Why am I being asked to work from home?
The government announced on 23 March that everyone should stay at home and leave their houses only for essential shopping, daily exercise, medical care and "absolutely necessary" work. We are not classed as key workers and therefore our interim Vice Chancellor has stated that we will all be working and studying from home for the foreseeable future.
You can find out more about working from home in our interim homeworking policy.
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. If you are not required to work on campus at the moment and your manager does not feel you can work from home, you will be treated as if you are on special leave and will receive full pay.
What is social distancing and how do I do this if I am required to work on campus?
There are only a few staff who have been identified as being needed on campus. Government guidance on social distancing for everyone in the UK states that ‘social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).’
Everyone should be following these measures.
Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
- Avoid gathering or meeting more than two people at a time
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
Can I use DMU equipment at home?
You will be allowed to take home key equipment such as your chair, keyboard, screen, etc. as required, to enable you to work from home safely and effectively. It will 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.
Before removing any equipment from your office, you will need to inform your line manager of the type of equipment you are planning to use at home and your manager needs to agree to this. Your manager will make a note on the asset register of the equipment you will be taking home. You can view the asset register, along with guidance on how to achieve the best possible workstation set-up, here.
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 once you have taken any equipment from the office to enable you to work at home.
Please consult the manual handling guide when you are transporting and setting up your equipment.
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?
All Unitemps workers in a current assignment will be paid their normal anticipated working hours up until Friday 1 May 2020, or the contract end date, whichever is soonest. Please continue to submit a timesheet via the Unitemps website for the hours you would normally work. This applies whether or not you are able to work from home. Timesheet deadline dates and pay dates will remain the same.
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.
We will be contacting those this applies to individually, and a letter will be issued to the temps effected via email. During this period, you will not be expected to submit weekly timesheets via the Unitemps website. Those this applies to will have received an email by 10am on 18 April. If you are not working from home, and have not received this email, please contact Unitemps.
It is very important that furloughed temps do not submit a timesheet after Friday 1 May 2020, nor will furloughed temps be able to work for Unitemps during the furlough period.
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. With your manager's agreement you are to submit timesheets as normal up until 1 May 2020, or the contract end date, whichever is soonest. You can read the current NHS advice on self-isolation at this link.
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