Staff FAQs

Updated 14 April 2021

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

Working arrangements

Equipment

Travel

Caring responsibilities

Wellbeing and support

Vaccinations and testing

Working arrangements

When will I be able to return to campus?

In preparation for the start of the summer term and from 26 April, in the context  of the move to step two on the government’s roadmap, the relevant Head of School/Service and Faculty Executive Dean may authorise the return to campus of staff  who cannot deliver their academic or faculty activities from home during this  time (i.e. between now and the end of the summer term).

I work in a building that is currently closed, can I return to my office, I am happy to work alone?

It is important that we have a consistent and safe approach to opening up buildings and additional study space on campus.

Opening a building requires  significant input from both the Estates  team and the Health and Safety team to ensure buildings are both covid secure and safe (this includes water safety and ventilation).  In addition to this, once a building is open extra cleaning needs to be in place.

If the government roadmap out of lockdown stays on course, there will be no legal restrictions on social distancing in step 4, will we all be able to come back to work as normal?

During April and May we are expecting further guidance to be published on the next steps in the Government’s roadmap which will enable us to consider the further opening up of campus and return of staff, from June until September.  This will need to be a managed process, and we will be working on an approach as soon as we are able to.

What if I am unable to work at home because I don’t have the correct equipment, space or due to personal circumstances?

There are currently arrangements in place where, in exceptional circumstances, you can request a place to work on campus via your Head of School/Service. These arrangements are still in place.

We are also working to create facilities for staff to be able to use on  campus for work activities where their  normal facilities either at home or on campus are not available/suitable.

My normal building is still closed and I cannot work from home. Is there anywhere else I can work on campus?

Please see What if I am unable to work at home because I don’t have the correct equipment, space or due to personal circumstances.

What if I am asked to return to campus and I don’t feel safe to do so at the moment?

When required to return to campus, you will be contacted by your line manager to discuss your return to campus. As part of this discussion you will be asked to complete a Return to Work on Campus Questionnaire which requests information relating to your personal circumstances and concerns (including those relating to caring responsibilities, travel arrangements and protected characteristics). You can discuss any part of the questionnaire with your Head of School/Service. If you’d prefer, you can discuss your circumstances in confidence with your local HR Manager. Any mitigating factors will be given full consideration and any reasonable adjustments and potential leave options (e.g. annual leave, parental leave or unpaid leave) will be explored. If the requirement to return to campus remains, you will be given a clear explanation as to the reasons for requiring your return, and reassurance will be given regarding the health and safety measures in place.

We will continue to do our utmost to resolve all matters amicably. However, in circumstances where this does not prove possible, a continued inability to reach an agreement on returning to a role on campus may result in pay being withheld on the grounds of the withdrawal of labour. In exceptional circumstances, the disciplinary process may be instigated but other options will be explored before undertaking this course of action.

What if I don’t want to return to campus?

When required to return to campus, you will be asked to complete a Return to Work on Campus Questionnaire which requests information relating to your personal circumstances and concerns (including those relating to caring responsibilities, travel arrangements and protected characteristics). You can discuss any part of the Questionnaire with your Head of School/Service. If you’d prefer, you can discuss your circumstances in confidence with your local HR Manager. Any mitigating factors will be given full consideration and any reasonable adjustments and potential leave options (e.g. annual leave, parental leave or unpaid leave) will be explored. If the requirement to return to campus remains, you will be given a clear explanation as to the reasons for requiring your return, and reassurance will be given regarding the health and safety measures in place.

We will continue to do our utmost to resolve all matters amicably. However, in circumstances where this does not prove possible, a continued inability to reach an agreement on returning to a role on campus may result in pay being withheld on the grounds of the withdrawal of labour. In exceptional circumstances, the disciplinary process may be instigated but other options will be explored before undertaking this course of action.

Will there be a phased return approach to returning to campus (similar to that undertaken when you return from long term leave)?

It is unlikely that you will be expected to return to campus on a full-time basis immediately.  You will continue to work from home on some days as you have done  previously.

For colleagues required to be on campus, where possible line managers should arrange for staff to visit the campus before they are due to formally return to familiarise themselves with the campus, journey in, etc. Speak to your line manager to discuss the options available.

