Last Updated: 31 March 2021
We recognise that the coronavirus outbreak is unprecedented and are therefore implementing measures to keep staff updated. The University considers the safety, health and well-being of our staff and students as the upmost priority. We are monitoring the situation and please check this website regularly to keep up to date with the latest advice.
For staff related queries not covered by these FAQs please email Cyfathrebu-Communications@uwtsd.ac.uk
Student related queries should be directed to the Hwb email@example.com
Important information for Managers
Return to Work on Campus
The University would want to support staff and students who are feeling worried about returning and in the first instance would reiterate the existing measures and controls in place to ensure a safe working and learning environment.
These include measures to support vulnerable staff and students, physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and cleaning, for example:
- increased signage across our campuses reminding you of social distancing requirements
- markers on the floor, inside and outside
- a one-way system and wherever possible, there will be one way in and one way out of our buildings
- limiting seating and numbers of people who can be in certain rooms and spaces.
The University requires that face coverings are used by staff, students and visitors in indoor public spaces (e.g. corridors, communal areas and libraries), teaching spaces and in outdoor spaces where social distancing is difficult.
In addition, for those programmes of study which include a practical element the University has, where appropriate, undertaken a review of risk assessments and as necessary, introduced additional measures such as enhanced social distancing requirements.
It is imperative for all staff and students attending campus, irrespective of whether or not they have had a negative test or if they have been vaccinated, that they must continue to follow the guidance regarding social distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene at all times. The University will be reinforcing this message throughout its communications to staff and students. Please share this short video outlining the measures in place to safeguard staff and students with members of your team who are returning to work on campus.
The University would want to facilitate a conversation to listen to any concerns staff have and where possible to find ways to resolve any issues. We understand that some people may be worried and we have advised staff to raise any questions or concerns with their line manager in the first instance.
It is not mandatory for staff and students to participate in the asymptomatic testing programme. However, whilst this is a voluntary programme, the University is strongly encouraging staff and students to engage in the twice weekly testing programme which is being offered and run by the University or in the case of our Cardiff based programmes in partnership with the University of South Wales. Staff can book a test at one of the University’s testing centres here.
The University will not be able to share this information as staff and student testing status is deemed to be private health data.
Access to the buildings and campuses remains restricted. If a member of your team needs to access the campus on a one-off basis or to collect equipment please ask them to complete the Access Form, which needs to be approved by you as their line manager.
Working from Home
We understand that managing remote teams can bring its challenges. The University has produced some practical guidance on communicating with remote workers. You may download the guidance here.
Some helpful learning resources to support well-being, working and managing remotely have been collated in playlists on the University’s self-development toolkit – ‘MyMentor’ available here. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you experience any difficulty gaining access.
The University has established a system and procedure for the collection of essential equipment from campus. Essential equipment may include an adjustable chair, a separate keyboard and mouse and other items such as foot / wrist rests, document holders if staff already use such items. The collection of monitors is not deemed necessary at this stage unless there are specific health grounds for this to be considered. Staff are required to complete a request form that will need to be authorised by you as their line manager. You should then provide them with the link to the online booking system so they can book a collection slot. The link to the online booking system has been provided to all Heads of Institutes/Units by HR. The procedure for collection of essential equipment can be found here.
Symptomatic testing and self-isolation
If this is when they are away from University premises inform them to:
- NOT come to the University or go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- Follow self-isolation guidance from government here for people living in Wales, and herefor people living in England.
- Use the Staff Self-Isolating Form to report details of their self-isolation and to keep you informed of their health status
- Apply for a test here for people living in Wales and herefor people living in England.
If this is when they are on University premises inform them to:
- Apply a face covering.
- Ensure they follow government guidance and social distance from anyone else.
- Tell them to go home immediately.
- Tell them to complete the online Staff Self-Isolating Formimmediately to report the suspected case.
- You should liaise regularly with your staff member, gathering any relevant information as the situation progresses and provide updates as appropriate via the Covidemail@example.com
A member of staff should notify you as their Line Manager if they receive a positive test result and you should then follow the procedure outlined below.
You must tell them to immediately complete or update the Staff Self-Isolating Form and you should notify your Head of Department or for academic staff, the nominated Assistant Dean for your Institute, before taking further action or communicating with others. As the manager you will then need to complete an urgent action, this is particularly critical where staff are continuing to work on campus:
- Establish the facts in as much detail as you can from the member of staff, including their recent movements and any interactions they have had with others on campus, including the date they became symptomatic and the date they were last on campus. This information will assist the Bronze team.
The University’s Bronze team will assess the situation and take any action as appropriate with respect to both staff and students. The team will consider the wider implications for staff, students, courses, buildings, halls of residences etc. You may be called into a meeting with the Bronze team along with your manager/Assistant Dean.
As the Line Manager you might be asked by the team to contact other relevant staff and ask them to go home to self-isolate and await further communication from the University. The Bronze Team will notify Public Health Wales and TTP as appropriate.
