Coronavirus: Guidance for staff
Guidance for staff on returning to campus
The latest guidance for staff on returning to campus is available in the announcements area of the staff portal. This information includes return to campus documents for managers, a return to campus teaching update, event guidance (updated 23 September) and guidance for staff hosting visitors.
All staff are asked to monitor themselves for covid-19 symptoms before travelling to campus. More information about this can be found on the portal here.
If you have any further questions or concerns about coronavirus, please contact email@example.com.
What is the University guidance on face coverings?
Face coverings are mandatory in all shared indoor spaces at the University, unless there are legitimate circumstances or age, health or disability related reasons not to wear a face covering, as stated on the government website here. Face coverings are not be required when eating, drinking or using the gym.
Staff and students are expected to wear a face covering indoors in all University shared spaces, and externally where two metre distancing cannot be maintained on-campus. This includes faith spaces. As per the government guidance, face coverings are also mandatory in shops and when using public transport, this includes The Shop (Digby) and the Roehampton shuttle bus.
Please bring your own face covering to campus (reusable is recommended) and wash your hands before and after putting a face covering on. For advice on the type of face coverings that are recommended please visit the government website here.
Visit the portal here to read the full guidance.
How are you making sure the campus will be safe?
We have been putting in place many new measures to ensure we have an environment that puts student and staff wellbeing at its heart. Measures include:
- all teaching and social spaces will be COVID-secure, in line with the latest government guidelines on social distancing
- enhanced cleaning across campus, including teaching spaces, places of worship, social areas, the Library, diners and in student accommodation (such as kitchens and other communal areas)
- reception desks and student-facing contact points, including counters in shops and catering facilities, will have screens and sanitation points installed, and there will be an enhanced provision of hand sanitisers across campus
- social distancing measures in place in our Library and revised procedures, including returned books being quarantined for 72 hours before being shelved
- new access and one-way pedestrian routes introduced around the University, designed to ensure safe passage around all buildings when the campus reopens
- instructions for staff and students will be made available later in the summer, outlining the safe use of teaching spaces including entering, occupying and leaving classrooms. We have also developed a policy on the use of face coverings.
- Thorough risk assessments have been completed on all buildings and learning facilities. This includes assessments to ensure ventilation is of a standard in line with government guidance. Rooms in Elm Grove and Library which have no windows have 100% fresh air supply through, with no recirculation, through ventilation systems.
- Enhanced support for staff and student wellbeing, and promotion of it, including the Employee Assistance Programme and Mental Health First Aid training.
- All students are required to sign up to the University's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Shared Statement of Responsibility prior to their arrival on campus. All students will also be shown a PowerPoint presentation about coronavirus and safety measures as part of induction.
Have the University's general fire emergency and evacuation procedures been revised to include Covid-19 hygiene and physical distancing requirements?
The University's general fire emergency and evacuation procedures have been revised. More information about this can be found on the portal here.
What is the University's COVID-19 cleaning regime?
Visit the portal here to read information about the University's cleaning regime in light of COVID-19.
Will I be able to book a room for staff meetings during the autumn semester?
During the autumn semester, it will not be possible to book rooms on campus for staff meetings or conferencing activities.
Due to the social distancing restrictions, we need to prioritise teaching safety for students and staff. Rooms will need to be reconfigured with a severely reduced capacity and more spaces will be needed to deliver quality face- to- face learning. By avoiding staff meetings, we will be able to ensure spaces are safe and teaching-ready with specific layouts for students when they enter rooms.
As guidelines evolve, we hope to review this for the spring semester, but in the meantime, meetings will need to continue virtually.
What to do if you feel unwell
The latest UK Government advice is available here. This includes self-isolation if you, or anyone in your house or flat or 'support bubble' shows symptoms of coronavirus. Find out more about self-isolation on the NHS website here.
How to self-isolate
- Remain where you are but away from people
- Inform your line manager and keep them updated
- You should make your way home taking the most direct route possible
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Remain where you are and do not travel to the University
- Inform your line manager and keep them updated
- You should make your way home taking the most direct route possible
- Email email@example.com
- Follow self-isolation advice from NHS111.
Get an isolation note
Use this NHS 111 Coronavirus service if you have been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus.
This service is only for people who:
- have symptoms of coronavirus
- live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus
- have been told to self-isolate by a test and trace service
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, the first thing you need to do is get health advice. If you have not already done this, use the 111 online coronavirus service.
If you feel well enough to work, you can continue to work from home and will not need an isolation note.
How to tell the University if you have a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- If you do not feel well enough to work, you should sign off as sick using the usual procedures by contacting your line manager.
