Page updated: 16 October 2020

Covid-19 Staff FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, for University of Worcester staff.

These FAQs take into account government guidance and University policy at this time. The University’s approach will continue to be reviewed and updated and the arrangements described in these FAQs will be subject to change.

This page also includes information on:

Please also see our campus safety pages for additional information, including guidance on the use of face coverings on campus.

Learn more about coronavirus symptoms from an experienced doctor

Dr Claire Jones, a highly experienced local GP and Ross Renton, University of Worcester Senior Pro Vice Chancellor, delivered an online information session on 25 September, with topics ranging from recognising the symptoms of Covid-19 to how to access support from the University. 

How can I best support our students? 

We know that many staff will be approached by students with concerns about coronavirus. Please encourage your students to visit the Student FAQs on the website which includes advice on what they should do if they have symptoms of Covid-19. If they have any specific questions that are not addressed in the FAQs or need additional support, they should contact firstpoint@worc.ac.uk 

What if a student that I am teaching tests positive for Covid-19? (UPDATED - 6 OCTOBER)

If a student has symptoms, or tests positive, they are asked to record this on the reporting portal on SOLE. This alerts the University, who will follow up with the student. If they test positive, Public Health are also automatically notified. At this stage, Public Health will work closely with the University to identify staff and students who may have had close contact with the student. They will carefully assess the situation, including the duration and circumstances of the contact and will then advise whether any action, including a period of precautionary self-isolation is required for you or for other students in the class. If you are not contacted, you should continue as normal and do not need to take any further action, other than following the usual precautions outlined in these FAQs. 

If your students are concerned about Covid-19, you can remind them of the resources available on this website and on the firstpoint webpages. The Students’ Union also have webpages and social media channels dedicated to Covid-19 support.

What do I do if a student becomes unwell with Covid-19 symptoms in my class? (UPDATED 13 OCTOBER)

Students have had information on what to do if they have one or more symptoms of Covid-19, which clearly state they are not permitted to come onto campus.  They should return immediately to where they are currently living, self-isolate and get tested as soon as possible, following the government guidance. Students should use the online student absence reporting system on SOLE to report their absence. This will automatically notify their Personal Academic Tutor and Course Leader, and, if they are staying in University of Worceser accommodation, will let Security know that they are self-isolating. This has been sent to students in a letter, is on the FAQs, and they have been sent an induction video which covers the basics of being on campus. There is also signage on campus on what to do if you have symptoms. The Welcome guide app also links to the Covid pages on the website. 

In the event that student becomes unwell on campus, they should go home to their term-time address immediately and follow the above process to self-isolate and get tested. If the student is too unwell to go home, separate them from other students and call Security, who will provide the appropriate support.

Anyone else in their household will also need to isolate for 14 days from when the student’s symptoms started, unless the student has a test and it comes back negative, and nobody else in the house has symptoms.  Students in a shared house or flat are considered to be a household, so they will all need to isolate if one of them has any of the symptoms of Covid-19, or tests positive.

What do I do if a student contacts me to say they have symptoms? (UPDATED - 13 OCTOBER)

Advise them to follow the government guidance to self-isolate and get a test. They should then report their absence on their SOLE page and keep SOLE updated on the status of their test. Anyone else in their household will also need to isolate for 14 days from when the student’s symptoms started, unless the student has a test and it comes back negative, and nobody else in the house has symptoms.  Students in a shared house or flat are considered to be a household, so they will all need to isolate if one of them has any of the symptoms of Covid-19, or tests positive.