Instruct your team member to continue to follow the government self-isolation guidance and to keep you informed of their health status. You should liaise regularly with your staff member, gathering any relevant information as the situation progresses and provide updates as appropriate via the Covidfirstname.lastname@example.org mailbox.
If a staff member becomes ill and is unable to work as a result of COVID19, this should be recorded in the normal way as sickness absence and the University's Sickness Absence Procedure applies. They may work remotely if they are well enough and are able to do so.
We have advised staff that they should notify their line manager that they are required to self-isolate. They will also need to complete the online Staff Self-Isolating Form immediately to report that they are self-isolating.
If they remain well enough, and are able to work remotely, they may do so for the duration of the isolation period. You should liaise regularly with your staff member, gathering any relevant information as the situation progresses and provide updates as appropriate via the Covidemail@example.com mailbox. If they become unwell and are too unwell to continue to work, they should inform you and the normal sickness absence procedures will apply. If they test positive for Coronavirus during this period, they should notify you.
Staff who are required to self-isolate will be contacted by email from HR. This email will include information about the self-isolation requirements. The University has been closely following the recommended advice from the Welsh Government and public health authorities and to minimise the risk of potential spread of the virus within our learning community, a precautionary approach is being taken and staff are being advised to self-isolate from campus until the 14 days has elapsed from the receipt of the email from HR. On that basis, provided your team member is not showing any symptoms following the required self-isolation period, they can cease self-isolation at home and return to work on campus, if appropriate. If they develop symptoms within that time or at any time after, they should arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID19.
You must advise your staff member to follow the government guidance on self-isolation here (for people living in Wales) and here (for people living in England). If your staff member has tested positive, then they must stay at home for at least 10 days. At the end of their self-isolation period they can return to their normal routine if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell or taste. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal and seek medical advice.
After 10 days if they just have a cough or change to or loss of smell or taste they do not need to continue to self-isolate. This is because a cough or change to or loss of smell or taste can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10 day period starts from the day when they first became ill.
You should keep in contact with your staff member during the period of self-isolation to check on their health status. When the self-isolation period has ended, and if your staff member feels well enough to return to work, you must discuss and agree their return with the nominated Assistant Dean or Head of Department who will consult with the Bronze Team. If their return is agreed, you must carry out a return to work discussion to check that they are well enough to return to duties, and if there is any further support they need. The Return to Work Discussion Form can be downloaded here.
You should remind your staff member that when they return to work all hygiene and social distancing guidelines, including the wearing of face coverings must continue to be adhered to. This will help to ensure that we continue to protect others within our learning community by minimising the risk of infection being passed on. Public health guidance suggests that if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will probably have developed some immunity to the disease. But it cannot be guaranteed that will happen in all cases, nor exactly for how long that will last.
If a staff member has sudden caring responsibilities which prevent them from attending work, they must inform you as soon as possible. In these circumstances the University will consider other flexible working arrangements for the duration of the coronavirus threat. This is a variation to our current practice and will be in place for the duration of the threat and is at the University’s discretion. Any arrangements must be agreed by you as the line manager. Their salary will be unaffected. Please refer to the guidance for managers on staff who are home working with dependant / caring responsibilities, available here.
If the staff member develops symptoms of the virus, their absence will be treated as sick leave and the University’s standard sickness absence reporting procedure will apply.
Pay will be unaffected by being furloughed. The Government scheme will enable the University to apply for a grant to cover 80% of the pay of furloughed staff (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, per individual) but the University has made a commitment to ‘top-up’ the remaining 20% so that staff will continue to receive their basic pay as normal.
Being furloughed has no detrimental impact on staff members’ terms and conditions of employment.
Whilst on Furlough Leave the staff member will continue to accrue annual leave and they should continue to book their annual leave in the normal way. Staff members on furlough will be required to have used all of their accrued annual leave up to the point at which they return and will not be able to carry over any unused days.
No, you will not be able to give your furloughed team members any work for the University while they are furloughed.
We have advised staff that they should inform you as their line manager in line with normal sickness absence reporting procedures.
Whilst you should not give your furloughed team members any work for the duration of the furlough period, you should maintain contact with them and update them on any important information. We have advised staff to provide you as their line manager with their up-to-date contact details. Also, it is important that furloughed team members do not feel isolated from the team, so encouraging team members to remain in social contact with each other is appropriate.
Team members who are furloughed cannot work for the University during this period, but they can volunteer to help with the Coronavirus effort (subject to public health guidance and University procedures), as long as they are not manufacturing, creating or providing goods or services that generate revenue for the University.
Furloughed staff could be encouraged to undertake relevant training during this period, however any training that they undertake should be voluntary and must not generate revenue for the University or provide any services to the University.
The minimum amount of time that someone can be furloughed for is three weeks and currently the Government scheme is available until April 2021. The letter to staff who are being furloughed will confirm the initial duration of the furlough period. However, you should be mindful that furlough could be either extended or ended earlier if operationally necessary.