- The requirements for medical certification have been waved and you must not visit a GP surgery to obtain a certificate. The government has now introduced an on-line “isolation note”. If you have symptoms of coronavirus, use the 111 coronavirus service to get an isolation note. This applies to all staff, including visiting lecturers and temporary staff employed through URJobs.
- If you are diagnosed with Covid-19, please also email firstname.lastname@example.org
Support can also be found through the Employee Assistance Programme.
If you need further support, please contact email@example.com.
How will sickness absence due to coronavirus be reported?
The absence will be a sickness absence relating to COVID-19 (to be logged as sickness absence but will be considered separately from the usual sickness).
No certification needed- staff must not visit a GP to get a certificate. If you have symptoms of coronavirus and need to stay at home, use the 111 coronavirus service to get an isolation note.
The period of absence would not be considered for any future absence management procedures that may be ongoing or initiated for other sickness absences.
How should I report all other sickness absences (i.e. not relating to coronavirus)?
All other sickness absence, i.e. not relating to Coronavirus, should continue to be reported in the usual way by contacting your line manager.
Absences of longer than one week continue to require a fit note/medical certificate from the 8th day of absence. You should contact your GP to find out what arrangements are in place to provide consultations and/or fit notes should you be unwell. If your GP does not have a digital service in place, the University would not expect any member of staff to risk their health by visiting their GP to collect it and it can be provided at a later date.
Care for dependant in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19)
We realise that many colleagues will be faced with significant additional caring responsibilities over the next few weeks and possibly months. We understand that flexibility and understanding of staff during this period is important. With immediate effect, the following arrangements will apply.
Until further notice, we will be applying the University's carer's leave policy as flexibly as we can. If staff are able to carry out most of their allocated duties by working flexibly at times that suit them, they do not need to request any carer's leave, provided their Head of Department or Manager agrees to the arrangements.
In cases where staff are unable to carry out most of their normal duties at home, even by working flexibly at times that suit them, they should talk to their Manager / Head of Department in the first instance to explore flexible options and support that may be available for them.
We are grateful for the ongoing support, flexibility, and very best efforts of colleagues during this unprecedented and challenging period.
If you have any queries regarding the above, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The government has now introduced an on-line “isolation note”. If you live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you can get an isolation note to send to the University as proof you need to stay off work.
I don't feel comfortable travelling to the University
We are actively encouraging remote working for staff who are able to, and putting in place additional measures for staff who are working on campus.
How to work and study remotely
- You can login to Moodle here.
- You can login to your university emails here.
- You can find staff email addresses and phone numbers here.
- You can access Library resources here.
- You can access the Staff Portal here.
- You can access the Student Portal here.
- You can access your University drives here. This link includes all of the instructions on how to access your files away from campus.
- Guidance on remote working can be found here.
- You can find details of University IT systems here.
- You can access specialist software here.
- You can find information on saving files and OneDrive here.
- To install Microsoft Office 365 on up to 5 PC 's or Mac 's, click here to launch your Outlook email and navigate to My Account | App and Devices. Please note there is also Office apps for iOS and Android.
- To install Microsoft Skype for Business for PC or Mac, click here to launch your Outlook email and navigate to My Account | App and Devices. Select the 'Skype for Business Basic' (for Office 365 version). Note there is also an app for iOS and Android.
Learning and teaching
The eLearning team have produced a tool box for staff to develop their digital resources. This can be found here.
We are encouraging the use of Zoom.
Skype for Business
Staff should sign into Skype for Business whilst working.
- Most University Windows 10 desktops and laptops will also have the Skype for Business client installed. Search for 'Skype for Business' (not 'Skype' which is different) in Apps. If you need to install Microsoft Skype for Business for PC or Mac on a personal device, click here to launch your Outlook email and navigate to My Account | App and Devices. Select the 'Skype for Business Basic' (for Office 365 version). Note there is also an app for iOS and Android.
- Further information on Skype for Business can be found towards the end of the University IT Systems page here.
Staff should put their work phones on call forward to their personal or work mobiles. We appreciate not all staff have work mobile phones and thank you for your cooperation. We are working to undertake this remotely.
To learn how to access your voicemail remotely, click here.
Out of office templates for staff
If you require an out of office template in relation to coronavirus, please click here.
For support on eLearning and academic tools please contact the eLearning team:
Phone: 0208 392 5006
For general IT support please contact ServiceDesk:
Display screen equipment (DSE) for home workers
Information and support about DSE for home workers can be found on the portal here.
If you have any questions about this, please contact email@example.com
Headsets and webcams
Staff can claim the cost of these back on expenses. Staff are asked to confirm with their line manager before purchasing.