If a student who has attended one of my classes tests positive for COVID-19, what happens next? Will the whole class have to isolate? (NEW - 13 OCTOBER)

If a student tests positive, they should report this using the online student absence reporting system on SOLE.  This will alert Student Services and Public Health, as well as the Personal Academic Tutor, Course Leader, and Security (for students in University of Worcester accommodation).  Student Services and Public Health will then work together to talk to the student and establish their movements and activities for the period when they were considered to be infectious (starting from two days before their symptoms emerged, or the date of the positive test if they are asymptomatic).  It is only close contacts of the positive case who will be asked to isolate.  Close contacts in a classroom setting are likely to be anyone who:

  • was within 2 metres of the positive case for more than 15 minutes (with or without a face mask)
  • was within 1 metre for more than one minute (with or without a face mask)
  • had face-to-face contact (within one metre), including being coughed on
  • had skin-to-skin physical contact

In the case of a student who attended one of your classes during the period when they would be considered infectious, Student Services may contact you to check on the seating arrangements, such as how close together students were sitting, and whether they stayed in the same groups or moved tables.  They may also need to ask about activities that took place as part of the session, and arrangements for breaks (such as whether the students left the room; if they all went out at the same time; and when the breaks were and how long for).  A class list may also be helpful if we need to contact a number of students who attended the session.  This level of detail will help us to establish which students or staff might have been in close contact with the virus, so that the minimum number of people can be asked to isolate to reduce its spread.

What if I feel unwell with symptoms of coronavirus when I am teaching a class?

If you become unwell with symptoms of coronavirus whilst teaching, please ask your class to leave the room in an orderly manner, observing social distancing. Then go home immediately. Please do not go back to your School or staff office. As soon as you can, please call your School Office to let them know that you are unwell and that you have asked your class to leave.

Please remain at home in line with Government ‘stay at home’ guidance: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

You should book a Covid-19 test as quickly as possible, using a local test site where this is available:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

You must keep the University informed of the result by contacting your line manager.

I live in an area with a local lockdown – what should I do?

The Government continues to monitor infection rates and may impose restrictions on movement in areas that experience high levels of infection, commonly known as ‘local lockdown’.  The latest details can be found on the Government’s website Local Restrictions: areas with an outbreak of coronavirus.

If you live in an area under local lockdown, you should review the Government website to identify the nature of the restrictions that are in place for your area.

The current Government guidance confirms that people living inside and outside of  affected areas can continue to travel in and out for work and study. 

I wish to travel abroad for my holiday. Do I need to do anything further before I travel?

Prior to travel, you should refer to the government guidance on self-isolation requirements when arriving in, or returning to, the UK from abroad. Please note that this list is kept under review and is subject to change. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors. All staff are required to adhere to the government guidance and should not attend work on campus until they have competed the required period of self-isolation

Recognising that travel to or from any country could be affected at very short notice, prior to travelling you should discuss and agree with your manager which of following options is most appropriate in relation to your role, in case a period of self-isolation/quarantine should be required upon your return to the UK:

  • book additional days holiday to cover the self-isolation period;
  • take unpaid leave for the self-isolation period; or,
  • work from home for the self-isolation period if this is possible.

Please note that if you fail to seek prior approval and agreement from your line manager, and a subsequent period of self-isolation/quarantine is in fact required, your absence may be classed as unauthorised.

I am a member of staff who is concerned about becoming unwell in the work environment.

Please support yourself, colleagues and students by following the advice provided by Public Health England and the World Health Organization which is designed to minimise the spread of any infection. You may wish to remind and reassure colleagues and students of the following advice at the start of lectures or meetings.

  • Observe good respiratory and hand hygiene, washing hands regularly.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Observe the University’s social distancing regimes and safe workplace protocols.  Follow the control measures that have been put in place in relation to your particular working environment and activity.  If you are unsure or have concerns speak to your line manager in the first instance.
  • Follow the travel and health advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

You can download the ‘Wash your hands’ PowerPoint slide which promotes good practice and include it alongside your lectures and presentations.

How does the lifting of restrictions on movement affect the University? 

The government continues to review restrictions on travel, businesses and venues, and this is dependent on successfully controlling the spread of the virus. 

The University has re-started in-person teaching from September, under a careful plan to Save Lives; Protect the NHS; Live; Learn. With effect from September it is envisaged that the vast majority, if not all, staff will return to working on campus for at least some of the time each week. 

