Last updated 06 July 2020
We recognise that the coronavirus outbreak is unprecedented and are therefore implementing measures to keep staff updated. The University considers the safety, health and well-being of our staff and students as the upmost priority. We are monitoring the situation and please check this website regularly to keep up to date with latest advice.
For staff related queries not covered by these FAQs please email Cyfathrebu-Communications@uwtsd.ac.uk
Student related queries should be directed to the Hwb firstname.lastname@example.org
Important information for staff
Business critical roles as defined by the University will be the only roles permitted to be on campus and those role holders will be notified. It is imperative that all staff must not continue to attend work unless the University has notified you that your role is business critical. We may move towards requiring more staff in business critical roles to support the NHS, for example by opening up parts of our campuses or for the purposes of health related research activity.
In line with the most recent government guidance we will require staff to observe social distancing and will put in place supportive measures as appropriate.
Staff who are identified as business critical have been issued with a letter authorising them to attend work. Please carry a copy of this letter (either electronic or hard copy) with you if you are required to attend work along with your University Security Pass and another form of Identification, for example, your Driving License. It is imperative that all staff must not access campus unless they have a letter of authority issued by the University. If you have any questions please contact email@example.com
The University continues to monitor the situation and be guided by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Public Health Wales (PHW) and Public Health England (PHE) advice. The University has suspended the delivery of all face to face teaching with immediate effect and has also, in line with the most recent Government advice put in place measures to enable staff where possible to work from home.
The University is monitoring PHW and PHE guidelines about prevention and spread of coronavirus. The University has revised its cleaning programme to include the provision of hand sanitiser gels in key locations and posters to offer guidance on hand washing.
A clear communication framework has been established to enable the senior management team to respond to the rapidly changing context and to address all the issues that may arise. Separate groups have been established involving the Provosts, Deans, Registrar and Heads of Professional Units to meet electronically each morning. Issues raised each day are considered by the full Senior Directorate by late morning. This daily pattern will continue for the foreseeable future. You will be kept informed of key decisions taken via the Staff Frequently Asked Questions which will be revised and updated regularly. If, however, you have any further queries please email Cyfathrebu-Communications@uwtsd.ac.uk. Student queries should be directed to the Hwb add email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a message that has been distributed to students today (20 March 2020):
It is with regret that we have decided to postpone our 2020 summer graduation ceremonies. We appreciate this news will be disappointing, but we can assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly. We truly regret the inconvenience caused but, after careful consideration, our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our students, their guests and our staff – especially in such uncertain and challenging times.
We will need to review the current situation carefully and will provide further information as soon as the circumstances change and it becomes possible to reschedule the ceremonies. We will keep you informed of any developments on our FAQs and will contact all students who were eligible to attend July’s ceremonies with the new arrangements. We look forward to the opportunity to celebrate with you on a future occasion.
The postponement of the ceremonies should not mean that it will not be possible for you to complete your programme and graduate this summer. The University is currently reviewing its regulations and, where necessary, modifying your assessment tasks in order to enable you to complete your award as soon as possible.
When you qualify for an award, we will make sure we get your award documents (award certificate and final transcript) to you as soon as possible.
Your normal salary will continue to be paid whether or not you are able to carry out your role at home. Where practicable, you may be asked to undertake other work commensurate with your Grade.
Yes, you will continue to be paid and the University is currently considering the detail. Further information on this will follow at the earliest opportunity.
In response to a number of queries that have been raised by staff, the University’s re-grading process remains on hold at this present time. We will continue to keep the situation under review and will provide updates as appropriate.
