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Staff (Exeter and Cornwall)

 

Alert levels - our response

Over the summer we mapped out what our teaching, learning, research, and many other activities will look like by each of the five government COVID-19 alert levels.

We’ve updated our response to alert level 4 so this now takes account of the recent government announcements, and the latest Department for Education guidance (10 September 2020) which defines a number of Tiers which universities should use to guide their approach when managing the operation of Higher Education Institutions during the pandemic.

Although the government announced on 22 September that the national alert level would rise to alert level 4, they also designated university teaching as ‘essential’ and set a clear expectation that universities would continue to deliver blended degree programmes.

Accordingly, we have updated our Impact on university activities/services at government alert level 4 (staff information) and we will continue to review this on a weekly basis.

We are awaiting further detailed guidance from the Department for Education and will review and update our guidance on the impact of all alert levels as soon as we can.

If you have any questions please do discuss these with your line manager in the first instance.

Working safely from home

While our professional service and academic colleagues engaged in student support and teaching are returning to our campuses, unless exempt on safety or specific caring grounds, there is a need for some colleagues to continue to work from home so as to reduce the overall number of people on campus.

We realise that working from home has resulted in many of you needing to significantly adjust the way you work, particularly if you have caring responsibilities. That’s why we want to make sure you have all the support you need so you can continue to work safely and effectively from home. If you have caring responsibilities and are not always available during core hours please be sure to discuss this with your line manager, so you can formulate a working pattern that works for you.

We want to ensure your set up at home is both safe and effective and have developed guidance for managers and colleagues, which includes information and guidance on how to set up your home workstation along with other sources of advice relating to homeworking. Our Information Governance Team has also created guidance on how to complete your work safely, securely, and in line with our data protection policies so please do take the time to read this guidance. And, with many of us now having a likely increase in our daily screen time it’s also important for you to take regular breaks away from your work screen.

Please remember that you can access further assistance from our Pro-Counselling service which is available 24/7 for telephone counselling via the online portal, as well as offering a range of well-being resources and guides.

Working safely on campus

Our campuses are reopening in a COVID-19 secure way for the delivery of blended learning in term one. Our professional service and academic colleagues engaged in student support and teaching are beginning to come to our campuses to carry out in-person teaching and support our student services, unless exempt on safety or specific caring grounds.

We know how important your safety is, so if you are returning to campus to work you can be confident that we’ve taken every possible measure to make sure your workspace is safe. We ask colleagues to only return to campus once the information on the Coming to Campus webpages has been reviewed and that the essential steps outlined in what you must know and do before returning have been completed.

We’ve set up a SafeZone, an online app, which you’ll be encouraged to sign into. This system will register your location so, in the event of an emergency, we’ll be able to keep you updated should you need to be aware of any vital location-based information.

Our ‘Returning to Campus Guide’ outlines all of these measures in detail and provides a further insight into how we have been preparing our campuses and buildings for on-campus working.

We’ve also developed a step by step list of actions required by managers, staff and students before anyone can return to campus working. This includes the specific actions required to protect anyone who may have been in contact with a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case. Everyone should familiarise themselves with this list to ensure all reasonable steps have been taken to safely return to campus.

Travelling safely to work

If you live close enough, please consider walking or cycling to work and try to pick less busy times and routes to take the pressure off the transport system. We understand the need to be flexible in all our working arrangements, so please talk to your line manager, if you need to come to campus and/ or about staggering your hours so that you can get to work in the safest way possible. When you arrive on campus, the changing facilities will be open for you, and we’ll be increasing the amount of cleaning we’re doing in these areas. You can help too by keeping these areas as clean as possible, taking your clothing and towels with you, and rinsing shower cubicles after use.

Face coverings must be worn on public transport. In Cornwall, the First Bus will be increasing the frequency of its service. Please check the timetable for details. In Exeter, the Stagecoach D bus has been re-branded as the Uni bus with a significantly enhanced frequency  - see timetable online. There's also information to be found on parking in both Exeter and Penryn which you can find here under 4:1 How to get to campus - car parking, public transport and bus service.

 

Your campus facilities

We know how important our campus facilities are to you, and we’re opening these in a way that keeps everybody safe. We are re-opening campus facilities in a phased approach. We’re sure you understand that spaces are limited in all outlets and facilities, due to social distancing guidelines, but we’re aiming to bring the best possible service to everybody despite these restrictions. Signage is in place in our shops on our Exeter campuses, and customers will be asked to observe a “one-in one-out” policy to ensure the shops are not operating over-capacity. Most outlets will also adopt a one-way policy. The shop on our Penryn campus has remained open with reduced trading hours and strict social distancing measures in place.

We will have Here to Help’ staff to answer queries and help direct and support you around buildings in a COVID-secure way.  You’ll find them in teaching buildings, near study spaces, in and around marquees and in other potentially busy areas. Here to Help staff will be a first point of contact to advise students on where to find services, advise on capacity of areas, cleaning practices and signpost students to digital and telephone help services. The friendly and approachable Here to Help team will have a presence on campus throughout the teaching day from 0800 – 1830hrs, up to 2000hrs to support the Forum study spaces. If you have any questions then please contact the team via email: HeretoHelp@exeter.ac.uk

If you would like to volunteer to join the 'Here to Help' team please complete our online form.

We may need to continue making changes depending on Government advice, so please bear with us as and when this happens.

Your wellbeing

Your wellbeing, and the wellbeing of our students, is our overriding priority. We’ve worked hard to ensure all of our campuses are COVID-19 secure so you can be safe if you need to return to campus for work. We understand that some of you may be shielding – or living with somebody who is shielding – and we have support in place for you so you can continue to work whilst this happens. We’re also running the Rapid Response Hub, to enable you to get a test for the virus if you are working on campus and feel unwell. By working with the healthcare community in Devon and Cornwall, we’ll make sure you’re supported during any periods of isolation and/or treatment.

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is not just about physical health, and we have resources available to support your mental health too. Our Staff Wellbeing Services have a number of tools that can help, and every colleague has access to the Pro-Counselling service, which we would encourage you to use if you need to – it is vitally important that you look after yourself. As always, your line manager will listen to any difficulties you’re having, and can explore any working adjustments that may be necessary.

Green restart and recovery

We’re working across the institution and with our partners on a ‘Green Restart and Recovery’ so we can continue to deliver on our commitment to the Environment and Climate Emergency agenda in terms of our return to campus by minimising our carbon impact. There are six green goals including: promoting continued home working, committing to a 50% reduction in travel carbon, including Climate Emergency considerations in funding and procurement decisions, minimising printing, providing reusable cups to all colleagues and students (removing non-recyclable single use cups from our campuses), and launching a Student Climate Emergency Companion pack – this will detail how students can get involved and understand the our Climate Emergency agenda.