How will the University keep me safe when I return to campus?

Read about the safety measures in place on campus.

I have proven that I can do my job from home. Can I continue working from home full-time?

The current government guidance is that anyone who can work from home should remain at home.  As we move out of lockdown, we will be considering the University Strategy and what we need to deliver as part of it. This will involve us looking more widely at remote working.

I am clinically extremely vulnerable – will I have to return to campus now shielding has been lifted?

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot work from home then you may be asked to return to work on campus in line with the arrangements outlined in the question What if I am asked to return to campus and I don’t feel safe to do so at the moment?

I am currently living with someone who is clinically vulnerable – do I have to work on campus?

If you are required to work on campus for all or part of your role then you will be expected to come into work. You should discuss any concerns you have with your line manager.

Equipment

Is it possible for me to come to campus to collect equipment (desks/chairs etc)?

If you need equipment (desks/chairs, etc.) then please contact your Head of Service/School. Your Head of Service/School will then be able to advise you on next steps. See our working from home equipment and experience guidance for more information.

My office chair and other equipment is at home. When do I have to bring it back?

This depends on individual circumstances and will vary according to several factors, including government guidelines on when individuals can return to work and when the University can accommodate individuals back on campus.

Staff asked to carry out work on campus, or those who can resume research on campus, will be notified.

Will the University provide equipment at work and at home so I can choose where I work?

The current government guidance is that anyone who can work from home should remain at home. As we move out of lockdown, we will also be considering future ways of working to ensure that our strategic objectives are met as part of the University strategy. This will involve us reviewing our approach to hybrid working and the requirement for equipment to enable that approach.

What happens if I am required to self-isolate for two weeks and all my work equipment is in the office?

Please see the reporting you have COVID-19 webpage for more information.

Travel

What happens if I feel unsafe travelling by public transport?

Depending on your circumstances other options for travel may include walking, cycling, driving or a combination of these options.  If you would like help or advice  planning your commute to work, you can contact: sustainability@leeds.ac.uk

If you would like advice on walking or running to campus, including route advice, please visit our active travel webpage.

For further information on travel including cycle stands, bike repair stands, pumps and changing rooms or showers, visit our commuting and travel to campus webpage.

If travelling at a specific time is creating undue difficulty, please discuss your  circumstances with your manager, it may be possible to consider a temporary  altered/flexible working pattern.

When will the free parking end?

The University is offering staff and students free parking on campus, at any time of  the day, until the end of April.

How do I book a parking space?

Before you can park on campus, please ensure your  car is registered for out of hours parking.
You can do this on the staff parking page of the Estates Services website. Please  note, this facility is only available to staff of the University of Leeds. You must be  logged into the University’s network to access this system, and therefore if you are  connecting from home you will need to log into the network via Virtual Windows  Desktop.

Where will I be able to travel for meetings/conferences/fieldwork?

Travel to meetings, conferences and fieldwork will resume once the appropriate  safety measures are in place.  Please see our staff travel advice webpage.

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.

Caring responsibilities

What are the current carer leave arrangements and when do they end?

Please see our working from home webpage for more information.

What is the situation at Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre?

Please check the Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre website for information about the delivery of childcare services on campus.

Wellbeing and support

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, such as the current global coronavirus outbreak.

If you or a student have experienced any form of bullying or harassment, please be reassured that the University takes 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).

Remote staff counselling is available by video or phone. For psychological support or advice email staffcounselling@leeds.ac.uk or if you are unable to email, phone 0113 343 3694.

Visit the Wellbeing, Safety and Health team’s wellbeing webpage for guidance and tips on looking after your physical and mental wellbeing.

The GOV.UK website also has guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Vaccinations and testing

Will I be expected to have a vaccine before I return to work?

Please see our free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests webpage for more information.

Will the University be using vaccine passports?

Please see our free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests webpage for more information.

Am I able to have paid time off to go and get my vaccine?

Please see our free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests webpage for more information.

Will I be required to take regular covid tests?

Please see our free asymptomatic COVID-19 tests webpage for more information.