Furlough – FAQs for Staff
The Government have announced a package of support measures to help business during the economic crisis created by Coronavirus. An important part of the package is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or ‘Furlough Leave’). Furlough Leave is a temporary leave of absence for economic reasons and is designed to protect the incomes of employees. The University is accessing this scheme to help ensure its longer-term financial sustainability as a result of the Coronavirus. Please refer to the frequently asked questions below for further information:
The word furlough generally means temporary leave of absence from work. There are a number of roles at the University, which are not possible to carry out when we have been asked to work from home as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. In addition, the activity on our campuses has scaled back considerably as students are now studying remotely. The Government has launched a scheme to help employers reclaim the cost of employing staff who are unable to work and in order to access it, the University needs to furlough those affected staff.
If your role is being furloughed you will receive a letter from the University sent via your work email account or via another method as appropriate, which will confirm the details of this arrangement and the initial duration of your furlough period. These letters will be phased as the University works through this process for different areas and letters will be sent out during April and May.
Your pay will be unaffected by being furloughed. The Government scheme will enable the University to apply for a grant to cover 80% of the pay of furloughed staff (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, per individual) but the University has made a commitment to ‘top-up’ the remaining 20% so that staff will continue to receive their basic pay as normal.
Being furloughed has no detrimental impact on your terms and conditions of employment.
Your pension contributions will continue during the furlough period and the University will maintain the employer contributions.
You will continue to accrue annual leave while you are furloughed. The recent guidance issued to staff on taking annual leave during the Coronavirus situation will continue to apply to furloughed staff. You may view the guidance here.
You will not be able to do any work for the University while you are furloughed.
You will be required to inform your line manager in line with normal sickness absence reporting procedures.
Your manager will maintain contact with you as appropriate during any periods of furlough.
You should keep in contact with your line manager while you are furloughed and it is fine to maintain social contact with work colleagues during this period. You will be required to provide your line manager with your up-to-date contact details.
If you have a work laptop, you may still use it to stay in touch with people or undertake any training activity but you must not use it to carry out any work for the University.
If you are furloughed you cannot work for your employer during this period, but you can volunteer to help with the Coronavirus effort (subject to public health guidance and University procedures), as long as you are not manufacturing, creating or providing goods or services that generate revenue for the University.
The minimum amount of time that someone can be furloughed for is three weeks and currently the Government scheme is available until 31st May 2020, although it may be extended. Your letter will confirm the initial duration of your furlough period. However, you should be mindful that your furlough could be either extended or ended earlier if operationally necessary.
Any formal flexible working arrangements will continue. Where staff have additional caring responsibilities they are advised to discuss temporary variations with their line manager as necessary. For the avoidance of any doubt, local flexitime practices are suspended during this period.
If you are unable to work due to unexpected caring responsibilities, you should inform your line manager of the situation. Please keep in close contact with your manager during this period so that they are able to plan and monitor workloads. Your line manager will work closely with you to assess if your work pattern and workload needs to change in line with your caring responsibilities. You will continue to be paid.
Staff who have annual leave booked or were planning to take annual leave should continue to take this as planned. Given the anticipated duration of this current situation, it will not be operationally viable for all staff to take annual leave at the same time when we return to a campus based work environment. Managers will be asked to ensure annual leave is taken and appropriately managed during this time in line with established policies to manage annual leave during the recognised holiday year. Please refer to the guidance for staff on taking annual leave here
If you have already booked this day as annual leave you will be able to reclaim it back by cancelling the leave on MyView.
For those staff that work part-time, in discussion with your line manager you will be able to make alternative arrangements as necessary.
For those of you who will be required to work, alternative arrangements can be made with your line manager for you to take this additional time at a later date.
The University is keen to do anything we can at this challenging time to support the NHS and our wider communities. We are already engaged with and supporting the NHS in a number of ways to help them fulfil their public obligations. The nature of the help and support is being co-ordinated at an institutional level. Further information will follow shortly to provide a framework for individuals to request time off to volunteer.
You must also follow the published government guidance for households with possible coronavirus infections which is regularly updated here: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/stay-at-home-if-you-think-you-have-coronavirus-self-isolation/
Please keep in contact with your line manager and inform them if you get sick.