These initiatives have been put in place to help us reduce our carbon footprint as we restart activities on our campuses.

Guidance for managers

In order to look after the health, safety and wellbeing of all colleagues, we have a put a range of measures in place. All managers must undertake the Managers training, and to read all guidance to understand what is required to prepare workplaces for the return of staff. Please see Managers tab on the COVID-19 working safely webpage.

 

Rapid Response Hub

One of the measures we’ve put into place to keep all colleagues and students safe, is our Rapid Response Hub. The Rapid Response Hub can provide a COVID-19 test for you, but only if you have COVID-19 symptoms (ie a new persistent cough, a high temperature, loss of taste and smell). People who have a slight cough or a runny nose are not eligible. You must contact the Hub (in Exeter or Cornwall) by email with your name, address, phone number and your symptoms.

Exeter colleagues should contact the Rapid Response Hub by email: rapidresponsehub@exeter.ac.uk

Cornwall colleagues should contact the Rapid Response Hub by email: rapidresponse@fxplus.ac.uk

The team at the Hub will advise you on how to get a free test and, if your test comes back with a positive result, will work with you to give you the support you need so that you can safely self-isolate. The Hub will use information you’ve given about when and where you have worked on campus, so that other colleagues or students who were in the same place, at the same time, will be able to take appropriate action if they begin to show COVID-19 symptoms.  More information on the Rapid Response Hub and rapid testing is available online.

Visitors to campus

We recognise that some visits to our campuses are essential to the ongoing work at the University and can have a positive effect on wellbeing. We have therefore reviewed our Visitors Policy in line with the latest Government guidance and our ongoing work to ensure the safe return of our students and colleagues to our campuses. Anyone who does invite visitors to the University has a duty to colleagues, students and the visitor to ensure the risk of COVID-19 infection is minimised and is personally responsible for the visitor until they leave the campus.

The policy includes guidance for contractors and service providers, academic researchers and human participants, teaching activities, visits to student halls, external inspections from regulators, non-academic visitors and members of the public.

Frequently asked questions

The frequently asked questions are arranged in the following themes:

Our community | Questions on returning to your workplace | Health, wellbeing and work | Information if you are self-isolating, shielding, or in a vulnerable group | Travel and transport | Teaching on Campus | Information from Human Resources | Updates and actions | Exams and assessments

Arrangements for attendance and absence

See our Guidance for Managers and Staff in the event of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please note the advice on this page may change, particularly as there are ongoing updates to the Government guidance.

Our community

As more students and colleagues come to our campuses, we emphasise the need to show respect, kindness and compassion for all during this uncertain time. Internationally, nationally and locally there have been incidents of xenophobic and racist behaviour and abuse, particularly at the start of the outbreak. Inappropriate behaviour or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. This is a hate crime and is against the law.

If you experience, or are witness to, any behaviour of this type, please report it to the police immediately. You can also report it to the University via our Speak Out web pages. We will investigate this and, where necessary, disciplinary procedures will be followed.

If you are feeling anxious during this time, further support is available via our wellbeing webpages.

We have signed an open letter with partners across Exeter on tackling hate crime and racism in our community, particularly in light of recent incidents in relation to coronavirus. This is a time when we must work together and support each other - not create more division and hurt. Read the letter in full​

Make sure you read through the guidance we have published on the Coming to Campus webpages – this covers what you need to do and know before arriving on campus.

If you or someone you live with develops symptoms, however mild, please inform our Rapid Response Hub. Please read the FAQ I have symptoms of coronavirus, what should I do? to find out more about the Rapid Response Hub. This applies even if you are displaying only mild symptoms i.e. 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.

REGISTER FOR SAFEZONE

We’ve recently purchased SafeZone, an online app that helps us to help you whilst on campus if you request it. The app is available for all colleagues and students to download and sign into if they wish. Once installed if you press Emergency, Help or First aid, your location will be sent to relevant staff on campus and allows us to keep you updated, via text messages, and relevant information relating to your emergency.

To download the app please go to: www.safezoneapp.com and follow the instructions for your device. You will need to register with your University of Exeter email address and review the permissions for the app to enable the app to be aware of your location, by using the transmitting signals on your phone. You should also allow push notifications, to enable the University to communicate with you if you raise an emergency alert. You can read more information about the SafeZone app online.

To keep yourself and our communities safe it is critical that you follow these key behaviours:

HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds

FACE - Wear a face covering in indoor settings, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet

SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)

Check the UK Government website for the latest advice on what you can and can’t do under current COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Questions on returning to your workplace

Please do not return to campus unless authorised to do so by your line manager. Only essential employees should be working on campus. It is important to note that with the designation of university education as ‘essential’ and the recent Government message that we should remain open, then this will include those involved in delivering and supporting teaching and related student support.

As we return to campus working, we want to ensure we can support you to feel safe when you do physically return to work. To enable this, we will be asking all colleagues to complete the following steps:

  • Complete the COVID-19 age individual vulnerability risk assessment
  • Complete mandatory online training 
  • Read our returning to campus guide 
  • Register for SafeZone 
  • Collect safe teaching items, where appropriate
  • Be aware of and understand how to deliver safe teaching on campus
  • Update your swipe card access to buildings on the Penryn campus (colleagues working in Penryn only)

You can find detailed information on these steps within our Coming to Campus webpage.

Please also be aware, to help reduce touch points on our campuses, and reduce the risk of infection, our campuses are now operational as ‘cashless campuses’. The University will support card or contactless payments only for all catering and shopping facilities across all Exeter and Cornwall campuses from the start of the new academic term. We will be working collaboratively with key groups and individuals to determine a long term solution that will provide a better experience for our services and customers.

Colleagues who are required to come to campus to teach or support students will have received specific authorisation to do so from their Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Service Director or Director of College Operations.

We need to ensure that staff can be protected and have a clear Risk Assessment in place before any other work can commence on campus.

Only essential items can be collected, and only from buildings that have been classified as COVID-19 secure with all the necessary measures in place. If you require essential access, you will need approval from your Service Director or Director of College Operations, and this will be managed on a case by case basis.

Please email details of your request to projectcampusrestart@exeter.ac.uk and allow a minimum notice period of three working days. You must copy in your Service Director or Director of College Operations to confirm approval. Access is available Monday – Friday and will be at a mutually convenient time for colleagues and the marshals that are supporting the provision of this service. Please be aware where a building is due to be made COVID-19 secure within seven days of your request, that we may ask you to wait for this date.

We understand that colleagues may wish to come onto campus to collect equipment or materials and we recognise that this means home work stations may not be the same as your normal working environment. It is therefore good practice for those working at home to follow the guidance provided and also complete a homeworking self-assessment (COVID-19 version). These documents have useful advice and information about setting up a home workstation and helps to identify any additional needs.

