Why am I being asked to work from home?
The Interim Vice-Chancellor stated on 11 May 2020 that, while we are working towards making our campus a safe place to work and study, for now, the campus remains closed to all but essential workers.
My job means I can’t really work from home. What will happen?
Most roles can be performed remotely, but it may be that your role is one of the few that still has to be carried out on campus, e.g. you are a member of the security team. In this case, your manager will be able to explain how you will be supported at work to undertake your role in as safe a manner as possible.
It may be that your manager has spoken to you about being furloughed, in which case you will be provided with further details about what this means. If you are not required to work on campus at the moment, and you cannot work from home, but your role is not one that can be furloughed, you will be treated as if you are on special leave and will receive full pay.
Can I use DMU equipment at home?
You are allowed to use key equipment such as your chair, keyboard, screen, etc, at home as required, to enable you to work safely and effectively – and this should have been arranged by now. If there is something specific that you feel you require from the university, you must contact your line manager to discuss. It will normally be your responsibility to move the equipment from campus to your home as the university is unfortunately not able to assist you with this at this time. However, if you require particular support please talk to your line manager. Please consult the manual handling guide when you are transporting and setting up your equipment.
The Interim Home Working policy sets out the requirement for you to complete the Home Working Self-Assessment Checklist and even if you have already completed this, please repeat this checklist if you have updated your work station or are using any new equipment.
I am working from home, but my child’s school/nursery is still closed, how will this affect my working hours and my pay?
We recognise that many colleagues have caring responsibilities for young children and children of school age and we are grateful that colleagues are trying so hard to balance their caring responsibilities with work. The next few months will see many schools and childcare facilities re-open, however at present, our campus remains closed (except for those colleagues who are required for emergency/critical work).
If your child care provider remains closed and you do not have access to childcare, you will continue to be able to access extraordinary paid special leave, but you will be asked to balance this with your annual leave for this leave year (until 31 August).
How can I look after my mental and physical wellbeing?
We appreciate that the immense changes and measures for social distancing not only profoundly impact your working life but also your home and social life too. Isolation will present many challenges to mental and physical wellbeing so we want to offer you some support on this. One service that is available to all staff is the Employee Assistance Programme.
If you are either working at home, working in an 'essential services capacity' on campus or unable to work due to the type of role you have, the EAP offers you (and anyone living with you) immediate and free access to 24-hour telephone counselling, advice for physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. That's not all, the EAP also offers legal and financial information services. The EAP service is completely confidential and provided by an independent health and wellbeing provider, Health Assured. You can contact them in the following ways:
- UK Freephone number: 0800 716 017 (if calling from a DMU Skype telephone, the quick dial is 0101)
- Calling from overseas: +44 (0)1455 254 198
- Minicom number: 0845 600 5499
For more info on how the EAP can support you please watch this video. You can also visit their website and enter 'dmu' in both login boxes.
To support DMU staff members during this uniquely challenging time we have produced some online resources to help support you both at work and at home.
The new wellbeing microsite provides advice and support for staff in a variety of different situations, there are links to external websites, information about home schooling and top tips for staying active. Click here to check them out.
What is the situation regarding Unitemps workers?
The following information has been provided by Unitemps regarding their workers and does not apply to DMU employees.
Friday 1 May onwards:
Temps who are currently working from home
If you are currently working from home then nothing will change, and you will continue to do so, submitting your weekly timesheets for the hours you are working via the Unitemps website up until your contract end date. Timesheet deadline dates and pay dates will remain the same.
Temps who are in a current assignment and unable to work from home
If, due to the nature of your role, you are unable to work from home, then from Monday 4 May 2020 you will be placed on furlough (if in agreement). This arrangement will be in place until Friday 29 May 2020. Following 29 May, we will be carrying out another review and will update you accordingly of our position.
Click here for further guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme.
Visa working restrictions
Any visa restrictions will still apply while working from home and will be monitored by the Unitemps office in the normal way.
Self-isolation due to housemate or family member showing symptoms of COVID-19
If you are able to work from home and are self-isolating due to someone within the household showing symptoms of COVID-19 you will need to let your manager and Unitemps know at the earliest opportunity. If you are unable to work from home and are self-isolating due to someone within the household showing symptoms, you will be able to claim statutory sick pay (SSP) from day one, provided that you meet the statutory requirements.
You can self-certificate for the first seven days by completing an online form and returning to Unitemps for processing. Alternatively, depending on your earnings, you may be entitled to Universal Credit.
Sick pay and reporting
If you are unwell and suspect this is due to COVID-19, you must contact your manager at the earliest opportunity. You will be able to claim SSP from day one, provided that you meet the statutory requirements.
Further advice can be found at the below links:
gov.uk: COVID-19: guidance for employees