The campus is currently closed, however we are working towards the re-opening of campus facilities for teaching to start from 21 September. We will be continuing to update staff via MySuffolk, Infozone and your line managers. Please refer to the email sent from the Vice-Chancellor on 25 June for the latest advice and information regarding working from home and the plans for the new academic year.
Please follow the guidance on the IT Services website for working from home.
The campus is currently closed, however we are working towards the re-opening of campus facilities for teaching to start from 21 September.
Infozone / Reception
Ask a question via:
· Telephone: 01473 338833 or 01473 338000
· Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The daily charge for permit holders parking on the University Car Park will be suspended until further notice.
There is no change to the current charges in Athena Hall (to staff and student permit holders and to the general public) or in the Duke Street public car park.
The Wharf car park will be closed until further notice.Please be aware that enforcement of the car park terms and conditions will continue across the campus.
Paddy and Scott's are now open for takeaway coffee, pastries and traybakes. Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 8am - 1pm.
Safety measures are in place, please stick to the social distancing guidance.
Home Working Guidance
If you were issued specialist or ergonomic equipment for use in the office and would like to collect it for homeworking purposes then contact H&S (email@example.com). Each request will be assessed individually as there are risks associated with collecting the equipment, which must be considered and minimised where possible. If you feel you require specialist equipment solely for homeworking then contact H&S so a remote workstation assessment can be carried out.
If you are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus please inform the firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a long-term health condition that you have not previously disclosed and you feel you could be more vulnerable to contracting covid-19, staff should discuss with their line manager for support in the first instance. Advice is available from their HR Link Adviser, if required.
If you are feeling anxious about coronavirus, please visit this webpage from Mind which contains advice and sources of support.
Self-Isolation After Travel Overseas
If you are travelling abroad, you may have to self-isolate, on your return, for 14 days. The rules apply to UK residents and all visitors coming into the UK.
You will not need to self-isolate for 14 days if you’re travelling to the UK from within the Common Travel Area, that is:
- the UK
- the Republic of Ireland
- the Channel Islands
- the Isle of Man
However, if you arrive in the UK and have been outside the Common Travel Area within the last 14 days, then you will need to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14-day period, starting from when you arrived in the Common Travel Area.
It is possible that future “travel corridors” may be established with other countries that do not require you to self-isolate.
If you are considering travelling abroad, and before you travel, please speak with your manager and tell them which countries you plan to visit and the need to self-isolate or not, and to agree how any period of mandatory self-isolation will be handled on your return.
For most people it may be possible to spend this period working from home. Otherwise taking annual leave or unpaid leave may be appropriate.
You can find the most up-to-date Government advice here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk
The government will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and take further action as needed. You can find the latest information and advice on COVID-19 and the latest guidance for educational settings at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
This guidance is for employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable*. It will also apply to employees who are the family, friends, and carers of those in this group. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19). If this applies to you or someone you care for, you or they will have received a letter advising them to shield from their GP or hospital clinician.
If you are advised to shield or someone you care for is shielding, you should talk to your manager as soon as possible, so that we can help you. From 1st August, the Government advises that shielding can be paused but we recognised for employees in this group or caring for those who are, this is a significant step and you may still have concerns or wish to remain cautious.
In the first instance, you should make every effort to work from home and we will try to help you to do this. If you are unable to work from home, you should discuss and agree your options with your manager.
Some of these options might include:
- Adjusting your working patterns temporarily
- Taking annual leave
- Considering different types of leave, such as unpaid leave although this will need to be agreed with the University.
The University will try as far as is practicable to balance your need for support with the needs of the organisation.
*Clinically extremely vulnerable groups:
Expert doctors in England have identified specific medical conditions that, based on what we know about the virus so far, place some people at greatest risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Disease severity, history or treatment levels will also affect who is in this group.
- Clinically extremely vulnerable people may include:
- Solid organ transplant recipients.
- People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell).
- People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
- Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
Other people have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions.
More information about who has been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable is available on the NHS website.
Please note, this guidance is different from the Government’s advice on setting up personal support bubbles.
Whilst at work you must maintain social distancing in full and any other guidance set out by the Government and the University for your own safety. The concept of working in small teams is to minimise the number of people you might constantly work with and also protect the organisation and teams by reducing the number of people who will have to self-isolate if any person in that team exhibits symptoms of COVID-19.
There are key principles for how you can form a small work team safely. These are critical to keeping you and your colleagues, friends, and family safe:
- Any proposed small work team must be determined by each manager and the approach submitted for authorisation/sign off by the Dean/Director.
- Each small work team must be exclusive – you or managers should not change who is in your team once it is set up. New team members can join an existing team but should not swap between teams.
- if you or someone in your small work team is showing coronavirus symptoms, or otherwise self-isolating, everyone in your small work team should stay home. If you or a member of your small work team is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If the individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the small work team should then isolate.
The general principle remains that those that can work from home, should continue to work from home as much as possible, as agreed with their manager.