Where you require the use of specific equipment currently located at your work station OR you require specialist equipment to undertake specialist COVID-19 related work, please follow the guidance below:

1. For colleagues requiring essential equipment following a DSE assessment - please contact your Director or Director of College Operations for their permission and, once obtained, please contact Transport@exeter.ac.uk with the following details:

• Name
• Office location and any access arrangements
• Items to be collected
• Home address
• Contact number

Please be mindful there will be a maximum of two collections a week depending on demand and staff availability.

Colleagues on our Penryn campus will need to contact the campus Director of College Operations, Amie Fulton, providing the same information as above.

2. For colleagues undertaking COVID-19 related work, please contact the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact, Professor Neil Gow.

To review our COVID-19 Homeworking DSE Guidance for managers and employees please visit the webpages. This guidance is also relevant for PGT, PhD and PGR students but does not include undergraduates.

We are reopening our campuses safely and in accordance with government advice. This includes measures to help protect our staff including allowing staggered start and finish times so that staff can travel at less congested times, and the implementation of social distancing measures for those at work. 

 

We are unable to allow colleagues to retrieve items stored on-site or in offices until further notice. This decision has been made taking into account government guidance on essential travel and serves to protect the welfare and workload of our essential on-site colleagues. There are two exceptions to this, which are detailed below:

1. If you have an Occupational Health DSE assessment, which details the use of specific equipment which is currently located at your work station. For these colleagues, best endeavours will be made to deliver small sized portable items to you; dismantling of desk and complex IT set-ups will not be possible. If you fit into this category and need anything urgently please contact your Director or Director of College Operations for their permission and, once obtained, please contact Transport@exeter.ac.uk with the following details:

  • Name
  • Office location and any access arrangements
  • Items to be collected
  • Home address
  • Contact number

Please be mindful there will be a maximum of two collections a week depending on demand and staff availability.

2. Colleagues who are undertaking COVID-19 related work. For access under this criteria please contact the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact, Professor Neil Gow.

To review our COVID-19 Homeworking DSE Guidance for managers and employees please visit the webpages. This guidance is also relevant for PGT, PhD and PGR students but does not include undergraduates.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough leave) is has now been extended to October 2020.  The University will continue to review the situation and will contact all workers prior to the current end date of to provide an update. More detailed information is available on the website, including FAQs and guidance for managers. If you have any questions that are not covered, please do contact your manager for advice.

We must ensure our campuses and University buildings are as safe as possible to everyone. All university meetings will now take place online, unless they are deemed essential to be in person, and can be held with all social distancing measures in place. This is for the protection of everyone. 

Our response to restarting our activities and working arrangements, will consider all campuses and University buildings as follows:

Exeter

• Streatham
• St Luke’s
• Heavitree Clinical Skills Resource Centre (RD&E Heavitree site)
• RILD North and South (RD&E Wonford site)
• Mireille Gillings Neuroimaging Centre (RD&E Wonford site)
• Cardiovascular Building (RD&E Wonford site)
• V-Simulator (Exeter Science Park)
• University of Exeter Enterprise Zone Office & CALT offices (Exeter Science Park)
• Exeter IT (Regus @ Exeter Business Park)

Cornwall

• Penryn Campus (including IIB Office TIC Centre)
• DMac at Falmouth Docks
• Knowledge-Spa (RCHT Treliske site)
• ECEHH Office in Innovation Centre (RCHT Treliske site)

London

• College of Medicine & Health Office – Regus @ White City
• College of Medicine & Health Office - Halkin @ Paris Gardens
• University of Exeter Business School Office – Halkin @ Paris Gardens

The University is currently looking at the possibility of longer term home working for some staff. Further information will be available on the HR webpages as soon as more detail is available.

While professional service and academic colleagues engaged in student support and in-person teaching are coming back to our campuses, unless exempt on safety or specific caring grounds, there is a need for some colleagues to continue to work from home so as to reduce the overall number of people on campus.

On working on campus:

  • Only essential employees will be working on campus. It is important to note that with the designation of university education as ‘essential’ and the recent Government message that universities should remain open, then this will include those involved in delivering and supporting teaching and related student support.
  • As currently, line managers must give permission for colleagues to work on campus.
  • All University meetings will now take place online, unless they are deemed essential to be in person, and can be held with all social distancing measures in place.

We are reopening our campuses safely and in accordance with government advice. This involves a gradual and controlled restart of activities and careful risk assessments will be undertaken. This will include measures to help protect our staff including continued working from home, allowing staggered start and finish times so that staff can travel at less congested times, and the implementation of social distancing measures for those at work. 

Occupants of shared office spaces are expected to wear face coverings unless they are spaced more than 2m apart at all times. They should put on face coverings if they are receiving visitors into the room which reduces the 2m distancing.

If you work in a shared space, you will need to create a local rota system with your colleagues to ensure that only the maximum number of people are in that space at any one time and that use of desks is managed in a socially distanced way. People in charge of buildings can help advise on maximum occupancy, optimal ventilation and use of shared facilities such as kitchens. We recommend creating a simple spreadsheet and sharing it with relevant colleagues in Sharepoint in order to facilitate bookings but also Test and Trace should it be needed. If you are sharing a desk with another person, you must clean the desk and any other touch points (phones / screens etc) before and after use and keep a local record of who has used the space and on what day.

Find out more on our Coming to Campus webpages, but please remember you should only return with the permission of your line manager.

For all colleagues

If you are  returning to campus to work you can be confident that we’ve taken every possible measure to make sure your workspace is safe. Our ‘Returning to Campus Guide’ outlines all of these measures in detail and provides a further insight into how we have been preparing our campuses and buildings for on-campus working.

We know this will be an anxious time for many colleagues. There are a number of support services available to you during this period including the Pro-Counselling service, which can be used to access 24/7 telephone counselling via our online portal. Details of all the support available including our online cognitive behavioural therapy programme, Silvercloud, can be found on our website. Support is also available from the NHS talking therapy services.

You can discuss any concerns that you have with your line manager who can support you with adjustments to your work or make a referral to Occupational Health if further advice is needed. If you are experiencing significant symptoms you should contact your GP for advice and treatment if required.

For BAME colleagues

The UK Government has stated that there is clear evidence that COVID-19 does not affect all population groups equally. We understand this can cause increased concerns for our BAME colleagues. The University is committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to protect our whole community and we recognise our duty of care to all colleagues and students regardless of background or ethnicity. We understand individuals may be affected by COVID-19 in different ways and there may be some people who are more vulnerable than others to this infection.

