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Last Updated: 21 May 2020

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  hwb@uwtsd.ac.uk 

Important information for Managers

Furlough – FAQs for Managers

How will I know if my team members are to be furloughed?

Roles suitable for furlough are generally those which cannot be carried out remotely, or where for other reasons related to Coronavirus there has been a substantial reduction in work. You will be informed of which roles in your team are affected and team members who are being furloughed will receive a letter from the University sent to their work email account or via another method as appropriate.  The letter will confirm the details of this arrangement and the initial duration of the furlough period. These letters will be phased as the University works through this process for different areas and letters will be sent out during April and May.

What happens to the pay of furloughed team members?

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.

What does this mean for the employment status of team members who are furloughed?

Being furloughed has no detrimental impact on staff members’ terms and conditions of employment.

How does annual leave work for team members when they are furloughed?

Staff will continue to accrue annual leave while they are furloughed. The recent guidance issued to staff on taking annual leave during the Coronavirus situation will continue to apply to furloughed staff. You may view the guidance here.

Can I give my furloughed team members some work to do?

No, you will not be able to give your furloughed team members any work for the University while they are furloughed.

What happens if a furloughed team member is sick?

We have advised staff that they should inform you as their line manager in line with normal sickness absence reporting procedures.

Should I stay in touch with team members who are furloughed?

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.

What happens if a team member wants to volunteer whilst on furlough?

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.

Can I ask a furloughed team member to undertake training?

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.

How long will my team member be furloughed for?

The minimum amount of time that someone can be furloughed for is three weeks and currently the Government scheme is available until 31st May 2020, although it may be extended. 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.

Working Arrangements

Should certain staff continue to attend work?

All managers must ensure that staff do not attend work unless the University has identified the individual’s role as business critical.  Staff who are identified as business critical have been issued with a letter authorising them to attend work. Staff should carry a copy of this letter (either electronic or hard copy) with them along with their University Security Pass and another form of Identification, for example, their Driving License.If you/they have any questions please contact humanresources@uwtsd.ac.uk   

It is imperative that all staff must not access campus unless they have a letter of authority issued by the University. We may move towards requiring more staff in business critical roles to support the NHS, for example by opening up parts of our campuses or for the purposes of health related research activity

If staff are required to attend work, how will they be protected?

In line with the most recent government guidance we will require staff to observe social distancing and will put in place supportive measures as appropriate.

How can I prepare for members of my team being impacted by coronavirus?

Please see the following suggestions:

  • Familiarise yourself with the FAQs for staff so that you’re aware of how staff should react to different situations
  • Encourage colleagues with particular personal circumstances to share details with you so that you can be aware and support them accordingly as the situation develops
  • Remind staff of the sickness absence reporting procedure and to ensure that they continue to keep you informed during any period of absence
  • Make contingency plans to enable colleagues to work from home, such as encouraging them to prepare for remote working
  • Establish lines of communication to update colleagues on any operational changes within your area
  • Remind colleagues who are subject to immigration control to continue to report and record their absences appropriately
  • Keep up to date with the latest developments by checking this website regularly.

Please also refer to Practical Guidance for Managers on Communicating with Remote Workers

Please also refer to practical guidance for managers on home working.

Social Distancing

I have a team member who has advised me they have symptoms. What should I do?

Staff must also follow the published government guidance for households with possible coronavirus infections which is regularly updated here:  https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

We have advised staff to inform you as their line manager if they develop symptoms and their absence will be treated as sick leave and the University’s standard sickness absence reporting procedure will apply.

My team member has been off sick for more than 7 days but is unable to obtain a medical certificate. What should I do?

We recognise that it may be difficult for colleagues to obtain fit notes to cover their absence beyond 7 days in line with usual procedures, due to the pressures on the NHS and/or the requirement to self-isolate. The individual should contact you to advise you of this situation. The University will adopt a sympathetic approach in such circumstances.

A member of my staff whose role requires them to attend work on campus has an underlying health condition, they are over 70 or are pregnant and they are worried about their health - what should they do?

Where a staff member who is still attending work on campus has an underlying health condition that could put them at increased risk, or they are over 70 or pregnant they must not attend work.  We advised staff to contact their line manager immediately to inform you of their situation.  You must keep a record of this situation and advise Human Resources humanresources@uwtsd.ac.uk 

Staff must follow the latest government advice

A member of my staff has someone in their household who lives with them and has an underlying health condition, should they continue to attend work on campus?

No they should not attend work on campus. They should work from home where this is practically possible. They should also follow the government’s latest guidance on social distancing for vulnerable people, accessed here: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

We advised staff to contact their line manager immediately to inform you of their situation

Caring Responsibilities

I have a team member who is unable to attend work as they have caring responsibilities as a result of a closure of a nursery, school, day centre or other facility. What should I do?

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.

Annual Leave

A member of my staff has already booked annual leave for the discretionary additional University closure day on 26th May 2020, what do I do?

We have advised staff if they have already booked this day as annual leave that they will be able to reclaim it back by cancelling their leave on MyView.

A member of my staff works part-time, or is scheduled to work on the discretionary additional University closure day, what will happen?

We have advised staff who work part-time or are scheduled to work on the additional closure day that they will be able to make alternative arrangements to take this time at a later date and to discuss this with you as their line manager.