If you are a staff member and you have an underlying health condition that could put you at increased risk, or you are over 70 or pregnant you must not attend work. Please ensure you contact your line manager immediately to discuss matters.
You should also follow the government’s latest guidance on social distancing for vulnerable people, accessed here: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/
Please keep your line manager informed so that they are aware of your circumstances.
No, you should not attend work on campus. You should work from home where this is practically possible. You should also follow the government’s latest guidance on social distancing for vulnerable people, accessed here: https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/
Please keep your line manager informed so that they are aware of your circumstances.
We recognise that it may be difficult for colleagues to obtain fit notes to cover their absence beyond 7 days in line with usual procedures due to the pressures on the NHS and/or the requirement to self-isolate. If you find yourself in this situation, you should contact your line manager and advise them of the situation. The University will adopt a sympathetic approach in such circumstances.
Working from Home
Please refer to the University’s temporary working from home policy published on MyDay accessed here
Our Information Technology & Systems (IT&S) team have produced a dedicated site containing relevant information regarding accessing IT Services whilst working from home.
Resources on working remotely during this unprecedented period have been collated here. Please use your normal IT log-in when you sign in to Moodle to access the resources and contact email@example.com if you experience any difficulty with access. Please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have ideas or suggestions for additional resources or topics you would like to see included.
IT&S have provided further information and guidance on working from home on their dedicated site. This provides information for you on how to obtain access to key IT systems you need to work from home.
If you need any further advice or support please visit the IT Service Desk pages for contact information, or visit https://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/its/ for more general information on the IT Services offered.
For information on Health and Safety tips whilst working from home see here
In these difficult times, remote working is the recommendation however it presents both significant benefits but also potential risks. Whilst staff may have remote access to information held on secure campus servers, this is without the physical protections available on site and the protections provided afforded to the network by firewalls and access controls. There is also a much greater risk of unauthorised access to, and loss or destruction of, data whilst working in this way.
Does the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply if I am working from home?
Yes, if you are processing any identifiable personal data of any living individual as part of your directed duties then this must be done is accordance with GDPR, this includes paper based data.
What should I do when I am working from home?
When working from home you must ensure that that your computer is properly protected with the latest anti-virus and anti-malware software installed. Do not write down your Username and Password so that they are easier to remember.
Do not to leave the screen on when you are no longer using the computer as this could allow sensitive data to be seen by others. Where possible you should use a secure connection such as a Direct Access, VPN or Citrix (if provided) to access and save files.
When you have finished working make sure that you fully close down all applications that you have been using, especially the secure connection that you might have previously established.
Where should I work from when I am working from home?
You should ensure that you maintain a similar level of privacy whilst working from home to that which you would when working in your own work space. You should ensure that your screen is not visible to anyone else at all times where possible.
I need to send a file which contains personal data to another member of staff, what should I do?
Rather than sending the data file it would be better to use an application such as Microsoft OneDrive or Teams to provide access to the file in-situ. If you cannot do this, do not send the data file to a personal email address as this would be considered a data breach and ensure that the file is encrypted before it is sent.
What should I do if I receive an email that includes an attachment which includes Personal Data?
Before opening any file you must be certain that it has been sent from a genuine source. Special care should be taken to ensure that when the data is no longer required it is deleted from your local device. This includes any files that have been saved automatically as part of the download process.
I suspect a Data Breach has occurred whilst I have been working from home, what should I do?
If you suspect a data breach has occurred whilst you are working from home you should report the suspected data breach to your Data Protection Officer. The suspected data breach will then be investigated and you are likely to be contacted again during the investigation for further information.
Online Learning and Development Opportunities
As we try to adapt to the ‘new normal’ following the coronavirus outbreak, it means that many of us will be turning our attentions to ways in which we can enhance our skills and knowledge in the virtual world. We will continue to share online training and development opportunities with you via the bulletin over the coming weeks and months. For the time being here is a roundup of the online training and resources you can access now, including recorded webinars that you may have missed in recent weeks. Staff can also undertake training whilst they are on furlough leave provided that the training does not generate revenue or income for the University.