Please only come to campus if your line manager has granted permission. Before coming to campus you must review the information on these webpages, complete the COVID-19 Age Individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment and share your ‘COVID-19 age’ with your line manager. There are a number of support services available to you during this period including the Pro-Counselling service, which can be used to access 24/7 telephone counselling via our online portal. Details of all the support available including our online cognitive behavioural therapy programme, Silvercloud, can be found on our website. Support is also available from the NHS talking therapy services.

We are gradually opening our campuses safely for all, in accordance with government advice. This will include measures to help protect all staff including allowing staggered start and finish times and the implementation of social distancing measures for those at work. We remain clear about the need for respect, kindness and compassion for all. If you experience or witness any inappropriate behaviour, harassment or violence, please report it to the police immediately. You can also report it to the University via our Speak Out webpages. More information for colleagues can be found on our website.

For pregnant colleagues

If you are pregnant please follow the government advice on social distancing measures. Managers will continue to offer maternity risk assessment meetings for all pregnant staff - using Microsoft Teams is a very effective way - please ensure you carry out a new risk assessment to cover the working from home element and keep this updated regularly. The safety of pregnant staff alongside all other colleagues, will be considered as part of the planning for reopening our campuses and returning to work. This will take account of all government advice.  More advice is available online.

To facilitate working from home the University has migrated to using “Teams.” There are useful guides available on using tools such as Teams and Office 365. We would recommend you take a look at these and speak to your manager about any needs you might have that are not covered here.

We must ensure that our campuses are open safely and that our staff, students and visitors are protected. We are currently operating a phased return to work; please do not return to campus unless you are authorised to do so by your manager. You can discuss any concerns that you have with your line manager who can support you with working back on campus, adjustments to your work or make a referral to Occupational Health if further advice is needed.  If you are experiencing significant difficulties you should contact your GP for advice and treatment if required.

There are a number of support services available to you during this period including our Pro-Counselling service, which can be used to access 24/7 telephone counselling via our online portal.  Details of all the support available including our online cognitive behavioural therapy programme, Silvercloud, can be found on our website.  Support is also available from the NHS talking therapy services.  

We know that with the current lockdown measures the risk of domestic abuse is increasing.  We have a series of Domestic Abuse Support webpages with guidance for support options including risk assessments, as well as detailing where to access help should you need it. We encourage you to disclose the domestic abuse to your manager or a Domestic Abuse Champion - support and adjustments at work are available. Please be reassured that we will support you throughout this time and help you get the support that you need.

Parents and carers who are affected by any school closures, or where normal childcare arrangements are not available, please consider what arrangements you can put in place to enable you to continue to work, such as:

• Any alternative caring arrangements you can make
• Sharing caring responsibilities
• Whether you are able to continue to work around your childcare responsibilities – for example by working at different times to your normal working pattern (e.g. evenings/weekends)
• Whether you are unable to work

If you are not able to do any work, in recognition of these exceptional circumstances, to give you a longer period to make alternative arrangements, the University has agreed to extend its paid emergency leave to 10 days from Monday 23 March (pro-rata for part-time staff).

If you use this leave, please keep in touch with your manager and follow the guidance on recording your absence

Guidance for managers and staff on absence and pay arrangements related to COVID-19 is available online.

Health, wellbeing and work

Rapid Response Hub

The Rapid Response Hub can provide a COVID-19 test for you, but only if you have COVID-19 symptoms (ie a new persistent cough, a high temperature, loss of taste and smell). People who have a slight cough or a runny nose are not eligible. You must contact the Hub (in Exeter or Cornwall) by email with your name, address, phone number and your symptoms.

Anyone with symptoms who requests a test must self-isolate immediately by law. If there is high demand at the Hub you can also request a test via the NHS national test scheme.

If your test is positive you’re required by law to continue your self-isolation for at least 10 days. The Rapid Response Hub will contact you to make sure you’re ok and ensure you have the support you need. They’ll identify who else is in your household as they will also be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Public Health officials will then get in touch to identify any “close contacts” who live outside of your household.

A close ‘contact’ is a person who’s been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 7 days from the onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others). This could be a person who:

  • spends significant time in the same household
  • is a sexual partner
  • has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), including:
    • being coughed on
    • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
    • contact within one metre for one minute
  • has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes
  • has travelled with them in a small vehicle, or in a large vehicle or plane

If you are identified as a close contact by someone who’s tested positive, you are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days from the last contact you had with the person who tested positive. Public Health officials will also contact you. As you will be in isolation you are not eligible for a test yourself unless you develop symptoms. You should continue to wear your face covering (FACE), wash your hands (HANDS) and keep a safe distance (SPACE).

If you know someone who is a close contact of someone who has had a positive test you are not eligible for a test yourself but if you are worried, we recommend that you self-isolate for several days, since that will help the community greatly.

We all want to do our very best to prevent the ongoing spread of any virus in our community. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms please contact the Rapid Response Hub:

Contact details of the Rapid Response hub for Exeter colleagues – email: rapidresponsehub@exeter.ac.uk

Contact details of the Rapid Response hub for Cornwall colleagues – email: rapidresponse@fxplus.ac.uk

More information on the Rapid Response Hub can be found on their dedicated webpage.

Current evidence suggests that younger people are less likely to develop recognisable symptoms of COVID-19. It therefore remains vitally important for colleagues and students alike to:

  • Continue to wear a face covering
  • Keep hands clean
  • Keep a safe distance from other

Following an increasing trend in the COVID-19 infection rate, the Government has now also imposed the Rule of Six concerning face-to-face social gatherings. Without taking all of these protective steps, you may unknowingly pass the virus onto others, including those that are much more susceptible.

All colleagues and students need to take collective responsibility and work together to play our part in preventing the spread of any COVID-19 infection. Doing so, we will protect ourselves, our family and friends, university colleagues and students and play our role in keeping our local community as safe as we can. Keeping our community safe in this way is especially good to maintain given that currently the rate of infection in the South West remains lower than most other parts of the country. Let’s help keep it way that way as without continuing to follow the guidance it can soon change and potentially place further regional restrictions on us all.

In line with government guidance, face coverings are mandatory in places such as shops, libraries and public transport both on campus and in the City. All colleagues and students are expected to wear a face covering while on campus. This includes inside all buildings and marquees.

You must wear a face covering when inside University buildings – this includes wearing a face covering when in one of our marquees during the day (unless you are eating at the time) and when queuing at a catering outlet. 

You do not have to wear a face covering when eating/drinking in a catering outlet and you do not have to wear a face covering outside unless you are unable to socially distance or you wish to do so.

There are selected areas where face coverings are not required. However, the choice as to whether you wish to continue to wear them remains yours. Consideration should be made to wearing face coverings regarding:

Staff in individual offices
Occupants of shared office spaces are expected to wear face coverings unless spaced 2m apart with this distance capable of being maintained at all times. You don’t need to wear a face covering if you’re in an individual office. But you are expected to do so if you’re moving around your building or wider campus.

