Working at Sussex

See our plan for keeping our community safe as we continue to live with Covid-19.

Latest Covid-19 guidance

On 21 February 2022, the Government published its plan for living with Covid-19 and updated its higher education guidance. The University will follow this guidance, as we have done throughout the pandemic.

Testing kits will no longer be available on campus and nor will we require people to test before they come onto campus. You can find out about the changes to the Government testing programme.

We appreciate you may have mixed feelings about these changes. However there are simple steps we can follow to continue to minimise infection rates and protect ourselves and each other:

  • Get vaccinated
  • If you have Covid-19 symptoms, stay at home if possible
  • Good ventilation – let fresh air in if you are meeting indoors, or meet outside if possible and practical
  • Staff and students are still encouraged to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces on campus.

Measures

These are the measures we as a University are taking. We will be reviewing these guidelines on an ongoing basis.

Vaccination

Getting vaccinated is far more effective than wearing a face covering. You can be reassured that we have a socially responsible student body, and the vaccination status of our students is far higher than the demographic locally – 93% of the students who took part in the Covid-19 vaccination status survey at the end of January had already been vaccinated with two jabs.

The Mobile Vaccination Unit will return to campus at the beginning of March. You can also use local walk-in booster clinics in the local area. See the Keep Sussex Safe pages for more information.

Updating your vaccination status

Please update your vaccination status, including any booster jabs by logging in to the MyView system. Sharing your vaccination status is useful for us to help with business continuity planning.

Testing

Free COVID-19 tests for most people in England ended on 31 March 2022. If you suspect you have COVID-19, we ask that you take sick leave if too unwell to work, or work remotely as per the guidance below. Additional information on testing is available on the Health and Safety page.

Face coverings

We encourage our community to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces on campus.

Return to campus

While we do encourage all staff to now return to campus, we will continue to work with and support those who are worried about returning. We will review the situation again in May 2022, but if you have concerns you should speak to your line manager or HR business partner. Managers can seek advice from Occupational Health assessments and GP guidance as to the best approach in individual cases.

Staying away from work if you test positive

If you test positive, we expect you stay at home for five days to minimise infection – even though this is no longer a legal requirement.

If you test positive you should either:

  • take sick leave if too unwell to work
  • work remotely if well enough to work
  • if well enough to work but not able to work remotely, either be assigned alternative duties or be paid up to five days’ sickness absence.

Reporting sickness absence

Please continue to follow the guidelines about reporting sickness absence as it is important we know sickness levels in our staff community.

Good personal hygiene

We’re reminding people of the benefits of washing their hands regularly and to use the hand sanitisers which have been provided in key locations around campus.

Reporting cases

You can still us our Covid-19 reporting form to report cases.

Contract tracing

Please use the NHS Covid-19 app to check-in to venues by scanning a QR code, which enables NHS Test and Trace to send notifications. This will be displayed in areas around campus including in teaching settings. We will no longer use our own contact tracing.

Ventilation

There have been no changes to our guidance around ventilation. We advise letting fresh air in where possible. If you have concerns about ventilation in a room, you can submit this form to the Health and Safety team.

Additional information on the methodology used to assess ventilation is available on the University Health and Safety Covid resource page.

Annual leave

A reminder that we have returned to our pre-Covid allowance of carrying over five days’ holiday. For the past two years we allowed people to carry over up to 10 days’ annual leave because Covid was restricting the ability to take leave. Anyone who has carried over additional leave should make sure they plan and book their holidays so it’s taken in good time for the end of the holiday year as we will return to the normal limit of 5 days’ carry over in October 2022.

Your wellbeing

We realise that while restrictions are being lifted, the impact of living through the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bring challenges for some. The University’s Employee Assistance Programme partners, Health Assured, offer a comprehensive service for Sussex staff and an evidence-based app providing tools and support to improve mental wellbeing. Their confidential helpline provides urgent support to staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 0800 316 9337. Our wellbeing hub also offers many tools and resources to look after your mental, physical and financial wellbeing.

International travel for staff

Before arranging travel, please consult the University of Sussex insurance information on any travel insurance exemptions for disruption and cancelations caused by Covid-19 and regional restrictions. All staff travelling on University business should:

  • Have up to date vaccinations
  • Wear face coverings on public transport and planes
  • Take hand sanitisers with them in areas where it is unlikely to be available

It is expected that all staff and students will follow Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice and comply with any local controls in place to limit the spread of Covid-19 in all regions that they travel to or through.

Isolation payment for students

Isolation payments to students have ended, although there is a grace period until 7 March to submit late claims.

International travel for students

International students will need to follow guidance for entering and returning to the UK as detailed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice.


Also

Questions

If you have more questions about our plans, email covidquestions@sussex.ac.uk.

We have a hotline for students and parents to call if they have questions about our response, plans or support: 01273 876500.

You can also read about how Sussex is responding to Covid-19.