You will be aware from the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar’s recent communications of the severe impact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the current restrictions which the Government has imposed, is having on the University of Exeter. Majority of staff have transitioned to delivering services from home, with only essential staff now on campus. In some areas the impact results in work for staff either ceasing to be required in full, or there is a diminishing requirement for the work, and consequently the number of staff who are currently required to carry out that work.

On 20 March 2020, the Government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This scheme enables employers to access Government funds to reimburse them for specified employment costs for certain employees who have no work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Further details and guidance are set out in this paper on how the University will utilise the scheme, as well as details about the current arrangements for “Refocusing Resources” wherever possible. 

The University has discussed the principles of the furlough scheme with trade union representatives, who have indicated their broad support for the University’s actions. The University has also shared the employee FAQ and manager guidance with trade union representatives and invited them to comment on these documents. The Government is also updating its guidance on a regular basis. This means that both the employee FAQ and manager guidance are likely to be revised to take account of trade union feedback and new Government guidance. These webpages will be updated to reflect these changes.

Managers of Professional Services have been reviewing how colleagues that are unable to do their work from home can be refocussed within their own services and the wider University. Where this has not been possible then furloughed leave has been considered. Managers will be advised of outcomes and commence contacting colleagues individually in the week commencing 11th May.