Frontline student service staff
Those working in areas such as hubs and information points, do not need to wear face coverings if your service desk is fitted with a transparent screen. However, you can choose to wear a face covering in addition to using the screen if you feel more comfortable with this. Where a screen is not in place, you are expected to wear a face covering or visor.

Teaching academics
Teaching colleagues will have access to a face visor and face coverings. These must be worn if you move outside of your marked 2m safe teaching zone or if you feel it’s likely that students may come within 2m. You can ask students to wear a face covering.

Colleagues in third party / host employer premises such as the NHS, should follow local policy. If you have any concerns, please discuss with your line manager / supervisor.

Some members of our University community are exempt from wearing face coverings. The reason may not always be obvious however, whilst not being a requirement, these members can request exemption cards or badges to highlight their exemption. Obviously, whilst we should all strive to respect everyone’s privacy.

It’s also important for us all to ensure members of our community that should be wearing face coverings are doing so. On occasions where someone is not wearing a face covering and there is no indication they have an exemption, we are therefore asking colleagues and student alike to appropriately and with empathy, point out the need to be wearing a face covering where they are. Taking collective responsibility, will help play a role in quickly establishing the correct use of face coverings, establish this as a social norm and keep the University and wider community safe.

Exemption cards and badges available for colleagues and students who choose to use one (lanyards will be available shortly) and these are available from:

· University Main Reception, Streatham Campus
· Info@St Luke’s
· Cornwall: Glasney lodge for students, ESI reception for staff
· Our campus Here2Help team (Exeter) and Marshalls (Cornwall)

“Please give me space” cards and badges are also available at the above locations.

To keep all of us safe we will continue to monitor the national picture and review face covering policy each week and will communicate any changes.

Make sure your contact number is accurate and up to date in Trent so we can contact you with any important updates. Please continue to check your emails for updates and information. You can view what staff must do before coming to campus on our new Coming to Campus webpage.

Students

Your wellbeing is extremely important to us and we would like to highlight the resources that are available to support you, if needed. This includes our self-help tool, SilverCloud and our Wellbeing Services at both our Exeter and Cornwall campuses. Also see our COVID-19 welfare webpages.

Staff

There are a number of support services available to staff during this period. Our self-help tool, Pro-Counselling, can be used to access 24/7 telephone counselling via our online portal, as well as a range of well-being resources and guides. You can also talk to your line manager if you have any queries. Also see our COVID-19 welfare webpages.

For students

For students - our AccessAbility team is available for you to discuss any concerns you may have around your disability. You can find information on how to access this team on our website.

For staff

A guide has been developed specifically for disabled colleagues working from home which addresses some of the challenges faced by those who need to self-isolate and maintain prolonged social distancing. The guide also provides signposting and guidance towards additional support. If you are contacted by your manager about returning to work on campus, you should discuss with them whether any additional adjustments are required. If you have a condition which makes you extremely vulnerable or vulnerable please see the sections above and refer to government advice regarding shielding. If you require additional support or advice please contact your line manager who can arrange a referral to occupational health or contact a disability adviser in confidence.

Travel and transport

Access to our campuses remains restricted so please do not travel to campus unless you are authorised to do so by your Service Director, Director of College Operations or Pro-Vice-Chancellor. Our plan to reopen our campuses safely and in accordance with government advice includes measures to help protect our staff including continued working from home, allowing staggered start and finish times so that staff can travel at less congested times, and the implementation of social distancing measures for those at work. If you are authorised to return to work, you should speak to your line manager to review working times which work best for you and your team's requirements.  Safer travel guidance is available online

Face coverings must be worn on public transport.

In Cornwall, the First Bus will be increasing the frequency of its service. Please check the timetable for details.

In Exeter, the Stagecoach D bus has re-branded as the Uni bus with a significantly enhanced frequency Please check the timetable for details.

You can find more information on our Coming to Campus webpage.

Colleagues with current valid parking permits (Exeter):

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic parking charges through salary deduction and payment at parking meters were suspended in March and, because many colleagues are still working from home, we’ve taken the decision to delay the re-introduction of staff parking charges on our Exeter campuses until 2 January 2021.

All Exeter-based colleagues:

To support colleagues who do not meet the eligibility criteria for a parking permit, and where access onto either Exeter campus is challenging via public transport, a Temporary Authority to Park permit can be requested and will be valid between the 21 September and 31 December 2020. It will only be valid for one car and can be requested on a first come, first served basis - dependent on available parking spaces. To request a Temporary Authority to Park permit please email: carparking@exeter.ac.uk

To gauge future demand on parking, each member of staff who has a parking permit will be written to ascertain their future expectations on what their working pattern will be i.e. potentially moving away from an annual permit to an Authority to Park permit.

All permits will need to be displayed within the vehicle and all colleagues must park within a designated parking bay. Parking Attendants will be on both Exeter campuses enforcing correct parking behaviours.

We expect fewer colleagues will be driving to campus at the same time and therefore do not anticipate demand for parking spaces to exceed supply. We’re also looking at options for increased showers and storage for those who would like to walk or cycle.

Colleagues with current valid parking permits (Penryn):

At Penryn Campus parking charges through salary deduction and payment on exit were suspended in March. The 2020/21 car parking policy came into operation on 1 September and parking charges have been reinstated. The Car Park Permit Portal is now open for applications for the new Academic Year. Please refer to the policy to check eligibility criteria, permit pricing, daily parking charges and other parking-related information.

Car Park A and Glasney permits are no longer available; all staff will be required to park in the main car parks beyond the barriers. All permits will be processed electronically and no physical permits will be provided. For any questions or concerns, please contact: carparking@fxplus.ac.uk.

To ensure parity between campuses, those paying for parking in Penryn – either via a permit or payment on exit – will be reimbursed for charges incurred between 1 September and 2 January. Please retain proof of payment. The process will be confirmed within the coming days.

All colleagues:

We expect fewer colleagues will be driving to campus at the same time and therefore do not anticipate demand on parking spaces to exceed supply. We’re also looking at options for increased showers and storage for those who would like to walk or cycle.

You can read about this, and more travel information, on our Coming to Campus webpage.

 

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly.

There remains in place a COVID-19 exceptional travel advisory notice, advising against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted from this notice. Please also stay up-to-date with our University specific advice and guidance on travel.

UPDATED UNIVERSITY TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

The University has made the decision to temporarily suspend all international travel for work or study purposes. This means that no international travel should be booked, even if this is planned travel in the medium to long term future. There is uncertainty over when travel will become feasible again. It is therefore a reasonable assumption that any travel booked carries an increased risk of being cancelled. For this reason, insurers will not currently provide cancellation or curtailment cover for trips booked at this time.

