‘self-isolating’)

You do not need to do these things now. But you should check the latest public health advice on coronavirus before you travel, or if you’ve just arrived in the UK.

For further information and the latest government advice on travelling to the UK please access the Visas and Immigration guidance

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 COVID-19 (coronavirus) – 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 July 2020?
If you had a visa that expired between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 you were able to request an extension if you were not able to return home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Now travel restrictions are lifting globally you will no longer be able to extend your visa automatically on this basis and you are expected to take all reasonable steps to leave the UK where it is possible to do so or apply to regularise your stay in the UK.

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

If you have any immigration queries related to coronavirus, please email the Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre. Please note your email must be in English. 

11) Questions relating to apprenticeships UPDATED - 04 August 14:15

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 have be made via teams. Please do your best to attend these meetings and update the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager if you are not able to attend.

What will happen to my off the job training?
All of our providers are now set up for remote delivery of your training. This should now be set up or you have details of when it will be set up by. If you 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 still be a requirement for some apprentices to take a break in learning. Should this be required the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager will discuss this with you. If you feel that due to the circumstances you need a break in learning please discuss this with your line manager and the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager.

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?
Any delay to this will be determined 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 your role. The government have introduced a number of flexibilities to enable end point assessment to take place remotely and your training provider will discuss this with you no later than four months before the end of your apprenticeship. If you are due to take your End Point Assessment before June 2021 a meeting will be taking place to discuss any potential extensions to your employment contract that may be required. You should have this meeting booked in, if not, please contact the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager.

How will I continue to get experience in the workplace?
Continue to engage with 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.

I am an apprentice and have been furloughed. Do I have to go on a break in learning?
This will depend upon the course you are studying and will be determined on a case by case basis with your training provider, line manager and Apprenticeship Scheme Manager.

If you are not on a break in learning but are furloughed you are permitted to continue with any off the job training that does not have a direct benefit to the University. You may also continue to receive one to ones with the Apprenticeship Scheme Manager so long as these only focus on your wellbeing and off the job training.

12) 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

13) Questions relating to Furlough UPDATED - 08 June, 11:00

I am an employee who has 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. 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?
Staff will continue to receive 100% of their 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.

14) Questions relating to this year's academic promotion round UPDATED - 17 June, 16:30

What changes have been made to this year's academic promotion round?We are keen to align our academic titles with those typically adopted worldwide (and increasingly so by institutions within the UK).  As such, we intend to introduce the titles of Assistant Professor and Associate Professor to replace Lecturer and Senior Lecturer respectively.  We have also decided to withdraw the title of Reader for new appointees from September 2021. The Reader title will only be retained for existing Readers and a final opportunity to apply for a Readership will be afforded during the 2020 academic promotions round.   

In addition, the current situation may have hampered some academic colleagues’ ability to prepare their cases for promotion, and, as a result, we have decided to extend the window in which applications can be submitted. The relevant submission dates for all promotions applications (including SL/SRF, Reader, Professor and banding/rebanding) will be announced in colleges in due course. 

Despite the delayed submissions date, we will work to conclude the process within the normal timescale as best we can.  The University understands that the impact of current circumstances can, for some, extend far beyond simply a delay in writing the application and we remain committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all as outlined in our promotion guidance.

Whilst this guidance does not specifically address the issue of COVID-19, it provides an appropriate framework to enable applications to be assessed.  Thus, if any staff feel that their application has been considerably impacted by the current events, they are strongly encouraged to include an Individual Circumstances element on to their application detailing any circumstances which have affected the application and outlining the impact that these may have had. 

For any questions, please contact your line manager or HR Business Partner.

15) Questions relating to pay negotiations, discretionary pay schemes and salary increments UPDATED - 25 June, 10:00

Will I receive my contractual increment this year?
The University has committed to pay the contractual increments for eligible staff due in either August or October.

Will pay negotiations continue this year?
Given the uncertainties for the next financial year, the University will not be in a position to discuss pay with the support staff unions until late summer at the earliest, and the unions have agreed with this timetable. The national 2020-21 pay negotiations for Academic & Related staff are paused due to the unprecedented disruption from the Covid-10 pandemic. Further information/updates can be found here.  

Will other discretionary pay schemes go ahead this year?
The University will not be able to make any announcement about discretionary pay schemes until the early autumn 2020 at the earliest. 

16) Questions relating to the University's collection service UPDATED - 01 July, 15:30

What is the collection service?
Many staff have been working at home in an environment without key office equipment or items you would normally have access to on campus and the University has been working to develop ways to support staff to work from home.

Following discussion at the Strategic Emergency Response Team, going forward staff will be able to begin to work with their support teams in Colleges and Professional Services departments to collect key office equipment or items. The requests must be critical to research activity, critical to health and wellbeing, critical to education activity, or critical to business activity. In each College or Professional Service, there is a nominated Specific Point of Contact who will be touch with staff in their respective areas to share further details. For staff unable to come onto site, a limited delivery service will be available.