Your line manager will contact you when a return to work is being planned for your area of work.  You should not return to work until contacted by your line manager.  Further information is available here.

I am at an increased risk of illness from Covid-19 and the official guidance advises that I consider social distancing measures. What options are available to me? 

Some people are clinically vulnerable, meaning they are at an increased risk of illness from coronavirus, including those aged 70 and over, those with specific chronic pre-existing conditions and pregnant women. 

If you are clinically vulnerable please let your manager know so that they can take this into account when considering your return to working on campus.  They will discuss the control measures in place in your working environment and complete an individual risk assessment to consider any additional measures that are needed. 

Some people are extremely clinically vulnerable due to health conditions, medication or treatment and were previously advised to shield.  With effect from 1 August 2020 the shielding requirement was ‘paused’ and the advice was updated to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures.   

If you are extremely clinically vulnerable please let your manager know when discussing your return to working on campus.  If your work can be completed from home this can continue however, where it is not possible for them to work from home you can return to work providing your work environment is Covid-safe.  Your line manager will discuss the control measures in place in your working environment and complete an individual risk assessment to consider any additional measures that are needed. 

If you have concerns about returning to work on campus you should raise these with your line manager in the first instance.

Guidance on social distancing can be found here.

What should I do if I think that I have symptoms of Covid-19 or I have been exposed to Covid-19? (UPDATED - 16 OCTOBER)

In accordance with the latest advice from Public Health England, you should self-isolate at home in line with official guidance if you have any of the following:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home but you should follow the guidance on self-isolation, inform your manager that you are doing so and also arrange to have a Covid-19 test as soon as possible. A test can be booked via the NHS website.

You may also be required to stay at home and self-isolate despite having no symptoms, for example if there is a risk that you have been exposed to the virus or if you are providing care to someone who has symptoms of Covid-19.  If you are following official government medical guidance to self-isolate despite having no symptoms you must stay at home.  How long you need to self-isolate depends on if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) or you've been in close contact with someone who does. 

Who do I need to tell if I need to self-isolate due to Covid-19? (UPDATED - 16 OCTOBER)

If you are following official guidance to self-isolate please contact your line manager at the earliest opportunity.

If you do not have symptoms of Covid-19, or you do but you are well enough to work, your manager will be able to discuss whether you are able to carry out all or part of your work from home. 

Please advise your manager of the guidance that you are following and the recommended duration of self-isolation, in accordance with the government guidance.  Please also confirm whether you are waiting for a Covid-19 test, have been tested and are awaiting results, or have received results. It is important that anyone who does have symptoms books themselves a Covid-19 test immediately.

If your school / department has local absence reporting procedures which require you to notify someone in addition to your line manager, for example, the ASU generic email, please follow this process.

If you are self-isolating due to coronavirus for more than 7 days, you should notify your line manager and obtain an online self-isolation note from the:

How long you need to self-isolate depends on if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) or you've been in close contact with someone who does.  Please refer to the advice provided by the NHS on self-isolation.

How do I report that I have a confirmed case of Covid-19? (UPDATED - 16 OCTOBER)

If you have been tested and have received a positive result of Covid-19 please report it following your normal departmental process as soon as possible. The absence will be treated as sickness absence in line with the University’s sickness absence policy.

A member of the HR team will then contact you. To assist the University with providing all necessary information to Public Health England (PHE) as promptly as possible, you will be asked to try and identify any individuals within the University (staff, students and potentially visitors) with whom you had close contact during the 48 hours prior to your symptoms commencing. Please note that you will only be asked to provide information relating to potential close contacts within the work environment. PHE will contact you directly about any contacts you may have had outside of the workplace.

I am a line manager – how do I report that a member of my team is not at work due to Covid-19? (UPDATED - 16 OCTOBER)

For any absence relating to Covid-19, including precautionary self-isolation on the advice of NHS Test and Trace or because of a case within the individual’s household, please record this using the University’s Covid-19 portal.