The safety of our staff and students is of paramount importance, therefore we suggest you complete our coronavirus travel risk assessment form before considering any travel; including personal travel or travel within the UK.

You will know that the situation is changing all the time. Please check the Foreign Travel Advice website and your emails for updated information.

Trips already booked, where departure is due within the next month should be cancelled now. Once the trip has been cancelled please let your supervisor or line manager, and the insurance team (insurance@exeter.ac.uk) know that you are no longer planning to travel.

If you are currently overseas for work or study purposes and would like to return to the UK please contact your supervisor or line manager for guidance or contact us via coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk. Supervisors and managers may need to seek further advice from their College or Professional Service.

Advice for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly.

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. The Government continues to advise individuals to return to the UK now if currently travelling abroad, and information on contacting relevant Embassies or High Commissions and how to book flights (where these are still available) is published on the FCO webpage. There is also a webpage with dedicated guidance on protecting yourself and others on your return.

If you are currently abroad for work or study purposes and would like to consider returning to the UK please contact your supervisor or line manager for guidance or contact us via coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk. Supervisors and managers may need to seek further advice from their College or Professional Service.

Staff and Postgraduates must have completed the online travel form via: www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/

Students must have arranged appropriate insurance, either via the University undergraduate travel insurance provider (www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/undergraduatetravelinsurance/), or a provider of their choice.

For staff and postgraduate students

Staff and postgraduate students are being instructed not to travel, or to book any international travel for business reasons (however far into the future) until further notice. This is because insurance cannot currently be arranged without proof of exceptional circumstances, and that the travel is essential and unavoidable. When the University international travel restrictions are lifted, this will be communicated.

Future International Travel – exceptions process

If there are exceptional circumstances meaning that international travel is essential and unavoidable, the following steps must be taken:

1. If research related, refer to the DVC Research for approval of the trip as essential and unavoidable. If not related to research, refer to your manager for this approval. This must include a completed coronavirus travel risk assessment form , which should also consider quarantine arrangements on your return.
2. Should the DVC Research (or your manager if not research related) approve the trip as such, a referral will be made to the Registrar and Secretary for formal University approval
3. Following formal University approval, details will be passed to the insurer, who will make the ultimate decision on whether cover can be provided
4. The trip must be booked via the University travel partners Click Travel or Key Travel, who will require confirmation of the University and Insurer approval

Please note – if cover cannot be provided, the trip must not go ahead. For this reason, please do not book any travel or accommodation until final approval has been confirmed.

If you make your travel arrangements now without following the above process and incur costs for a trip in the future, we will be unable to arrange any travel insurance as it is foreseeable the trip may be cancelled due to the coronavirus. Therefore any losses will need to be absorbed within your College or service. Insurance can only be purchased where an event or incident is unforeseeable.

For undergraduate students

Students are being are being instructed not to travel, or to book any international travel for study or placement purposes until further notice, in accordance with the Government advice not to travel internationally. When the University international travel restrictions are lifted, this will be communicated.

 

 

Provided you have completed the online travel insurance form to register for the University of Exeter travel insurance policy, a claim may be considered by insurers if:

The FCO advice on travel to your destination changed to advise against all travel, both after the date of booking travel and after the date that the trip was registered for insurance.

If an event which you were due to attend was cancelled by the organisers as a result of Coronavirus prior to your departure, provided you are able to provide documentation and a claim form demonstrating the full circumstances of the situation, a claim can be presented to Insurers for their consideration.

If a University (College or Directorate) decision has been made to cancel a trip to a location for which the FCO advised against travel after the date that the trip booking was made, then a claim for the cost incurred to the University can be submitted to the travel insurers for their consideration.

How to claim

A claim form will need to be completed and returned with the required supporting documentation to the insurance office for onward transmission to the insurer for their consideration:

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/claims/

Please note we cannot guarantee that a claim will be successful as this decision rests with the travel insurer based on the circumstances of the loss at the time, and in relation to the travel insurance policy documentation. We will of course do everything that we can to ensure that genuine claims are successful.

Exclusions where claims will not be available

If a decision has been taken not to travel to a country where the FCO (at the time of the trip) had not advised against all travel or all but essential travel, the Insurers will not consider a claim, as this is considered to be disinclination to travel.

There is a standard exclusion on our travel insurance policy that claims arising from government directives are excluded by the policy. Therefore if any Government, including the UK or destination countries implement travel bans that cause the cancellation or curtailment of a trip, cover will not be in place to reimburse costs incurred.

Future travel

If a trip was booked prior to any advice against travel to the destination by the FCO, a claim may be made as set out above.
For trips booked now for future dates, it is unlikely that financial losses other than emergency medical expenses will be covered by the Travel Insurers. Please see FAQ 'I’m planning on travelling abroad for work/study, what do I need to do?' for more detail if you are planning a future trip.

Teaching on Campus

Our vision for learning and teaching this year is based upon a need for flexibility and resilience, so that whatever this year throws at us we are prepared to provide our students the best possible opportunity to learn and succeed.

This year our teaching follows a model which can be best described as ‘blended learning’. We’re drawing on the best knowledge available, including the wealth of educational expertise we have here at Exeter, to strengthen learning communities and to enable transformative learning.

Certain teaching activities will take place on our campus whilst others will be delivered remotely. Each department has created their own departmental norms which provide a departmental view of what activities are expected to take place on and off campus. These norms were written by educational leaders in departments and colleges taking account of relevant context-specific knowledge, while also reflecting the institutional Design Principles and other pedagogic advice, as well as guidance from PSRBs and other external experts.

We have deliberately begun the academic year at a low level of face-to-face in person teaching on our Exeter campuses, planning to build up to approximately 30% of all live teaching delivered face-to-face on our Exeter campuses over the first three weeks, as part of our blended model, whilst teaching on our Cornwall campus is currently at 30% face-to-face. We continue to monitor the Government advice and will make any amendments that may be necessary over time. Please be assured, any changes will be communicated with colleagues as soon as possible.

Please note, from Thursday 24 September, all planned on-campus teaching for groups larger than 30 that is not scheduled in a specialist space such as labs and performance spaces will take place online.

As a result of the Government guidance at 22 September 2020, we will limit our levels of in-person teaching to a level below that initially planned for week 3 and beyond. We will review this on a weekly basis, and making sure that staff and students are prioritised in specialist facilities such as labs and performance spaces, and noting that it may be possible to maintain higher levels of face to face activity on some of our campuses.

We will be asking Directors of Education to undertake an exercise to identify which teaching sessions should be prioritised for face-to-face teaching as we progress through Term 1. This will enable us to ensure that we can sustain blended delivery for all our programmes and students for as long as the current guidance and situation pertains.

If you have concerns about this please speak to your Director of Education.

Within each teaching room the following equipment will be provided:

  • Hand Sanitiser will be provided in this vicinity to the teaching room from the corridor
  • Antibacterial wipes for staff and students to clean their desk and chair
  • Bin for disposal of wipes

Room Layouts which identify person capacity, and furniture provision are present in each teaching room. To ensure COVID-secure room capacity and distancing, furniture layouts are not to be rearranged. You can view these layouts for COVID-19 secure buildings on the Campus Activity Planner.

Ventilation assessments form a key part of the process which our Engineers and Surveyors undertake when making preparations for our campuses, buildings and teaching spaces to be COVID-19 secure. In rooms with non-mechanical ventilation (signified by instructions on the windows), please keep windows open to at least 15cm. Where this is not possible, please open windows to their maximum capacity.

All areas will comply with workplace Health and Safety regulations in terms of temperature.

You can read more about this on our Coming to Campus webpage, under the Teaching Safely on Campus section.

Academic colleagues, across all of our campuses, are able to utilise their normal office and work space should they wish, providing the building is COVID-19 secure and the steps outlined in the Coming to Campus webpages have been followed.

Guidance on delivering remote teaching is available via the Enhancement HUB. Resuming the use of office or desk spaces is optional so please continue working remotely (outside of face to face teaching sessions) if you prefer.

If you would like to start using your office or desk space you need to:

  • Confirm your building has been signed off as COVID-19 secure
  • Complete the COVID-19 Age Individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment and follow the induction training on LearnUpon – if no concerns are raised as part of the risk assessment you will be able to return to campus
  • Inform your Head of Department or Institute Director that you are intending to start using your work space

Please note that at this stage, COVID-19 secure buildings each have their own adjusted opening times, which can be found online here.

Individual Office Space
If you have your own office, please work in the office with your door closed and encourage fresh air by opening a window.

Shared Space
If you work in a shared space, discuss with your line manager(s) how you will create a rota system with your colleagues to ensure that only the maximum number of people allowed are in that space at any one time, that use of desks is managed in a socially distanced way and that desks are regularly cleaned. Building Restart Co-ordinators can advise on maximum occupancy, optimal ventilation and use of shared facilities such as kitchens. We recommend that Departments or areas create a simple spreadsheet on SharePoint or in a similar booking system such as ClusterMarket in order to facilitate bookings but also to locate and alert individuals under Track and Trace should it be needed. Please stay in your work space whilst at work.

Communications to PGR students returning to offices will follow shortly, so please do take their needs into consideration when creating rotas. Please prioritise PGR students in any rota created.

Shared Desks
If you are sharing a desk with another person, you must clean the desk and any other touch points (phones / screens etc) before and after use and keep a record via the booking system of who has used the space and on what day.

For help with setting up a rota and obtaining cleaning supplies please contact Building Restart Co-ordinators.

SafeZone
You can also use SafeZone to confirm to use when you are working on campus.

Find out more about teaching safely on campus and deciding if you would like to work from your academic office/work space on our Coming to Campus webpage.

A clean lab coat will be provided for those requiring one for practical teaching, you will not need to take your lab coat home to wash it.

We are putting in place enhanced lab coat cleaning contracts and procedures to ensure we have a supply of clean lab coats in our laboratory spaces. You will be able to get a clean coat when you start your class, leaving your used coat in the laboratory when you finish. The cleaning will be coordinated by the Technical Services staff supporting the space who will ensure there is an adequate supply.

If students are required to wear PPE in the laboratory for any reason, this will be provided to them either as they enter the lab or at the point at which they need to use it e.g. gloves, safety glasses, lab coats. This will be coordinated and provided by the Technical Services staff supporting the space.

Within each teaching room the following equipment will be provided:

  • Hand Sanitiser will be provided in this vicinity to the teaching room from the corridor
  • Antibacterial spray and paper towels for staff and students to wipe down their desk and chair
  • Bin for disposal of paper towels

You can also read our Safe Teaching Guidance which contains detailed safety guidance for how to teach in each of our seven main teaching spaces: from small teaching spaces to large lectures and from science and technology labs to drama studios.

This will depend on the course and specific professional, statutory or regulatory requirements. Each discipline and programme has created information about the expectations for teaching and learning in 2020/21. This information is available now for prospective and current students. You can find out more online

COVID-19 secure measures will be in place across all campuses and University buildings, this includes using a one way flow where appropriate. Details of what to expect will be clearly signposted at the entrance to each building.

More information is available in the following document:
Creating COVID-19 secure working environments – Getting our Buildings Ready located on the University’s Health and Safety website. 

You can pre-record lectures and seminars from any location with your slides, notes, narration and subtitles using the Recap Personal Capture software. Recordings can be published directly onto ELE. This version of Recap works without the lectern-based physical button.

Watch a video introduction to personal recording here, or for more information and guides on Technology Enhanced Learning, visit the SharePoint page.

You can also book a space to record a teaching session – find out more information online on our Coming to Campus webpage.

If an individual tests positive, it may be that all students and colleagues who attended the class are asked to self-isolate. This will be for the NHS tracing team and local health protection team to decide.  

If after politely asking the student to conform with the COVID-19 secure ways of working for that area, they are not prepared to do so, you should ask them to leave the class and let a nearby Concierge staff member know. 

At all levels including the DVC (Education) we are in constant dialogue with peers in the sector including specifically through Russell Group networks, as well as with the international higher education sector through our global partners through both institutional partnerships and individual collaborations. Colleagues including Education Leaders also regularly participate in international webinars and similar activities, such as teaching and learning sessions facilitated by Harvard University, as well as Advance HE’s ‘Connect’ sessions which are attended by a global audience. Through the DVC (Global Engagement) we also receive a range of intelligence, insight and opportunities from global institutions, including an international training programme onto which we will be enrolling a small cohort of academic colleagues nominated by colleges. In addition, we draw upon intelligence gathered as part of the consultation process to define our new Education Strategy, which took place during 2018/19, and our own direct experience of blended and online delivery models including through the delivery of Degree Apprenticeships, MOOCs, and online programmes in partnership with Keypath, for example.

To develop our approach for the 2020/21 academic year we have been supported by Digital Learning Directors in each college, along with an Expert Group of academic and professional services colleagues who ensure that our approach is pedagogically informed. This group attends weekly meetings chaired by Gillian Auld, Academic Development and Enhancement Manager.  Members represent all colleges and key professional services teams and have wide global experience and understanding of sector-leading approaches; they are led by Professor Beverley Hawkins, Associate Academic Dean for Students, and Dr. Sarah Dyer, Director of the Education Incubator.

While we have had to work quickly to deliver blended learning for Term 1, we are confident that our approach is robust and will deliver an excellent experience for students. Our approach to online examinations this summer, for example, has been sector leading. We will, of course, continue to learn from good practice from other universities as we develop our approach.

