Information for staff
HR has published guidance on flexible working arrangements in preparation for the new academic year.
Buildings on campus are being reopened with covid-secure measures in place. You should only return to work on campus when invited to do so.
Some on-campus facilities and services remain closed while others are operating a reduced service. For details, see campus facilities.
Our aim for the Autumn term 2020 is to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as possible and to deliver online teaching where we need to. Find out more about our plans.
The rest of this page and additional pages linked below have full details and lots more information.
Top tip: there’s a lot of information on these pages, so remember you can use ctrl-F (Windows) or cmd-F (Mac) to search within the page for the information you need.
Additional information available for staff on this site:
For specific information and resources on teaching, learning and student progress, see guidance provided by the Academic Contingency Planning Group.
For links to information from the Government, NHS and City of York Council, please see External information sources at the end of this page.
COVID-19 Secure - Policy and Management Procedure
The University recognises its management responsibilities for the risks and hazards associated with staying COVID-19 secure. We will ensure that appropriate health, safety and welfare arrangements are maintained throughout the University.
The COVID-19 Secure - University Policy and Management Procedure document sets out the arrangements and guidance that the University has adopted to protect our community. Compliance with this Management Procedure is mandatory.
Remember: For the foreseeable future, you should continue to work from home rather unless you have been identified as an essential worker, or invited back by your line manager.
This document also includes a high level COVID-19 Secure Risk Assessment setting out the hazards and mitigations to be used by the wider University, Faculties, Departments and Business Units. This assessment is a live document and will be revised and updated on a regular and ongoing basis.
Self-isolation and staying at home
If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, you must stay at home. Do not leave your house or flat for at least ten days from when your symptoms started.
Symptoms are defined by the Government as follows:
a high temperature
a new continuous cough
loss of taste or smell.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you're staying at home. You may be eligible for testing under the new Government requirements.
If your symptoms worsen during isolation or are no better after seven days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999. If you are a student on campus and you have an emergency please call (01904) 32 3333 (3333 from a university extension).
Further Staying at Home Guidance has been published by Public Health England including how to effectively manage self-isolation in different living environments. This contains important information to support the well-being of anyone self-isolating and those around them so please read this guidance.
We have asked the majority of staff to work from home until you are advised otherwise. This will be recorded as working from home and you will continue to receive normal pay.
From 1 September, whether you're working at home or you've returned to campus, you should be working your contracted hours using flexible arrangements as necessary. Talk to your line manager if you have any queries.
Information on tax relief whilst working at home is available on the HMRC website.
If you are self-isolating but not unwell
You may need to self-isolate if you are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), if you are in a high-risk category or if you care for a dependent in a high-risk category (see our self-isolation information below).
If you are well and in a role where you are able to work from home you will be expected to do so.
If you have been asked to continue working on campus to maintain essential services but need to self-isolate, liaise with your manager about what work can be undertaken at home.
You will be paid as detailed above but if sickness symptoms develop this should be reported to the University and recorded as sickness.
Please fill in the online form to let us know that you are self-isolating.
If you are ill with a case of coronavirus (COVID-19)
This will be recorded as sickness and there is no expectation that you will work.
You will receive sick pay. If full sick pay allowance expires, continue on full pay (please note sickness directly related to COVID-19 will not be taken into account for sickness absence triggers under the Managing sickness absence policy).
Please fill in the online form to let us know that you have been diagnosed as having coronavirus (COVID-19). You should also report your absence to your line manager in the normal way.
If you cannot attend work because normal caring arrangements are interrupted, eg closure of a child's school or nursery
Now schools and nurseries are reopening, you will be expected to work your contracted hours using flexible arrangements as necessary. Talk to your line manager, if you have any queries or concerns about this.
In the event of school/nursery closure after 1 September, talk to your line manager about taking special leave if you're unable to work as normal.
If you have a front line role
We are starting to reopen campus, but we are continuing to ask the majority of staff to work from home unless advised otherwise.
However, we still have a need to provide some essential services on campus to support our students and other core services such as campus infrastructure, cleaning, security, catering and care support. If you are in one of these roles you will be provided with a letter to confirm this, that you can show to the authorities in the event you are stopped when travelling to and from work. It is essential that you also travel with your University ID badge so this can be verified against your letter. The letter is for your sole use and is limited to travel to and from work and should not be used for any other purpose.
The health and wellbeing of our staff and students remains a priority to us, and so if you have a front line role, but are classed as at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus please see 'If you are self-isolating but not unwell' above.
If you do not fall into this category but you have concerns about coming to work, please discuss this with your line manager or Head of Department. If you are worried and need to talk to someone confidentially, you can also contact Health Assured, our employee assistance service which provides advice and confidential counselling via a 24 hour helpline.
If you have a concern that you don’t feel comfortable discussing with your line manager you can contact HR on firstname.lastname@example.org, we will try to help you.
Working from home
We have published Guidance for working from home which includes information on:
software, hardware and internet connection
connecting to University services
advice for specific tasks eg recording a lecture, running a meeting
health and safety
As campus reopens, please continue to work from home until you are advised otherwise.
If your role allows you to work from home, this will be recorded as working from home and you will continue to receive normal pay.
From 1 September all staff are expected to work their contracted hours using flexible arrangements as necessary. Talk to your line manager if you have any queries or concerns.
If you need to visit campus (eg to fetch equipment to use at home) please complete the Requesting access to campus form.
IT Services are putting in place additional laptop support.
If you need to purchase equipment to work from home
Please follow the guidance about purchasing on the Finance web pages
With approval from your line manager, you may purchase small items such as cables and USB hubs and follow the usual expense claim process to be reimbursed.
If you’ve used your personal phone for work calls while waiting for CIRCUIT to be set up and they are separately identifiable and in line with the expenses policy you can follow the usual expense claim process to be reimbursed.
Measures for those at increased risk
Although some guidance has been relaxed, the recent Government advice for those aged 70 or older, those with underlying health conditions and those who are pregnant, continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household. Government Coronavirus FAQs
There are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and PHE are strongly advising these individuals to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe. Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. For more information see the guidance on shielding and protecting people in this category.
Note: From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly.
Online form to report self-isolation
Please complete this form if you:
• have tested positive for coronavirus
• have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (including if you have been contacted by the NHS Track and Trace Service)
• have recently developed coronavirus symptoms
We will use the data reported to:
• ensure that appropriate steps are taken to reduce any risk for anyone who has returned on campus (for example by closing or cleaning locations where someone with coronavirus was working)
• meet our statutory duty to report outbreaks of coronavirus to Public Health England
• contribute to our monitoring of the overall incidence of coronavirus among members of the University
We are no longer using the form to record details of absences from work. You should also report any absence connected to coronavirus to your line manager. This might be a period of sickness absence, or a period of self-isolation that stops you coming to work on campus. Please do this through your department’s normal absence procedures.
If you don't feel safe at home
Teaching, learning and assessments
Our aim is to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as possible and to deliver online teaching where we need to.
In the Autumn term, large lectures will be delivered solely online. This means we’ll have sufficient space for face-to-face teaching such as seminars, tutorials and small groups to be delivered safely.
Exams and assessments will continue to be delivered online for the time being.
During our contingency planning, ensuring the quality of our degrees and awards is not impacted is a key consideration and we are doing all we can to maintain the value of the awards received by our students and they are in no way disadvantaged.
We are also working, through frequent engagement with UUK and the Russell Group to ensure that all relevant professional bodies understand and agree with any assessment alternatives we offer in order to meet their standards and requirements. Staff and students at universities in the UK and around the world are experiencing similar changes at short notice and we have been consulting with colleagues in Australia and Asia who have been experiencing this level of disruption and change so that we can ensure that we learn from their experiences.
As a research intensive university, our community remains committed to the quality of our research, which is carried out to the highest standards. For many, the major difference will be online, home working. Please visit the dedicated staff research pages for more information.
We are seeking advice and clarification from all of our main funders, and you can visit our links to the latest information that funders are providing.
Researchers on a fixed-term contract related to a research grant
We would like to reassure staff that, to date, no funders have indicated an intention to terminate or curtail any such grants. All staff on research grants will continue to receive their salary in line with their current contract of employment. As background, we have created a table of information from research funders linking to the latest official guidance.
We appreciate that for some staff whose contracts depend on research grants, the requirement to work remotely has the potential to delay the completion of work eg laboratory-based research, research by public performance, etc., within a fixed overall window of external funding.
Research and Enterprise will continue to liaise with funders of research to clarify their intentions in respect of grants and staff affected in this way, and share all information as soon as we receive it on our staff research pages.
Please also see the email sent to all staff from the Vice-Chancellor on Thursday 23 April regarding fixed-term contracts and research grants.
You may have accepted a casual assignment through the Dashboard system but are unable to complete it because:
you are self-isolating in line with government guidelines, or
the University is not operating as normal and you are therefore unable to undertake the work
If this is the case, you will still be paid for the hours you were booked to work. We will check with your department how many hours they anticipated you would have work during your isolation, and you will then be paid for these hours.
Please note that this is only in relation to Covid-19. The normal sickness absence process remains in place for all other sickness which should be reported as usual and will be paid in accordance with your terms and conditions.
Please also see the email sent to all staff from the Vice-Chancellor on Thursday 23 April regarding fixed-term contracts.
People and Organisational Development have pulled together resources to support your wellbeing while working remotely.
We understand that this is a very stressful situation for many people. We are monitoring the changing situation closely, providing regular updates to staff and implementing the Government’s medical recommendations. Accordingly, as the national picture evolves we will continue to provide an appropriate and proportionate response in line with Government advice.
If your concerns are medical please contact your GP/medical specialist or call NHS 111.
If you have any non-medical concerns, please discuss this with your line manager or Head of Department in the first instance. You may also wish to talk to Health Assured, our employee assistance service, which can provide advice and confidential counselling via a 24 hour helpline.
If you have a concern you do not feel comfortable discussing with your line manager then you contact HR on email@example.com.
We strongly recommend that you follow the latest government advice and do not travel unless it is essential.
Should you decide you still wish to travel overseas you will need to follow usual arrangements for booking time off. However if you don’t follow advice and find yourself unable to work as a consequence please be aware that this will have to be covered by annual leave or unpaid leave.
Business critical spend
In light of the financial challenges posed by COVID-19, we have shared our principles and assessment processes to guide how we manage our finances in the coming months. It follows a policy framework agreed at University Executive Board to limit spending to areas of critical need.
For more information see our Buying goods, services and equipment webpage and the email sent to all staff from the Vice-Chancellor on Thursday 23 April regarding expenditure control.
For most queries, please contact your department in the first instance, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
External information sources
In addition to University sources, you should also consult these official sources of information: