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Support for working parents and carers as lockdown is eased

The University understand how the easing of lockdown is welcome in many ways but the environment continues to be unsettling for everyone. We appreciate that although schools are back and nurseries, preschools and childminders are open clusters of Covid-19 outbreaks are still occurring. The university will continue to support parents and carers.

Changes in the guidance around shielding mean that some colleagues no longer have to shield, but a transition time may be needed.  

You are encouraged to keep in touch with your manager if you have any queries or concerns and in particular to speak to your line manager about how the University can support you to balance your work and family responsibilities.

We are also aware that many after school clubs are not running and so you may need to consider other short-term options to cover childcare 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

Emergency Leave

In recognition of continuing circumstances, while you are exploring what arrangements are suitable for your family and to give you a longer period to make alternative arrangements, it may be helpful for you to take some emergency leave. The University has agreed to temporarily extend its paid emergency leave to 10 days (pro-rata for part-time staff). Any emergency leave taken in 2020 will not count against the 2021 allowance. Please speak to your line manager at the earliest opportunity about taking emergency leave and follow the guidance on recording your absence

Flexible Working

We will continue to be flexible about the work expectations of colleagues who are supporting their children’s learning due to children being asked to isolate from school or other childcare issues while working at home. We appreciate that this may mean that in certain periods you may not be able to undertake your full workload or work your normal hours. Colleagues are requested to make their best endeavours to undertake as much of their normal workload as possible around their family responsibilities, giving priority to urgent work. You should discuss and agree with your line manager what you can do so that appropriate adjustments can be made to your work expectations.

Managers can contact Human Resources for further advice:

See contacts page for the HR contact for your College/Service
General enquiries should be sent to humanresources@exeter.ac.uk
For information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, contact JRSHR@exeter.ac.uk