How to form a small work team
Your manager will split each team into smaller groups. How this is achieved will be different for each school and directorate, but considerations might include
- ensuring a broad range of skills and experience are available on campus
- eliminating single points of failure if all people in one job or skill set suddenly falls ill or must self-isolate
- ensuring adequate supervision and management availability
Once in smaller groups, each manager should assign each small work team a day(s) when they can work on campus. Only those in the small work team should work on campus on those allocated days, except in an extreme emergency. Other small work teams should continue to work at home. It may be appropriate to simply rotate days amongst the teams or set specific days depending on the work tasks that need a physical presence on campus.
It might also be appropriate (with the agreement of the manager and employee unless already contractual) to rota attendance in different ways, for example having an early or late “shift” to avoid having larger numbers of employees on campus all at the same time.
Small work teams for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding)
Anyone who is shielding must not form part of a small work team at this stage. We know how hard it is for people who are shielding and who want to return to work on our campus. Government advice continues to state that those who are shielding must maintain strict social distancing and stay 2 metres apart from others – including those they live with. You should continue to work from home and follow the University’s guidance on shielding.
Government guidance on travel can be found here:
Travelling to work/campus
Employees should continue to work from home as much as possible.
If you are required by your manager to attend campus, you should make every effort to attend the workplace during your working hours when reasonably required to do so. When travelling to campus, employees should follow all government advice in place at the time of the journey. Where possible, unless it is the only means of travel, employees should avoid public transport and we would encourage employees to use methods of travel that avoid contact with others such as walking, cycling and private motor vehicle. Please bear in mind that some operators are only allowing travel that has been pre-booked and/or paid for in a contactless way, so please check the latest advice before travelling.
Should you have reasonable concerns about travelling to work or are struggling to balance caring responsibilities with your work, then please discuss these with your line manager so that the University can try to support you by perhaps allowing you to work from home for a further period rather than travelling to campus or adjusting your working hours so that you can travel at a less busy time to avoid crowds.
Travelling on Business
All travel both nationally and internationally for business reasons should be avoided until further notice. Employees should continue to use video conference software to connect and to participate in events where possible.
In the event that travel is unavoidable, you should immediately discuss this with your Dean/Director who, taking into account the Government and University advice will be required to authorise your trip. It will be essential that the advice can be complied with during the trip, including any insurance requirements. In particular, public transport should be avoided, and you should ensure that whatever travel method is used, sufficient steps are in place to maintain sufficient distance from others and facilities for hand washing or sanitising hands are available.
As mentioned in an update from the Vice-Chancellor, as an employer, we have been looking to see how we might support those who wish to engage in more community volunteering during work time, as a way to legitimately be out of your home and have an opportunity to do something both useful and different for others during the Covid-19 pandemic. This might be through formally volunteering, being a thoughtful friend or supporting your more vulnerable neighbours; whatever way you choose, managing your time to balance work and support for others and yourself, during work time each week, if needed, is important to help us all get through this isolation period.
If you need to drop off some medication or a pint of milk to a neighbour or to just simply to check in on them for 20 minutes during your work day; or need to phone that friend who has been on your mind; or sign up to a local community group, please do so. Spending up to 1 – 1.5 hours each week, if needed is a notional guideline but please agree arrangements in advance with your line manager in the first instance.
However you wish to help others, we hope the above opportunity supports you through enhancing a sense of worth and purpose during this time and help protect against loneliness too.
For those of you where volunteering may well be the furthest thing from your mind, it is equally important to create the space to connect in other ways that is meaningful for you to take care of yourself – do the things that make you feel like you, stay stimulated, and make time for things you enjoy.
Some ideas of ways to support your community and important safeguarding tips are below.
Supporting your community during COVID-19
Foodbanks, community groups and those helping the elderly are likely to be the most in need and if you are looking for a way to help, then donating items or money to those groups could make a huge difference. Follow social media and websites for those local to you to see if they are looking for any support.
- Find your local COVID Mutual Aid group (for volunteering or for support for yourself and family)
- Ensure the NHS continue to be able to provide life-saving treatments and go to www.blood.co.uk to find out where you can donate blood.
- Get in touch with your local town or parish council to see what volunteering opportunities are available.
- With non-essential shops closed on the high streets, including charity shops, you can continue to provide support by shopping online with charities
- Become a RedCross Community Reserve Volunteer to help your community get back on track in the event of a major local emergency (such as the current pandemic.)
- The Cinnamon Trust, are urgently seeking volunteers to support elderly and terminally ill people in the community and their pets, for example walking dogs or collecting pet food if they are unable to leave their house.
- Suffolk’s Home but not alone initiative aims to connect volunteers to people who need help
Here are a couple of opportunities which could be a great way to boost your own mental wellbeing whilst self-isolating or social distancing.
- Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vison people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.
- Tag wild animal sightings with ZSL and help support conservation
There are many more out there.
Safeguarding – keeping safe.
It is key that before undertaking any of these activities you follow the advice provided by the University, as per our regular updates, and the UK government guidelines, observing the government restrictions on leaving the house and social distancing. Tips on Safe Volunteering during Covid-19 pandemic is available via this link.
- The University offers a free counselling helpline for staff and their families which is available by telephoning 0333 234 2189 and select Option 1 - Legal advice line or other advisory services.
- Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has set up a 24/7 helpline offering immediate support for mental health difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic. The helpline is available on 0808 1963494.