Collection of items will be facilitated through your College or Professional Service, and individual building managers will coordinate with them to ensure the right equipment is extracted from the right location. Access to buildings will be aligned with the existing weekly schedule for access to buildings so will be phased over time, meaning some requests won’t be possible until access to that building is granted. Importantly, as campus reopens, equipment will need to be returned as required.

Any requests need to be discussed with your line manager, who will be able to direct them to your department’s Specific Point of Contact who will consider the request and refer it on for approval.

How will the process work?
Your first port of call is your line manager, who will advise if they would support the request. They will then give you permission to email your department’s Specific Point of Contact (in your College or Professional Service, the Director will have nominated a Specific Point of Contact to collate all requests) who will review. If your Senior Officer or DoOp approves the request, the SPOC will then get in touch when a date has been confirmed for access to the relevant building and ask you to book a timeslot.

How do I know who my SPOC is?
In each College and Professional Service, the SPOC will make themselves known.

How long will this process take?
As campus is currently in restricted operations, we have to ensure that your access can be facilitated. Many of the buildings are currently not open, which makes access a little more difficult. To let you come in and collect an item, a team will work behind the scenes to identify when the building can be opened, and then let the SPOC know. This will be run on a week by week basis so it might take up to 10 working days to get your access sorted.

What kind of requests will be approved?
The requests must be critical to research activity, critical to health and wellbeing, critical to education activity, or critical to business activity. This will be down to the discretion of your DoOp or Senior Officer. Unfortunately we can’t facilitate every request so it will only be those critical to ensuring you can carry out your work.

What if I cannot come on site?
Please submit your request anyway, and if it is approved, the SPOC will see if delivery is possible.

What if I can come on site, but can’t transport the item home myself?
Your SPOC will help you decide – if you can come on site and your item is approved for delivery, it might be helpful to have you come and identify it for the portering team.

How does delivery work?
Our portering team may be able to deliver the item to you – this would be dependent on circumstance. This may take up to 5 working days from the date of collection. Postage of items is paid for by your department.

How will I access campus?
If your request is approved, you will be given information around how to access campus before you collect the item. Please note that campus remains in Restricted Operations and you should not attempt to gain access without approval from your Senior Officer or DoOp.

What health and safety measures will be in place when on campus?
Specific details around Health and Safety when accessing campus will be shared when you are approved to access campus. This is because it is dependent on the building you are accessing’. Some Colleges/PSs may have different approaches based on their risk assessment.

 

 

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 - 08 June, 11:00

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:

Further information regarding the newly launched NHS Test and Trace service is available on:

What should I do if someone with COVID-19 comes to work?
If someone comes to work displaying COVID-19 symptoms, they should return home immediately and refer to the current NHS guidance, available via the links below:

Further information regarding the newly launched NHS Test and Trace service is available on:

You should contact your relevant Senior Officer of Head of School immediately and they will liaise with you to ensure appropriate action is taken. 

2) Questions for dealing with members of staff who are self-isolating UPDATED - 08 June, 11:00

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.

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 - 08 June, 11:00

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, however, this position will be kept under ongoing review.

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.

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 - 08 June, 11:00

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

9) Questions relating to supporting staff returning to campus UPDATED - 13 July, 10:30

What can I do to support my staff returning to work on campus?
The University is required to take reasonably practicable steps to protect staff and therefore you should ask your staff who are returning if they have any concerns.  If they do have concerns, you should discuss these with them.  If these concerns are because they are clinically vulnerable and/or are from a group which is at higher risk of serious illness from contracting Covid-19 you should also complete the Covid-19 Return to Campus Discussion form which has been designed for use at the current time. This will detail any agreed adjustments to their work, working pattern, or working environment. Occupational Health can assist with an assessment if managers require help. Assistance is also available from your HR Advisory team.

What is my role in supporting my staff back to working on campus?
You have an important role in discussing the return to working on campus with your staff before they return. This is so that you can identify whether staff have concerns about returning, particularly where these are linked to health issues which may raise their level of risk. Where there is a potential of increased risk you also have an important role in identifying and documenting the plan to mitigate these risks, by discussing and agreeing these with your member of staff.

How do I have the conversation with staff returning to work on campus?You will need to give staff time to express their feelings about returning to campus. Some staff will have faced their own health issues during the pandemic, or bereavement amongst friends or family.  Staff who have underlying health conditions or who are from an ethnic minority background or who are older may feel particularly anxious about a return. Therefore, a sensitive conversation which gives staff time to talk and for you to listen is particularly important. Open questions such as “how have you been during the lockdown” and “how are you feeling about returning to work on campus” may help kickstart the conversation. The key is asking how they are, whether they have any anxieties and discussing how these may be overcome. You should also be aware that their anxieties may lie beyond themselves and be for their family or friends, or others who they live with.