 

In cases where a positive result is recorded, the individual will then be contacted by a member of the HR team. To assist the University with providing all necessary information to Public Health England (PHE) as promptly as possible, the member of staff will be asked to try and identify any individuals within the University (staff, students and potentially visitors) with whom they had close contact during the 48 hours prior to their symptoms commencing. Should the HR team have any problems with contacting the individual concerned then you may be asked to assist with this process.

What will I be paid if I need to self-isolate?

If you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and have been advised to self-isolate you will be paid in accordance with the University’s sickness absence policy

If you are following official government medical guidance to self-isolate but you do not have symptoms of Covid-19 your line manager will be able to discuss with you whether it is possible for you to do all or some of your work from home.  If you work from home you will continue to receive normal pay.  If you are following official guidance to self-isolate and are unable to work from home you will be entitled to sick pay in accordance with the terms of your contract and the University’s sickness absence policy

Hourly paid employees will be paid for scheduled work in accordance with their contact of employment and should follow the University’s guidance on providing appropriate self certification and medical certification in addition to submitting timesheets identifying the scheduled hours as either sickness absence or self isolation/social distancing.

If you are self isolating due to coronavirus for more than 7 days, you should obtain an online self-isolation note from the:

What flexibility is available to help manage my childcare responsibilities? 

As at August 2020 the Government have advised that a full return to school for all year groups, including school-based nurseries, is planned for autumn term 2020.  If you continue to experience childcare difficulties due to the closure of schools or nursery reasonable paid time off will be permitted in order for you to make arrangements for alternative childcare (1 – 2 days). You should contact your line manager in the first instance to discuss this.

If a longer period is required and alternative childcare is not possible, you may be able to work from home, take annual leave or unpaid leave. Your line manager will be able to discuss these options with you. 

If you wish to consider temporary alterations to your working hours to help manage caring responsibilities, please speak to your line manager in the first instance.  It will also depend on the extent to which your workload can be reallocated within the department.   If all other options have been explored and you are eligible for furlough leave this may be considered, up to 31st October when the scheme is due to end.

Am I able to cancel my childcare vouchers with Edenred?

Yes, you can cancel your childcare vouchers, however, please be advised that under the rules of the scheme, you will not be able to re-join Edenred at a later date.

Alternatively, you can defer your voucher deductions for a specific time period and reinstate these at a time in the future, as long as the reinstatement is within 12 months of the last deduction and you have a balance remaining on your voucher account.

Please email HR detailing any changes you wish to make to your childcare vouchers.

Can I park on campus?

Our car parks are now open and you can apply for permits online.

What are the arrangements for working from home?

With effect from September it is envisaged that the vast majority, if not all, staff will return to working on campus for at least some of the time each week. 

It may be appropriate to carry out some of your work from home, where appropriate and in agreement with your line manager. You should discuss any questions with your line manager in the first instance.

If you are working from home and unable to work due to sickness, you should advise your line manager following the normal reporting procedures. 

We've put together some guidance and resources to support the wellbeing of those working from home.

How can I organise my work when working from home?

  • Identify in discussion with your line manager which aspects of your work are suitable for homeworking and what access to University systems is required and available. If needed, the University may be able to loan equipment on a short-term basis to support homeworking.
  • Your line manager must agree your usual start and finish times. You will be expected to attend virtual meetings, events and any training arranged by your line manager and, for example, your team or course leader.
  • To help colleagues keep in touch with you, you must provide a contact email (your usual work email address in most cases) and telephone number. You are expected to be available by telephone and email during your working hours. In addition, you should use your outlook calendar to provide information on your working arrangements and share this with your line manager.
  • You are expected to be available during working hours. If there are times when you will not be available, or you need quiet time to concentrate without being disturbed, please let your colleagues know and advise when you will be contactable.
  • Working from home might require being more aware of the need for confidentiality and GDPR requirements. Please refer to the University’s guidelines on safe practice, data protection and information security.
  • The University’s insurance policy for employer’s liability and personal accident will operate in the same way as office based employees for approved occasional home working. However, you should also consider whether you need to advise a landlord, mortgage provider and/or insurer (contents and/or buildings) that you will be working from home occasionally. 
  • In certain circumstances the University may ask you to carry out work at home that is outside your normal duties but commensurate with your role to help maintain essential services.
  • There may be occasions when you will be required to attend the workplace to support the work of your School or Department and/or the wider University. 

How can I keep in contact with colleagues when working from home?

  • Working from home, for some people, might give rise to feelings of being isolated especially if the normal work setting is as part of a close team; you may find it helpful to book regular contact with colleagues and line managers
  • Forms of contact might include email, telephone, and Skype. Having a visual contact session may be preferable to using email or phone alone.

What IT support is available to me?

IT are working with colleagues across the University to ensure we can provide the right support during the current and evolving situation.

Working remotely

The best place to go for support about how to access services and attend meetings virtually are the IT Service web pages on remote working.

You will find information about how to connect to corporate systems, access files and email, and use Microsoft Teams for collaboration and video calls. As time progresses we will be offering support to colleagues through online chat and this can be found on the standard IT Service Desk. Chat will become a key way IT can support you when working remotely but at present our focus is preparing for homeworking so chat this week will be limited.

IT support during this period

At the moment calls to the IT Service Desk number are very high.  Before getting in touch we ask that you read through our guidance on remote working and using  Microsoft Teams

Otherwise you can get in touch in the usual ways and IT will, as always, get to you as soon as they can. We only ask colleagues for patience and understanding as they prioritise those calls that allow them to pre-emptively prepare for any disruption caused by the virus. This means it may take a little longer to respond to some calls than you might otherwise expect.

Do you have any advice on GDPR?

Data Protection – Best practice while working remotely

Worcester’s commitment to the protection of data is a vital component of how we all work. This applies onsite and equally when offsite in remote locations. It’s very important to remember that when we are not in the office, and where we might be working in different ways that we still adhere to the same stringent processes that protect people and data.

 - You can access personal data while working at home, as you would do in the office, if you need this to do your job.

  • You should not share this data with any unauthorised third parties, including the people you share your home with.
  • You may print documents with personal data or confidential information to enable you to do your job, but you MUST ensure that you do not mislay it.  When you have finished using it ensure safe and secure disposal by shredding or careful cross cutting by hand.
  • Where possible ensure that you lock personal data away when not in use, or when you are absent from your home workspace.
  • Apply password protection to computers, screensavers and documents and remember to log out/close any applications when you finish working.

 - You can share data securely by:

  • Via voice calls, either phone, Skype for Business or Teams – this also allows you to stay in touch
  • Using Onedrive to share information securely
  • Using a shared folder on the O drive
  • You can use email but be mindful that anything sent by email is more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. In addition, anything you put in writing is subject to disclosure under data protection law.  We therefore recommend that you keep personal data sharing by email to a minimum and use one of the other methods listed above.

If you are using your personal device to work remotely please ensure that when accessing any University files stored in OneDrive, SharePoint or those located on the O: drive, you must not download said files to your device. Work on these from within the Microsoft Office 365 applications or your web browser and save them back to the location they are stored in.

Further advice on remote working including instructions to add the O: drive to your personal device are located on the IT Service webpages found here or you can contact the IT helpdesk on 01905 85750 for further information.

If you are working on a personal device that is used by other members of your family or household you should endeavour to have a different account on that device for your work that they do not share. Where this is not possible - such as on single account devices - be very mindful to close any browser sessions you have open that connect to Worcester before handing the device to someone else. You should also be mindful that any cached credentials would give that person access to your accounts (email etc.) and that these should be cleared before the other users access the device.

Suspected Data Breaches

Any suspected data breaches MUST be reported as soon as you become aware of them, the sooner we are made aware the better chance we have to rectify the position.

You should report any suspected data breach, as usual, to infoassurance@worc.ac.uk and for this period we also request these are also sent to h.johnstone@worc.ac.uk and gemma.harris@worc.ac.uk.

We have 72 hours to investigate incidents and report them to the ICO so your urgent action is required.

You can find more information about Data Breaches via this weblink

Information Requests

Please also ensure that you pass on any requests for data made by individuals or organisations (Subject Access Requests or Freedom of Information requests) urgently as we are obligated to respond to these within strictly prescribed deadlines.   

Please send requests to foirequests@worc.ac.uk

Further guidance can be found at: https://www2.worc.ac.uk/informationassurance/information-security.html and https://www2.worc.ac.uk/it/remote-working.html

For any other queries in relation to personal data and working remotely that aren’t addressed here or via the above weblinks please contact the Information Governance Officer, Gemma Harris by email to: gemma.harris@worc.ac.uk

Where can I get support and advice?

We understand that you may have concerns or anxiety in relation to the current situation.

The University's Employee Assistance Programme can provide additional advice and support.  It is available to all University staff. The programme is run by Care first and offers, among other things, a helpline with confidential, 24-hour personal assistance from experienced counsellors. The helpline number is 0800 174319. If you have any other concerns about the virus, please contact your line manager.

 

Return to on-site working

You can find out about the additional measures that have been put in place for staff and students on our campus safety page.

Is the University open as normal? 

From September the vast majority, if not all, staff will return to working on campus for at least some of the time each week.  Your line manager will discuss your return to campus with you and you are encouraged to raise any concerns you have with them. 

To prepare for working on campus we have undertaken risk assessments, introduced appropriate health and safety measures and developed clear guidance for staff on how to support the health and wellbeing of themselves and others when on campus.

When will I know when I should return to campus to work?

Your manager will ask you to return to work when it is appropriate for you to do so.  A phased approach has been taken to ensure that sufficient safety measures, such as social distancing, was introduced and works effectively.  The vast majority, if not all, staff will return to working on campus for at least some of the time each week from September onwards.

It is likely that some people will continue to work at home for some of their working week and teams may have staggered working patterns to manage numbers in offices and work spaces.  Your manager will discuss the arrangements with you before you return.

 

We will continue to monitor Government guidance and will update University guidance as changes occur.

Are there any special requirements when I return to work on campus?

Yes, it is important that all students and staff wear a lanyard displaying their University of Worcester identity card.  If you don’t have a lanyard please collect one from main reception at St John's campus or City campus on your first day back on campus.

All staff should maintain social distancing and follow any signing in protocols in place at the time when they return to campus.  This is for the safety of all staff on site and is particularly important should an emergency evacuation be required. 

In line with Government guidance in England, face coverings are mandatory in some University settings, including our library (which is a Joint University and Public library) and the Campus shop. You are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed indoor spaces on campus, particularly when you are moving around.  

Further University guidance can be found on our campus safety page.

Where can I find return to campus documentation?

The University return to campus SharePoint site provides access to a number of useful documents, including: 

  • A return to campus presentation and a link to an online checklist that staff need to complete prior to their return to campus.   
  • Links to government advice and the University’s Coronavirus web pages and FAQs. 
  • Access to general guidance, completed risk assessments and good practice advice. 

To log in to the site use your normal University credentials.  The site will continue to develop as and when guidance changes and any changes will be highlighted through this Daily Update. For any further questions on these documents please email returntocampus@worc.ac.uk

I work in a shared work space and my colleagues work within 2 metres of me. Is this safe?

Your manager will arrange measures to manage appropriate distancing.  They may consider a staggered approach or rotas to reduce the number of people in the work space at any one time and may alter the layout in the office to ensure you can each sit at a safe distance from your colleagues.  You may be asked to sit at another desk to manage this.  The office will have been deep cleaned before you and colleagues return so all work spaces will be hygienic and safe to use.  

I don’t feel well – should I stay away from campus? (UPDATED - 16 OCTOBER)

Before you return to campus you will be asked to declare that you, and all members of your household, are symptom free.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you must remain at home and self-isolate in line with Government ‘stay at home’ guidance.  If you have symptoms you should book a Covid-19 test as quickly as possible. Please inform your line manager as soon as you know the result of your test.

Please also follow the Government ‘stay at home’ guidance if you have a positive test but no symptoms; if you develop symptoms during a period of self-isolation; if you have ongoing symptoms after ten days; or if you live with others who have symptoms.

Someone I live with/in my support bubble has symptoms of Covid-19 or is recovering from Covid-19 

You must also self-isolate  if someone who you live with/is in your support bubble has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has a confirmed case of Covid-19. How long you need to self-isolate depends on if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) or you've been in close contact with someone who does.  Please refer to the advice provided by the NHS on self isolation

You should only return to work if/when they test negative for Covid-19, or the self-isolation period has ended and providing that you do not have any symptoms yourself at that stage. 

I am considered to be in a vulnerable group – should I return to campus?

When your manager contacts you to discuss a return to working on campus they will carry out a return-to-campus induction and you will be asked whether you fall into any of the groups which are categorised as higher risk.  Your manager will discuss with you what control measures are in place to protect you when you return and whether additional measures are needed.  You may be asked to continue to work from home until control measures can be put in place.  The Head of Safety Services will be able to provide your manager with advice for your individual circumstances and HR will be able to request further advice from the University’s occupational health provider if necessary.

How will I know if a colleague in the workplace has Covid-19? (UPDATED - 16 OCTOBER)

If a colleague has symptoms or a diagnosis of Covid-19 and they have been in the workplace they must inform their manager of this as soon as possible.  They will be asked to provide details of any other colleagues with whom they were in close contact during the 48 hours prior to them developing their symptoms. This information will then be shared with Public Health England (PHE) and advice will be sought on who may also need to self-isolate. HR will then contact any colleagues that are confirmed as needing to self-isolate. Therefore, you only need to self-isolate if you are contacted by HR or by PHE directly. 

Am I required to engage in NHS Test and Trace? (UPDATED - 16 OCTOBER)

If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 you must self-isolate immediately.  You should inform your manager, book a Covid-19 test and engage in the NHS Test and Trace Scheme.  If you subsequently test positive for Covid-19, you must inform your manager immediately and you will be then be contacted by a member of HR asking you to share details of any University colleagues (staff, students or visitors) with whom you have had close contact during the 48 hours prior to your symptoms developing.

Alternatively, you may be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace Service or via the mobile phone app to be informed that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.  If you have been contacted by Test and Trace or had an alert via the mobile phone app, you must self-isolate as directed and not attend work.  Your manager may ask to see a copy of the communication from NHS Test and Trace. 

If you are self-isolating without symptoms, you should discuss with your manager whether you can work from home if the nature of your role allows you to do so. 

I am worried about returning to work on campus – can I continue to work from home?

When it is suitable to consider a return to working on campus your manager will talk to you about your individual circumstances.   

We are taking a careful and measured approach to a return to working on campus.  Risk assessments  will be completed and control measures will be put in place, such as social distancing, limiting the number of people in any one work/communal area, one way systems and covered outdoor space for breaks.  We understand that some people may be worried and you are encouraged to ask questions and raise any concerns with your manager in the first instance.

Will I have to return to work on campus even though I have childcare responsibilities and my child’s nursery/school is closed?

Your manager will contact you when it is time to consider a return to campus for your role.  They will discuss your personal circumstances with you and you are encouraged to raise any concerns you have.  They may consider a short term solution, such as an alternative working pattern or altered duties.  Alternatively, you may consider annual leave or unpaid leave.

 

Further information

 

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here please contact your line manager in the first instance, or email hr@worc.ac.uk