Staff FAQs

Updated 1 April 2020 3.30pm

We are closely monitoring government advice and we’ll be regularly reviewing our approach and updating this web page as matters develop.

Travel

Caring responsibilities

Supporting essential University services and volunteering externally

Supporting students or other staff

Events

I have had to cancel my attendance at an overseas event – will I be recompensed?

In light of the University’s decision to withdraw from all work related overseas travel, it is inevitable that all costs may not be recoverable. Assuming the travel and activity was authorised and booked in line with University policy, directly related expenses will be reimbursed.

What support is available, now my child’s school is closed?

Thank you to all our staff for doing your very best to support colleagues and students as we adjust to online teaching, working from home and home schooling. We know that for those of you with children or other caring responsibilities this is a daily balancing act and you’re unlikely to be able to work exactly as you would from campus.

Please speak to your line manager and have an open and pragmatic conversation to explore and agree what is possible. These conversations might need to happen once or several times over the weeks ahead, but managers and staff are encouraged to talk frequently and openly to find flexible solutions that work best for individual situations.

Line managers are empowered to agree and support ways of working that are new and potentially very different from how work is carried out on campus. For example, it might be appropriate to agree that e-mails can be responded to out of ‘normal’ working hours to allow for caring responsibilities during the day.

What is key is that you work as best you can in your individual circumstances and that your line manager supports you to do your best, allowing for the fact that we’re all unlikely to be able to work exactly as we would from campus.

To complement the help and support provided by line managers is the carer’s leave guidance. We have also increased the standard entitlement of paid carer’s leave from 5 days to 10 days for this year (pro rata for part time staff). This 10 days includes any carer’s leave already taken within the past 12 month period.

Annual leave, unpaid leave and parental leave are also options that can be agreed to cover any additional caring responsibility requirements or if staff would like to take some time, away from work.

What is situation at Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre?

In light of the Government’s announcement that all schools and nurseries in the UK were closed on Friday 20 March, regrettably Bright Beginnings has also closed for the foreseeable future. The Bright Beginnings Board is working through the impact of the closure on its families and staff. The Centre will be in touch with parents as soon as possible over the coming days to confirm the implications of the closure for them. Please direct any questions to Bright Beginnings, or view their website.

Could I be required to take on different work for the University during this period?

Yes, we may require you to be flexible in undertaking alternative duties to ensure that the University continues to run smoothly. Your line manager will keep in contact with you regularly and will discuss any arrangements for undertaking different work including any support and/or training requirements.

If I have capacity, can I support essential University services?

Yes. We are hugely grateful to those University employees who continue to work on campus to deliver vital services as part of the Critical Activities Team (eg those in residences, maintenance, security, catering, some in IT and lab technicians, and our clinicians). We also have important University services being delivered remotely. If you have capacity (due to not being able to work at home/ or partially working from home) and by agreement with your Head of School/Service (or nominee), we may need your help during this difficult period to ensure that our essential services continue to run effectively. You will shortly be able to register your support and availability and we will, of course, provide full training before asking you to join one of our essential services. We are hugely grateful for your continued support.

A link to a dedicated supporting essential University services page containing more detailed information will be added here shortly.

Am I allowed to volunteer (unpaid) for other organisations during these unprecedented times?

Yes, if you have capacity (due to not being able to work at home/ or partially working from home) and by agreement with your Head of School/Service (or nominee), we are supportive of our staff helping to ensure that vital activities to public health and safety are delivered during the Covid-19 lockdown period. Please ensure that the organisation recruiting volunteers has the appropriate risk assessments and insurance in place.

Your University work activities will normally take precedence (clinical staff may be an exception). If you are a member of the University’s Critical Activities Team or are fully operational working from home, we support you to volunteer in your non-working time. Volunteering must be unpaid if you are receiving your University salary during this period.

Find out more on our Volunteering page.

I have a student that says anxiety about coronavirus is affecting their studies – what should I do?

We understand that this situation may affect our students in different ways and they may need practical help, emotional support or expert advice. View our information about campus support services.

The following student guidance is also available:

There are also coronavirus FAQs for students available.

I have a student/staff member who has reported being bullied or harassed about coronavirus – what should I do?

As members of the Leeds community, we expect all staff and students to respect one another and treat each other kindly. This is particularly important during difficult periods, like the global coronavirus outbreak.

If you or a student have experienced any form of bullying or harassment, please be reassured that we take this very seriously. View information and guidance on what to do.

There are also coronavirus FAQs for students available.

Where can I access support and advice?

Support is available via your HR Manager, your Health & Safety Manager (safety@leeds.ac.uk) and the University’s Occupational Health Service (occupationalhealth@leeds.ac.uk).

During these exceptional circumstances, some remote staff counselling is still available by video or phone. If you feel you need psychological support or advice, email staffcounselling@leeds.ac.uk or where this is not possible phone 0113 34 33694.

View our guidance on support and wellbeing.

Are open days and school visits affected?

We expect that the main University open days will continue as planned, pending further advice from the Public Health England.

All planned on-campus and off-campus school visits have been cancelled by Education Engagement until 17 April.

Are on campus events currently affected?

After Wednesday 18 March, all applicant open days, conferences and other major events scheduled before Monday 27 April are cancelled or postponed to a later date. Decisions about whether or not other events proceed will be taken on a case-by-case basis. Local event organisers are responsible for making and communicating these decisions.