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 - 04 June, 13:30

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 when you are on campus during June. This will assist the security team in 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) What is being done to ensure campus complies with government regulations? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

As set out in the Campus Reopening Framework, there are a number of ‘readiness essentials’ that must be met to allow a building to open. These will include pre-return inspections on water systems, fire alarms, ventilation and air conditioning as well as health and safety checks, checks on building reception points, lifts, restocking of consumables and a review of receipt of deliveries and visitor policies etc. to ensure that the building is safe to reopen. There must also be a social distancing plan developed for each building – informed by a building-specific risk assessment that considers access, flow and traffic patterns for the building (both internal and external), signs and floor markings may need to be installed as well as a focus on the reduction of the touchpoints within the building on doors. All of this will be supported by increased and documented cleaning/sanitisation.

10) How will you make sure staff who are on campus are safe? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

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.

11) Will I have to wear a face mask/face covering on campus? UPDATED - 07 July, 17:00

As an additional measure to support a safe return to campus the University will be providing every member of staff and every student with a washable, branded, face covering when they return to campus in September. We have taken advice from colleagues in MDS on this issue and followed their guidance on the type of face covering. A very helpful video on how to use face coverings by Professor KK Cheng can be found here.

As campus starts to get busier we will be encouraging the wearing of face coverings. While the use of face coverings when outside is a personal choice, we want to encourage their use particularly inside buildings where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. There are some buildings/locations (such as labs and corridors) where 1m+ social distancing means face coverings would be required as one of a number of important mitigating factors. In these circumstances, the requirement to wear face coverings as a mitigation will be determined as part of the local risk and health and safety plan for the building in question and this requirement will be communicated to the staff, students and visitors that use those buildings. We will continue to monitor government guidance on face coverings and update this policy as appropriate.

12) What social distancing measures are being put in place on campus? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

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.

13) How will the University make sure that shared spaces like kitchens, toilets, stairs and lifts are safe for staff to use? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

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.

14) I am shielding, do I have to come back to campus? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

Please see questions in section relating to Health and Wellbeing. 

15) I live with or care for someone who is shielding, do I have to come back to campus? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

Please see questions in section relating to Health and Wellbeing. 

16) I am not shielding (have not received a letter from the government) but I am worried about returning to campus because I think I am at a higher risk from COVID-19? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

Please see questions in section relating to Health and Wellbeing. 

17) I rely on public transport to travel to campus and am anxious about having to catch the bus/train to get to work. UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

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.

18) 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.

19) 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. 

20) 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. 

21) 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. 

22) 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.

23) 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.

24) 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.

25) 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. 

26) What is shielding? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

Please see questions in section relating to Health and Wellbeing. 

27) Do employees who are self isolating have a letter from the government? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

Please see questions in the section relating to Health and Wellbeing. 

28) Does the University require employees who have an underlying health condition to come onto campus? UPDATED - 03 July, 13:00

Please see questions in the section relating to Health and Wellbeing. 

29) Will the University still pay sick pay whilst an employee is self-isolating? UPDATED - 04 June, 13:30

The university will continue to pay sick pay to people who are self-isolating but we will keep this under constant review. If an employee is self-isolating but is well and able to work from home they should continue to do so.

30) Will COVID-19 related absence count towards University sick pay entitlement? UPDATED - 04 June, 13:30

No - COVID-19 related absence will not count towards University sick pay entitlement but the University will keep this under constant review

31) Will Support Staff on probation get sick pay if they're on COVID-19 related sick leave? UPDATED - 04 June, 13:30

Yes, although the University will keep this under constant review.

32) Will employees need to provide a fit note (sick note) for coronavirus related absence? UPDATED - 04 June, 13:30

No - not currently but after 1 September 2020 we will expect you to obtain a fit note (sick note) for coronavirus-related absences.  GPs are able to provide these virtually. 

33) What if an employee has been stranded abroad during the coronavirus pandemic? UPDATED - 04 June, 13:30

As travel begins to open up they should make every reasonable effort to return to the UK so that they can return to work. In the meantime, if they can work remotely they should do so.

34) What’s happening with campus parking charges and how will I get a refund? UPDATED - 05 June, 13:00

From the 1 June, campus parking charges have been reinstated for those staff returning to campus as part of the phased reopening. Those staff who have had a salary deduction but have not been authorised to come onto campus since Restricted Operations will eligible for a refund. We will share more information about how to get that refund as soon as possible.

35) Who should return to campus? UPDATED - 03 July, 14:00

In order to manage risk we are planning to restrict the  number of staff on site so we can ensure safe working.  Therefore, if you can continue to work at home you should do so for now.  If you cannot work at home and you are required to come back to campus you will need to complete the canvas course on safe working.  

36) What measures can the University take to help my return to campus? UPDATED - 07 July, 17:00

Managers can agree arrangements such as: 

  • Work being organised to limit the number of work contacts staff will have during the day
  • Staggering start and end times to reduce footfall at the start and end of the working day
  • Relocating workplace
  • Walking or cycling to work (and possibly adjusting hours to accommodate this)
  • Avoiding common areas such as kitchens
  • Encouraging the use of face coverings inside of inside buildings where it is difficult to maintain social distancing. There are some buildings/locations (such as labs and corridors) where 1m+ social distancing means face coverings would be required as one of a number of important mitigating factors
  • Reducing the size of the group you usually work in
  • Providing a single office as appropriate 

Colleges

Professional Services