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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information for colleagues

Page last updated: 06/08/2020

Coronavirus HR guidance for colleagues

If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste) or have been in contact with anyone suspected of having Covid-19 you should not, under any circumstances, attend the campus. You should observe the guidance and self-isolation rules outlined by Public Health England (PHE)

• Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days or longer if they have a high temperature until the temperature returns to normal. You must not come to campus during this time although colleagues can work remotely if they are well enough to do so.

• Anyone living with someone who has symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days from when their symptoms first started and must not come to campus this time. Colleagues can work remotely if they are well enough to do so.

• Anyone contacted through the Test and Trace programme must self-isolate for up to 14 days, depending on the last contact with the person who has tested positive.

• Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) can get a free test to check if they have the virus.

Any colleagues who the above applies to must let their manager know. 

Guidance and support

Plus Icon I have symptoms of the coronavirus (Covid-19) or have been diagnosed with coronavirus (Covid-19) what should I do?

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you must follow Government and Public Health England (PHE) guidance around self-isolating and testing and tracing.

If you are unfit to work due to a diagnosis of Covid-19 or Covid-19 symptoms, you can self-certify for a period in excess of seven days, even if you have not attended a GP surgery or hospital due to the risk of further infection.

You must inform your manager on the first day of any period of absence, explaining you are absent and stating how long you expect to be absent – in line with the relevant PHE/NHS guidance provided at that time. Your manager will follow the normal absence recording procedures.

If you are absent due to a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 or because you have Covid-19 symptoms, it will not count towards absence thresholds.

Our HR team has prepared a guide on how to put absence related to Coronavirus into iTrent.

Plus Icon There are members of my household with symptoms. What should I do?

If there are members of your household with symptoms, you must follow Government and Public Health England guidance and inform your line manager as soon as possible. If you do not have symptoms and are able to work from home, then you should discuss this with your manager who will instruct you on your duties during your period of self-isolation. If you are not able to work from home then you should still stay at home in accordance with the guidance. You will not be financially disadvantaged if you are not able to work during self-isolation.

Our Human Resources team has prepared a guide on how to put absence related to coronavirus into iTrent.

Plus Icon I have been advised that I am high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable). What should I do?

If you are at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable), you are advised to follow the Government and PHE guidance on ‘shielding’. This can be found on the Government website.

As long are you are healthy you should work from home if your job enables you to do so.

You should let your line manager know that you need to ‘shield’ so that you can discuss your needs and the implications when more is known about a return to campus.

Plus Icon I have been advised that I am moderate risk (clinically vulnerable). What should I do?

If you’re at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable), you’re advised to follow the advice on social distancing. Government guidance can be found on the NHS website.

You should let your line manager know that you fall into this category so that you can discuss your needs and the implications when more is known about a return to campus.

Plus Icon During this time what services can colleagues access to support physical and mental wellbeing?

Information and guidance is available from Human Resources and on the the health and wellbeing section of our Covid-19 FAQs, which will continue to be updated. Our Wellbeing and Occupational Health Service provides support and resources which can be accessed remotely through the staff intranet pages and Health Assured continue to run the Employee Assistance Programme helpline as normal. The Chaplaincy Service also offers support to all colleagues.

Occupational Health is continuing to provide a remote service, with all consultations being undertaken by telephone. The occupational health physician and the physiotherapy services are also available remotely. Online classes and fitness tips to help your physical wellbeing have been offered via Sport and Active Lifestyles.

Plus Icon My role requires me to be on campus, but I am concerned about catching (or spreading) Covid-19. What are the guidelines?

A small number of jobs require the role holder to continue to work on campus and risk assessments have been carried out for those colleagues, with reference to Public Health England and NHS guidance.

If you have concerns about being on campus, please raise these with your line manager who will seek to understand your concerns and whether they can be accommodated. If you are unable to work from home as an alternative, then unpaid leave or annual leave may be considered to support you in these circumstances, although this may not be approved for prolonged periods. The requirements of the University will need to be balanced against your personal concerns.

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