Working at Sussex

See our plan and guidance to keep our community safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Latest

The Government has announced it is removing Plan B restrictions and returning to Plan A.

This means Sussex will be welcoming staff who have been working from home to return to working on campus in line with our Remote Working Framework.

Staff are encouraged to speak to managers about what this means for individuals and teams.

Although, the Government no longer mandates the wearing of face masks, staff and students are expected to wear face coverings in most public spaces - including in teaching spaces and on public transport - to protect our community.

If you are coming onto campus you are still encouraged to self-test, then continue to test twice weekly at home.

 

Face coverings

Although, the Government no longer mandates the wearing of face coverings, we do expect you to wear face coverings in most public spaces, including teaching spaces and on public transport, to protect our community.

We expect all our community to wear face coverings in the following areas on campus:

  • Teaching spaces
  • The Library 
  • Shops
  • Post office
  • Pharmacy
  • Takeaways
  • Community centres
  • Places of worship (Meeting House)
  • Public transport

We are reminding all students of this.

Follow the instructions indicated by signage, which is very visible across the campus.We know some staff may be worried about how to broach instances where students are not wearing face coverings. If you have concerns following a teaching session, please raise this with your line manager and we will find ways to support you.

If you are working on campus, wear a face covering if you are based indoors in close proximity to others.

Testing and self-isolating

Information on testing and rules around self-isolation are available on the Health and Safety webpages. These isolation rules vary depending on if someone is fully vaccinated and if your close contact was with a confirmed case of the Omicron variant. Please follow the advice you will be given by NHS track and trace.

Information on working effectively remotely or from home

Please read our ITS guidance to support you with effective remote working, helping you to connect, save and stay secure.

HR guidance to work remotely

We want to make sure, if you are workng remotely, that you have the information you need to work from home. There is extensive information available in the University’s Remote Working Framework, including tips on best working practices. Make sure you are familiar with our working advice for staff, managers and the Remote Working Framework.

Travel

Staff are encouraged to consider active travel options that enable social distancing, such as walking and cycling to and from campus. See our Transport pages and read the Goverment guidance on travel.

If you are travelling from abroad, see the Government website for guidance on what you must do.

Vaccination

Vaccination is critical in helping to minimise transmission against this new variant.

See new guidance on vaccinations – including arrangements for vaccine appointments and sickness absence.

The University strongly endorses employees to take part in the vaccination programme against Covid-19, in line with government guidance. We understand that it is ultimately each individual’s personal choice, but we request all of our employees to make a fully informed decision on whether to accept the Covid-19 vaccination by reading literature published by official sources.

Walk-in vaccination sessions are taking place in the local area, including booster clinics. See the Keep Sussex Safe pages for more information.

You are able to update your vaccination status on the MyView portal. It’s helpful for the University to know the likely levels of protection our staff have against the virus. This will help us to refine our business continuity plans. It is your choice whether you supply this information to the University, and you can update or remove this data at any time.

Reporting

A reminder to please help keep our community safe and use our Covid-19 reporting form to submit a report if you need to self-isolate due to:

  • contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 – if you are not fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised in the UK, or if you are otherwise advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace due to close contact with a positive case.
  • having Covid-19 symptoms
  • being positive with Covid-19
  • needing to self-isolate due to travel.

Steps we are taking to protect our community

Information on infection rates at Sussex is updated daily. The University has updated its outbreak management plan and contingency plans in preparation for winter. Work is also underway on how to balance the temperature of campus spaces with ventilation. You can download specific guidance on working in offices [PDF 200KB], using labs [PDF 217KB] and working in teaching spaces [PDF 204KB]

With active planning taking place, it's helpful for the University to know the likely levels of protection our staff have against the virus. Please consider updating your vaccination status on the MyView portal. It is your choice whether you supply this information to the University, and you can update or remove this data at any time.

The operation of campus is informed by medical advice and government guidance. It is prioritised around:

  • ensuring the safety of students, staff and visitors.
  • supporting students’ education.
  • enabling research to continue.

Having sought the views of staff in a questionnaire about working on campus, the University has implemented a number of health and safety measures including:

  • refreshed signage in high footfall spaces that face coverings are expected from 9am-5pm
  • sanitiser stations in place across campus
  • screens remaining in place where requested
  • additional bins in teaching spaces
  • QR codes to support the Track & Trace app
  • ensuring ventilation systems and windows operate effectively
  • the provision of red lanyards so staff can signal they’d prefer greater social distancing.

Also

If you are working on campus you might be wondering about:

Lanyards

The University is providing red lanyards so staff and students can signal they prefer greater social distancing. These are available for collection from the 17 locations where Lateral Flow tests are available as well as Sussex House reception.

Measures to protect extremely vulnerable staff

The measures we had in place for extremely vulnerable staff are still in place. These include: allowing these staff to come on to campus at flexible times to avoid busy public transport times; providing them with the ability to socially distance when in the office space; asking other members of staff and students to be respectful of those around them who are vulnerable and agreeing practical local measures.

Using different campus equipment to what you had before

We will be analysing the IT needs of all staff to enable hybrid and flexible working. None of the existing desktops will be removed and will be available for use for people working on campus. The ultimate aim for the technology will be mobile first (i.e. portable) and will encompass more than just laptops – for instance, additional monitors, keyboards, mice, connecting hubs and so on. Understanding everyone’s needs is a complex task and will be carried out over the coming months.

What’s open on campus

Check opening hours for the Co-op store in Bramber House and our catering venue opening times.

Visit the Sussexsport pages for the latest information about facilities, what they are offering online and how to contact the team.

Coronavirus cases on campus

You can view the Covid-19 reporting dashboard to keep up-to-date with cases.

Using the NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app

Download and use the NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app which is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from Coronavirus.

What to do following close contact with someone on campus who tests positive for Covid-19

If you are identified as a contact of someone with Covid-19, you are strongly advised to take a Lateral Flow test every day for seven days and continue as normal, unless you have a positive test result.

Public Health will contact individuals who have contracted the Omicron variant and may issue additional information about isolation or testing in these cases.

The University will continue to use its own track and trace system*, but we also recommend staff and students use the NHS Test and Trace app as this will detect clusters of infection and contact those affected. You should stay away from work until you get your negative PCR test result to ensure we minimise Covid infection rates across campus. See NHS self-isolation rules.

*The University’s own track and trace system requires staff and students to fill out the Covid-19 reporting form if you need to self-isolate due to:

  • testing positive for Covid-19
  • having Covid-19 symptoms
  • being identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, if you are not fully vaccinated
  • arriving in the UK from overseas

Ventilation of rooms on campus

A review of rooms has been carried out on campus including window checks and checks on mechanical ventilation systems.

The Health and Safety team have reviewed all rooms without mechanical ventilation that hold more than seven people, they have checked natural ventilation available and the number of windows that can be opened. The University is in the process of fitting CO2 monitors or setting occupancy limits in a small number of rooms following these checks.

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

If you have concerns about ventilation in a room you can submit this form to the Health and Safety team, please let us know by reporting it to the University if you think we have missed a room.

If you have a meeting in a room without windows that you are concerned doesn’t have mechanical ventilation, you can consider; wearing a mask, using an outdoor space for your meeting, or consider alternative arrangements such as a proportion of the attendees joining remotely.

Flu vaccinations

All staff working on campus are encouraged to take advantage of the seasonal flu jab in order to reduce the risks for our whole community associated with the impact of seasonal flu on top of Covid-19 infection rates.

The Government is providing a seasonal flu vaccine alongside any booster programme for Covid-19 vaccines to protect as many lives as possible.

Anyone over 50 and those with certain health conditions will be able get a free flu vaccination, either from your GP or from a participating pharmacy.

And due to the ongoing concerns with the Covid pandemic, University staff who are under 50 who are not eligible, can book and pay for a vaccination from a pharmacy or another provider and can reclaim the cost of a flu jab through expenses. Make sure you use the expenses app to load claims linked to flu vaccinations, as no other forms of claims will be accepted. Use expense code EM025-01 when making your claim.

Find out about current information about flu vaccines and who is and isn’t eligible.

Quarantine travel support for staff

If you are a member of staff who has been living permanently in another country during the most recent phase of the pandemic, and have concerns about travelling back to the UK and require support to quarantine, email HR Director, Siobhan O’Reilly: s.oreilly@sussex.ac.uk.

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.