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University of Bath

General Coronavirus guidance for staff

University information and guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for staff.

Introduction

This page contains general University information and guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for staff. For more staff advice, as well as advice for students, visitors and our local community, please visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.

We continue to work closely with the campus Trades Unions whose valuable guidance in how we support staff to deliver in these challenging times is integral to all of these decisions.

University campus and services

  • Please see the latest information on campus facilities

  • Many of our international and UK students will continue to live on campus as their home, so providing retail, catering, cleaning and other services continues to be vital.

  • Activities led by all other job families, including student recruitment and student wellbeing support will need to continue.

  • We recognise that decisions concerning major events need to be taken separately and further information will be provided on this topic in due course. for more info on Applicant Visit Days, please see the Applicant Visit Days webpage

  • Some provision has changed in light of government advice. Details can be found at the appropriate locations on campus.

  • Payroll has made some changes to its operations, including deadlines for submitting payroll claims, please see the Payroll: FAQs for staff.

Working arrangements

Our aim is to enable our staff to work from home where possible, using online resources and other adjustments where needed, to protect them, their colleagues and our students.

Managers and staff will be expected to reconfigure and reprioritise work to fit around current circumstances to ensure that the University can continue to function.

Our default should be to provide services online unless it is not possible to do so. If you can work from home, please ensure you are set up to do so.

Staff with caring responsibilities

If you are affected by the confirmed closure of a school, nursery, care home etc. due to the Coronavirus outbreak and are unable to arrange alternative care arrangements, you should contact your Head of Department or line manager to agree one of the two options below:

a. Working from home - If your role, time and IT arrangements enable you to work effectively from home, your HoD / line manager can agree for you to do so. To enable this to work, it may be necessary to consider if you can work during different hours if these can be accommodated to allow you to fit your work around your caring responsibilities. If home working is agreed, you will receive normal pay and should follow the University’s guidance on working from home.

b. Taking Emergency Leave - the University has agreed to exceptionally allow your Head of Department / line manager to grant Emergency (additional) Paid Leave to our employed staff on an initial basis. This would be subject to you making alternative caring arrangements at the earliest opportunity if these become available, utilising any annual leave already booked over the School holidays, sharing caring responsibilities with your partner (if applicable) and undertaking as much work as possible, around your caring responsibilities.

Emergency Paid Leave will be paid to staff in this situation until the end of the School current term and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Emergency Paid Leave has been extended until 30 April and will be reviewed again thereafter to determine if these arrangements continue or other leave would need to be taken. The University recognises that normal school holiday arrangements may also be disrupted.

Travel and visas

We have suspended all travel on University business, other than commuting to campus and University buildings. Forthcoming Applicant Visit Days and public lectures before the Easter break have been cancelled.

You should read the GOV.UK guidance to find out if your visa will be automatically extended or whether you need to contact the Coronavirus Immigration Helpline (0800 678 1767, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, calls are free of charge) or CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

Other related questions - working from home and deductions

Will the University pay my additional costs for working from home?

We recognise that working from home requires a number of adjustments, both physical and mental. While the current public health advice doesn’t have any fixed timeframes, it is possible that we may need to work differently for several months, so getting these adjustments right is important.

It is possible that you may occur some additional costs when working from home such as phone and utilities. Of course, you may also be making a saving by not travelling into work and having access to your own catering facilities. Also, it has been decided to withhold car-parking charges during April (and will then be reviewed). As a principle, the University is not intending to make additional payments for homeworking, however if there is a demonstrable case of hardship, you can make a case through your line manager to the Director of Human Resources.

How does the coronavirus situation affect pay deductions from the recent strike action?

Before the strike action in February and March started the University agreed to spread deductions over three months (March, April and May). Many other Universities have taken these deductions in one or two months and we believe that our approach reflects a sensible balance which recognises the difficult decision staff took to take strike action, and those who did not take action. The deductions will be used to support cases of student and staff hardship over this challenging period.

Further questions, advice and support

If you have any other concerns or questions that about Coronavirus that are not covered here or on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage, please contact your HoD or your line manager, email the Coronavirus enquiries email email address. This will pass your question to the most relevant individual to answer it.

If you are seeking emotional support and counselling at this time please contact our staff counselling services, which are both free and confidential.