The Academic Dean for Students has established Quality Assurance principles which were outlined at the Maintain Education Opportunities and Outcomes (MEOO) group to inform planning within each college. These principles include a focus on how ELE courses will be reviewed, how academic colleagues, Digital Learning Developers and Digital Learning Assistants will be utilised, and how the priority of ‘Success for All’ will be addressed with a particular focus on BAME awarding gaps, anti-racism and EDI aspects. Each college has subsequently developed their own approach for quality assuring enhanced modules, which have been reviewed by the MEOO group for alignment and sharing of good practice. These include approaches founded on peer review and peer dialogue among academic colleagues, and will also often include the use of Digital Learning Developers and Digital Learning Assistants who have been recruited into each college to assist with the enhancement process. For more information on the process in your college please talk to your DoE.

Academic colleagues across all of our campuses can utilise their normal office and work space should they wish, providing the building is COVID-19 secure.

This is part of our phased return to campus which we hope will help those who wish to return to campus for research activities, to prepare for the coming term or to deliver remote teaching sessions. Guidance on delivering remote teaching is available via the Enhancement HUB. Resuming the use of office or desk spaces is optional so please continue working remotely outside of face to face teaching sessions if you prefer.

If you would like to start using your office or desk space from 10 September you need to:

More information on the requirements for different spaces e.g. shared or individual office space is available online.

We are creating a campaign across all campus spaces that will ask all colleagues and students to “clean down before you sit down.” This will be our policy for all spaces including teaching spaces. There will be a cleaning station in each teaching space for staff and students to use just to clean the area they are going to use (table and chair back). Deeper cleaning will happen at the end/beginning of each day and all touch points in corridors will be minimised and cleaned regularly throughout the day.

 

This approach has been reviewed by Public Health England and is being adopted by other institutions across the sector.  

Information if you are self-isolating, shielding, or in a vulnerable group

We know for some that coronavirus is of increased concern. Those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, may feel particularly vulnerable. If you have an existing or underlying health condition and you are worried about your health regarding the coronavirus, we would encourage you to use the NHS 111 online tool. Further information and guidance is also available on the Government webpages.

Please discuss your situation and condition with your line manager, if you have not already done so, so that the correct support can be put into place. Information and guidance on who is extremely vulnerable and who is at moderate risk can also be found on the NHS website.

If you, or anyone you live with, has any relevant underlying health conditions we need to be aware of, please inform your line manager and let us know by emailing coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

Ensure you follow the guidance from Public Health England (PHE). If you or the person you live with/care for become symptomatic then ensure you follow the PHE guidance on living with someone from a vulnerable group.

With the exception of staff providing essential services, staff are now working from home where they are able to do so. If you or anyone you live with is within a vulnerable group, as outlined in the PHE guidance above, please speak to your manager to discuss how your work can be best managed.

If you are self-isolating or currently unable to complete your work, please refer to the FAQ “Reporting Absence – when and how do I report absence?”

If you have any further queries email us on humanresources@exeter.ac.uk

Information from Human Resources

If you are not able to work for any of the following reasons please report your absence from work to your line manager, or in their absence the nominated manager, as soon as possible - either by email or telephone. You should state the reason for your absence, for example:

• Sickness (any reason where you are unwell and unable to work as normal, including relating to coronavirus)
• Self-isolation: In all cases, employees should follow the latest Government guidance
• Emergency leave (e.g. childcare)

Information about pay arrangements can be found online.

Your manager will record your sickness absence in the usual way via iTrent – more details are available on the sickness recording web page.

In cases where you are self-isolating, you should record the absence via the self-isolation absence notification form.

During this time, it is important that you remain in regular contact with your line manager and/or supervisor, as well as those you manage, even if you are not working in your normal workplace.

If you are a manager and you become ill, please let your team know so they are aware of who they can liaise with in your absence, for example your line manager or another appropriate member of staff.

If you have a specific concern or query about being absent from work please email: humanresources@exeter.ac.uk

If you work and get paid via eClaims or the Temporary Resourcing Unit, you should notify your manager and e-Claims@exeter.ac.uk if you are unwell or unable to attend work for any reason connected to coronavirus.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay from the first day of your illness. If you are not unwell but are self-isolating under Public Health England advice, the University will, as an exceptional measure, pay you for any work that has been agreed and scheduled. Similarly, while the University is closed for all but essential activity, you will be paid for any work which has been agreed and scheduled. Please claim any hours through the eClaims system in the normal way for your manager to approve. Where possible, arrangements will be made for you to undertake the scheduled work at home.

You must advise your line manager and report that you are in self isolation, using the self-isolation absence notification form. Please refer to the FAQ “Reporting Absence – When and how do I report absence?” for further guidance.

If you can continue working while you are self-isolating, this will not be recorded as sickness. If you are not able to work, then this will be treated as sickness absence. Please refer to pay arrangements for further information.

If you have any further queries on this, please contact your line manager or the HR Team.

 

Postgraduate Teaching Assistants will continue to be paid if their work is cancelled or rescheduled, and should claim for their hours in the usual way via Trent. Please contact the manager who normally assigns work to you, to clarify the expectations of your role and whether you can undertake work from home.

There is no evidence that pregnant women are more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus but pregnant women have been included in the list of people at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable) as a precaution. You can find out more from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists online.

If you are shortly due to return from maternity leave, we look forward to welcoming you back.

You are returning to work in unprecedented times. All staff, other than essential teams are being asked to work from home. It is unlikely that you have all your equipment to be able to do so. Firstly, we would ask you to be in touch with your manager using the method you have been using during your maternity leave. We will then need to ensure you have equipment you need to work from home, please discuss this with your line manager.

To facilitate working from home the University has migrated to using “Teams.”

There are useful guides available on using tools such as Teams and Office 365. We would recommend you take a look at these and speak to your manager about any needs you might have that are not covered here.

Updates and actions

Please go the Research Toolkit to read further guidance from our main research funders and frequently asked questions.

We also have useful information for PGRs from the Doctoral College, this is available online.

The various works on our campus, undertaken by the University and our partners, are continuing in accordance with the most recent Government advice, issued on 26th March and the Secretary of State letter on 31st March.

The Government has advised that construction activities can continue, provided contractors comply with social distancing requirements and enhanced cleaning measures. All contractors who continue to operate on campus are following the recently published Site Operating Procedures from the Construction Leadership Council.

The University is working closely with our partners to ensure this guidance is followed, and we are putting into place additional measures as appropriate. We are monitoring the situation as it evolves and will provide any further updates here.

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance, and contact the Rapid Response Hub.

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

It is not necessary to close the business or workplace or send any staff home, unless government policy changes.

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