We are looking at ways in which we can continue to update and expand this offer and would appreciate any feedback you might have on topics or themes that you would like to see covered. Please email us at email@example.com with your suggestions.
We recognise that working from home on a day-to-day basis means a significant change for some staff. A Moodle page has been created to support you during this period covering three main areas:
- Working remotely (and differently!)
- Well-being and self-care
- Managing remotely
Resources on this page are updated regularly so do check back. Please use your normal IT log-in and password when you sign in to Moodle to access the resources.
As many more if us will be based at our computers on a daily basis, this could be an opportune time to complete any outstanding e-Learning modules from the University’s suite of compliance courses.
Modules can be accessed via the Staff Development Hub here or just click on the links below which take you directly to the module pages. You can also revisit them at any time to refresh your knowledge. Please use your normal IT log-in and password when you sign in to access the modules.
Online courses to develop you welsh language skills can be accessed here. There are a range of courses suitable for different levels including beginners and those wishing to enhance their writing in welsh skills.
The University subscribes to the full suite of Microsoft Office 365 applications, including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneDrive, OneNote, Skype, Teams and SharePoint. Improve your skills for a range of applications with Microsoft's suite of online training. Click here to access the training centre.
The TEL Resource Centre includes information, advice and step-by-step guides on using technology to support teaching and learning. The TEL team have also developed a dedicated page within this resource centre to support staff with teaching and learning online, this includes recordings of recent webinars accessed here.
Finance for Non-Finance Managers - This course provides training for non-financial staff with no, or very little, knowledge of the role of the finance function, HE financial information or finance terminology.
Essentials of Budgeting - A flexible online programme that takes place over six modules. It will take participants through planning, creating and managing a budget.
Webinars were recently undertaken by the Academic Office covering Contingency Regulations and Extenuating Circumstances and Postgraduate Taught Contingency Regulations and Extenuating Circumstances and Adjustments for Postgraduate Research Students. You can access recordings of these webinars via Panopto along with others from earlier in the term here.
When you click on the link above, please select ‘UWTSD Moodle’ from the dropdown menu and then sign in using your usual IT log-in to access the recordings.
Health, safety and well-being
The WHO’s standard recommendations for the public provides useful advice to reduce exposure to and transmission of the coronavirus, including basic hand and respiratory hygiene:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough.
We will continue to monitor the situation as things develop and we will ask line managers to work with individuals who are attending work on campus. We recognise that they are in a different position to those who can work in a more isolated way and we will ask line managers to work with the individuals to agree how they can be best protected. We will deal with this sympathetically, on a case-by-case basis, considering individual circumstances.
You might be worried about coronavirus and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home or avoiding other people. This might feel difficult, but there are many things you can try that could help your wellbeing during this period and Mind have produced some useful resources here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
In partnership with the Student’s Union you can also access Big White Wall, a free 24/7 online resource that offers mental health well-being support. The service provides professional support, with oversight by trained counsellors. All you need to register is your UWTSD email address and you then choose an anonymous username to access the support. Visit bigwhitewall.com.
Resources on well-being and self-care during this unprecedented period have been collated here. Please use your normal IT log-in when you sign in to Moodle to access the resources and contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have experience any difficulty with access. Please do get in touch with us at email@example.com if you have ideas or suggestions for additional resources or topics you would like to see included.
The University will not be charging staff for car-parking during the period that staff are not working on campus as a result of the coronavirus outbreak across the UK. However, please can we request that staff do not cancel their direct debit for April as we look into this process. This will also apply to business critical workers who may be required to attend campus.
The UK government has introduced emergency measures to deal with immigration issues because of the coronavirus. If you have any queries, please contact the Human Resources team firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to give you the most up to date information.
The UK Government has set up a Coronavirus Immigration Helpline. Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) Calls are free of charge. Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk