Information for staff
An email sent on Tuesday 5 January from the Vice-Chancellor, Charlie Jeffery outlined the some of key issues and decisions made by the University.
Updated arrangements for Spring Term
All classroom-based teaching activity will be delivered online for the entirety of the Spring Term. We hope to be able to provide in-person teaching using specialist teaching spaces (for example lab and performance spaces), subject to further government guidance, later in the term.
A few exempt courses, such as Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery, Social Work, and PGCE courses in Education resumed in-person teaching from Monday 4 January.
More information on Spring Term is being shared with our students via email and on our Spring Term 2021 web page.
While the general lockdown guidance is to stay at home and work from home if possible, some University staff are eligible to travel to work as critical workers.
This includes staff involved in-person teaching activities, researchers who need access to on-campus specialist spaces and research facilities, and staff supporting students and essential front-line operations.
We are working through any implications for our GTAs. Government advice to date has also advised us that postgraduate researchers should be treated on the same basis as employees, so should work from home if they can, but those who require access to specialist facilities for their work may also do so.
For all those continuing this on-campus activity, we are reviewing all of our health and safety risk assessments, to provide assurance that we are operating as safely as possible in these difficult circumstances.
In accordance with Government guidance, colleagues in Higher Education are currently considered to be in scope as ‘critical workers’ for eligibility for school places during the current lockdown.
Therefore, it is our current understanding that if you are an employee of the University of York, you fall within this scope as a ‘critical worker’.
However, it is essential that we collectively make every effort to protect the NHS and reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
Therefore, children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.
The Government's position remains that everyone who can work from home should do so.
Please consider whether you can work from home, and work with your line manager to see if you can balance homeschooling with your work commitments, in order to release capacity for school places to those in the community who are not able to do so.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any further assistance.
Using campus space during lockdown
In line with government guidance, in all cases you may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home. Staff can come to campus where this is permitted under specific scenarios . For full details of the permitted scenarios see:
In order to keep track of who is in University buildings, you will need to sign in using the sign-in sheet provided by your department. If you're planning on being on campus for most or all of your working day (eg for physical or mental wellbeing, or lack of suitable space to work at home), you should discuss it with your line manager before travelling.
Supporting shielding staff and postgraduate researchers
The new government guidance reintroduces shielding for those with especially vulnerable health conditions. We will be working on a set of flexible and supportive Covid-19 measures similar to those we had in place last spring in order to help colleagues manage these new circumstances.
It is estimated that 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not display symptoms, and therefore may be spreading the virus without realising. It is crucial that you get yourself tested using our on-campus facility. Testing is available to all symptom-free students, postgraduate researchers and staff in York.
If you visit campus regularly, are a placement student or are receiving in-person teaching, we strongly encourage you to get tested regularly (two tests a week, three days apart).
If you’re living off-campus in York, we encourage you to get two tests (three days apart) so that you are not unknowingly contributing to any transmission of Covid-19. Please help us protect our whole community.
Stay smart, supportive and safe
Lots of work has gone into making our campus and facilities covid-secure, but every one of us has a role to play in keeping ourselves - and those around us - as safe as possible.
As well as the staff-specific information on this page, we've also published guidance on the actions that all of us can take to stay smart, supportive and safe.
You must self-isolate if you:
have any Covid-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change of taste or smell)
have tested positive for Covid-19
share a household with someone that has symptoms or has tested positive
are contacted and asked to isolate by either the University or NHS Test and Trace
The People and Organisational Development team has pulled together resources to support your wellbeing while working remotely.
If you need to talk to someone:
for medical concerns, contact your GP/medical specialist or NHS 111.
for non-medical concerns, talk to your line manager or Head of Department in the first instance. If you have a concern you do not feel comfortable discussing with your line manager, you can contact email@example.com.
You can also call Health Assured, our confidential employee assistance service, 24 hours a day.
Working arrangements and pay
Human Resources have published information on supporting staff during lockdown. This contains details of the enhanced flexible working arrangements in place to support staff during the challenges of lockdown.
The guidance will be in place until 31 March 2021 and covers:
balancing work and homeschooling
flexible working options
additional help for carers
shielding and health conditions
Information on tax relief while working at home is available on the HMRC website.
Resources, guidance and policies
Working remotely or from home
Our Working at York page covers:
It also includes guidance on technology and data protection. More guidance can also be found on the Working remotely (Skills guide) page.
The Covid-19 Community Charter outlines what our community can expect from the University and what the University expects from its staff and students.
Students are also asked to take the online Covid-19 Community Safety Module in the VLE.
As a research intensive University, our community remains committed to the quality of our research, which is carried out to the highest standards.
Our staff research pages contain:
Teaching, learning and assessment
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: