Return to campus webinars: September 2020

Presentation video

A quick note on captions:
To activate captions in the above video please click on the 'CC' icon. If you choose to view the video in Panopto, then you can adjust the caption display to suit your own preference during playback. To set your caption display preference, click the three dots (titled 'Caption Styling') at the bottom of the player. If you’re trying to find a topic in a hurry, you might want to display the full event transcript - selecting ‘Captions’ on the lefthand menu - then search for a keyword using CTRL+F.

Questions received online and via text message

Summary of themes/questions raised at webinars on 8, 10 and 14 September 2020

Teaching and teaching spaces

Would it be possible please provide some details about disinfection of teaching spaces (including lecterns, etc) between face-to-face teaching sessions? What is the protocol for room cleaning between student classes and how/who will carry this out?
Our Estates and Facilities staff are implementing an extensive and thorough cleaning and sterilisation programme across all areas on campus used by students and staff. Our cleaning regime has been increased and focuses on contact points (e.g. door handles) Anti-viral wipes will be available for students to wipe their desk before class. Sterilising wipes will be made available in teaching areas for students to wipe down their desks/chairs and teaching staff to wipe down lecterns and equipment at the start of sessions.
What provision is being made for those faculty who will not do face to face teaching in the autumn term?

Faculty should discuss their individual circumstances with their Head of Department or Head of School.

How are we justifying value for money for students still paying the same tuition fees as last year?

How is this still value for money when it’s so similar to open university’s set up?

This coming year the University will continue to provide all of its students with their courses and although the mode of delivery will be blended, meaning a mixed of online learning and some in-person teaching, we are delivering on the learning outcomes of courses and ensuring students can progress with their education. As such, the Office for Students confirmed that normal tuition fee arrangements still apply. It’s also important to understand that tuition fees don’t just contribute to the provision of students’ education, they also contribute to essential student services such as International Student Support, The Student Life Centre, The Student Funding Team, Careers and Employability Centre and the Library whose staff continue to offer online advice to students even when our students are not on campus.

What are the plans for getting students in and out of places like lecture theatres? With 50% occupancy the norm, how will this be demarcated? What about queuing? Could we have a practical demonstration so it is not all chaos on day 1 of term?

Students will be informed to stay outside of buildings before their classes begin and in high footfall areas student marshals/ambassadors will assist with the flow to ensure social distancing. There will also be clear directional signage in buildings to support flow and adequate social distancing. There will be ten minutes allocated at the beginning of lectures and ten minutes at the end to enable students to enter and leave teaching spaces in a socially distanced manner and risk assessments for teaching spaces are being undertaken.

What if not enough School Office staff can return to campus to support a 10-3pm service in a particular School?

Please speak to your line manager about any concerns regarding staff cover and service delivery.

I would particularly like to know about ventilation in teaching spaces during poor weather when open windows are unlikely to be possible or use of rooms with no operable windows (eg Arts C133 LT) and the minimum time required between classes for different groups using the same teaching space.

Please refer to: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/estates

The SEF team worked hard to ensure all campus spaces have adequate ventilation and provided assurance to the H&S team that ventilation in accessible areas meets the CIBSE standards. These measures include:

  • Checking all accessible spaces against existing H&S requirements to provide adequate supplies of fresh air
  • Air condition filter units have been changed and units have been set to bring in air from outside where possible
  • Some windowless rooms (e.g. lecture theatres) have air-handling systems that provide ventilation which is not immediately apparent
  • Areas where this cannot be confirmed or that develop faults may be closed
  • An additional H&S control to ventilation is face coverings
If we are coming onto campus sporadically for occasional meetings in our offices (such as a 1-to-1 with a PhD student), do we have to notify anyone, or can we just come and go as needed?

Are face masks required for a 1-to-1 PhD student supervision meeting indoors in a faculty office?

This has been the situation throughout lockdown, people have had to come on for ad hoc reasons and we've asked that is done with under the authority of the head of school or professional services director, and that's because they will know what their recovery plans look like.

For informal meetings with students in offices: consider setting aside time where you are available on Teams or Zoom for drop in sessions; follow guidance on room occupancy where posted; follow 2 metres separation or 1 metre with masks

Will we be able to deliver large group lectures face to face?

The University Executive Group and the wider leadership team have been systematically reviewing the guidance published by SAGE on 4 September and the guidance published by the Department for Education early on 10 September. We are reviewing this and further information is going to be shared in due course. As ever, the health and safety of our staff and students is paramount.

What will policy be on mask wearing during F2F lectures?

Please refer to: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/health-and-safety/face-coverings

What adjustments are in place for students/staff who need to lip read?

Clear visors will be provided to teaching staff to ensure that they can wear a face covering if they wish and students who lip read can do so. All teaching areas will be set up to ensure that there is a minimum of 2 metres distance from teaching staff and students – this complies with the social distancing regulations and staff may choose to wish to wear a clear visor as well.

Most of my seminars involve students working in groups. The remainder involve simulation games, in which students need to negotiate with each other - which involves lots of walking around the room and interacting. Will any of these activities be allowed? (put another way, I don't have a single seminar in which all the students remain in one place throughout the session).

Please see the guidance for in-person teaching. The standard layout will be desks facing forwards with the lecturer two metres distant at the front. We know that doesn't suit every teaching style and so when health and safety are alerted to the fact that somebody wants to teach in a different way, they can advise on how their pedagogical style could be supported with mitigation. We've done that across a variety of schools, including Engineering and Informatics most recently.

How are you going to ensure that off campus teaching keeps to the same safety standards as that on campus?

The global coronavirus pandemic means that now, more than ever, we all need to support each other, by behaving with mutual respect and care, and upholding the values of our University – Kindness, Integrity, Inclusion, Collaboration and Courage. Sussex students, staff and visitors are already demonstrating safer practices and looking out for each other by wearing masks in confined spaces, keeping two metres socially distanced wherever possible, and washing/sanitising their hands regularly. Collaboration and Integrity will be particularly important to our community as we work together and commit to the Community Pledge by signing up online (either in name or anonymously).

How can we find out about the specific requirements for the room we are using?

There is information about the schedule for the opening of buildings and this is being distributed to Heads of School as first priority. Rules of the classroom will be published in teaching spaces. E.g. we ask that furniture is not rearranged. There is also Health and Safety guidance for working in office and low hazard spaces. This includes guidance on determining the distance between colleagues in offices and use of other spaces. If you are working in a laboratory then you should also read the relevant Health and Safety guidance. Teaching guidance is going to be published soon.

Students in classrooms traditionally turn around to talk to each other, discuss what is happening in the lecture, etc. How can that be prevented?

The global coronavirus pandemic means that now, more than ever, we all need to support each other, by behaving with mutual respect and care, and upholding the values of our University - Kindness, Integrity, Inclusion, Collaboration and Courage - as we work together and commit to this pledge by signing up online (either in name or anonymously). Rules of the Classroom such as hand washing, wearing a face covering and maintaining safe social distancing, will be displayed in all rooms. We’re encouraging all teaching staff to use face visors, which will be made available by the University. This allows easier communication during teaching.

Will portable perspex screens be given to academic staff to use in their offices, in case students wish to speak to lecturers face to face in the offices? How can that be made safe, if required of staff?

Provision and set-up of screens is part of the building opening and preparations. SEF will provide and fix Perspex screens in accordance with risk assessments.

Can we share physical documents that students are working on in class?

Teaching activities involving the sharing of physical documents, equipment or resources should be minimised unless essential to the demonstration of module/course learning outcomes. If essential please liaise with the University’s Health and Safety team to ensure the appropriate safety measures are implemented.

Students traditionally approach the lecturers at the front of the room after the lecture has ended to ask questions in a 1-1 way. What if students attempt to approach the lecturer?

The global coronavirus pandemic means that now, more than ever, we all need to support each other, by behaving with mutual respect and care, and upholding the values of our University – Kindness, Integrity, Inclusion, Collaboration and Courage. Sussex students, staff and visitors are already demonstrating safer practices and looking out for each other by wearing masks in confined spaces, keeping two metres socially distanced wherever possible, and washing/sanitising their hands regularly. Collaboration and Integrity will be particularly important to our community as we work together and commit to the Community Pledge by signing up online (either in name or anonymously).

I may have missed this re in-class teaching - we will need (1) to record (2) teach to a group both in-person and on-line, and (3) use multimedia in our teaching. Will the IT be able to do all of this at once? We could also do with some guidance on what will actually be recorded (and what should be recorded).

Please refer to the guidance on blended teaching on the Teaching Online, Learning Anywhere Canvas module or contact your School Learning Technologist to discuss specific teaching requirements. The audio visual facilities in General Teaching Spaces have been upgraded over the summer with Zoom and Panopto both available on teaching PCs. From this semester all teaching spaces will be equipped with microphones and cameras to enable the recording or streaming of teaching activities. Any recordings created in Zoom are also stored in the University’s Panopto media platform allowing faculty to make recordings available in Canvas modules. The University’s Policy on the recording of teaching activities provides details of considerations that should be made in relation to recording. The policy includes exceptions addressing where all or part of a teaching activity might not be recorded.

Captioning really struggles with, for example, scientific terms. Is using captioning compulsory if there are no lip-reading students in a class. My experience shows that editing the captioning takes a considerable amount of time as it gets the text wrong.

The provision of closed captions on pre-recorded content is a legal requirement. It is the responsibility of the creator to generate and import captions on recorded content. Students must be informed that closed captions may not be fully accurate. This may be done by including a slide in the relevant presentation and/or guidance on Canvas Module Information pages which clearly states ‘The automatic speech recognition generated closed captions may not be fully accurate. We advise you Not to rely solely on the captions. If the quality of the closed captions is insufficient to support your learning, please notify the Module Convenor’. Students may report inaccessible content and, in these circumstances, reasonable steps must be taken by the module to provide the captions in an accessible format. TEL can provide guidance to staff on how to edit captions in Panopto.

Where is the information available in writing where Module Leaders are advised to identify opportunities for f2f teaching, if and where it is appropriate?

Please see our face-to-face teaching guidance on the staff webpages

If using a visor for teaching - will each member of staff be provided with their own unique personal visor. Where do we get one from?

PPE is being made on campus and will be made available.

Teaching: module teams have discretion to do face to face or all online. Is this to be interpreted as faculty having the option to do everything online if they want to? How will we ensure students get some face to face if decided at a module level?

There is an expectation that all modules will include an element of face-to-face teaching unless there are approved reasons staff are unable to do so.

With regards to 1 hour of synchronous per week - has this changed? It was originally 11 hours of synchronous per 15-credit module over the term (i.e. in theory there could be 2 hours of synchronous in one week and none the following week). Planning has taken place with this in mind. So while it may not have a massive impact, it is important to have absolute clarity on this issue: Is it now necessary to have at least one every week?

Students have been informed they can expect a minimum of 11 hours of synchronous teaching (face-to-face or virtual) over a regular 11 week period of delivery (equivalent to 1 hour per week). This position is unchanged. This approach accommodates different patterns of delivery where scheduled teaching may not take place on a weekly basis or where the period of delivery may be longer or shorter.

"Support and flexibility" for teaching staff who aren't comfortable teaching on campus - does this mean allowing teaching remotely? Or redistribution of work among other colleagues?

Teaching staff who have a clinical vulnerability are not expected to return to campus at this point. Staff with concerns should speak to their line manager and can use the self assessment tool as a starting point.

If teaching staff have symptoms and have to leave campus, is the expectation that they will deliver teaching remotely or that a colleague will step in to cover?

If any staff or student experiencing symptoms associated with Covid-19 must leave work immediately and inform their line manager either by email or phone. They should also complete the Covid-19 symptoms or self isolation reporting form. Please also speak to your line manager who can advise on what cover is needed.

Bridget says '2m distancing is not always possible'. But clearly it *is* possible in general teaching spaces. So why are GTSs being set up with only 1m social distancing?

The idea behind our guidance to socially distance by 1 metre plus mitigations is to enable as many students as possible to have an in-person teaching experience.

What happens if students do not comply with the safety measures? who will enforce it? What about face-masks? There are exemptions for some people, but if 25% of students in a room do not wear them, and we cannot challenge them as to why, this seriously undermines the collective safety aspects.

The global coronavirus pandemic means that now, more than ever, we all need to support each other, by behaving with mutual respect and care, and upholding the values of our University – Kindness, Integrity, Inclusion, Collaboration and Courage. Sussex students, staff and visitors are already demonstrating safer practices and looking out for each other by wearing masks in confined spaces, keeping two metres socially distanced wherever possible, and washing/sanitising their hands regularly. Collaboration and Integrity will be particularly important to our community as we work together and commit to the University of Sussex community pledge by signing up online (either in name or anonymously).

If learning is going to be segmented, it makes sense to have electives fully online as this would break segmentation

Segmentation is something which is currently under review and we are taking into account the latest DfE guidelines.

How will teaching staff take a register and will University guidance be shared?

We will be providing guidance to schools on how registers will be taken, whether that's by the academic taking a register in person, or whether we can use an app to capture attendance.

I would assume that there's an expectation that students will have access to online learning to access that component of their course. What would the guidance be for students who do not have access to this, i.e. a broken laptop? The Schools seem to have finite resources, so would there be an expectation that the Schools can cater to demand, or is there a separate protocol for this situation?

We have guidance for students about learning online and the technology they need to study with us. If they are finding things hard, we advise them to contact their School Office.

Robert mentioned an induction video for teaching in the teaching rooms - is there a link for this?

Induction videos around teaching spaces will be made available before October. In the meantime, please refer to our face-to-face teaching guidance.

Teaching staff coming to campus via public transportation will be speaking loud in front of a class of students. Even if students are wearing face coverings (which protects others from particles coming up from the wearer of the covering), this does not protect them from air particles coming from the teacher (2m rule is a simplification for practical purposes but does not mean that particles do not go further, https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3223). Would you be planning additional mitigation actions for those teaching staff using public transport frequently?

Please refer to our face coverings guidance: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/health-and-safety/face-coverings

How has the risk of aerosol transmission been taken into account? E.g. Friday's SAGE report has specific recommendations for gas exchange rates per occupant. Are these all in place for teaching spaces?

How will we balance keeping windows open for ventilation with need to keep students at a comfy temperature in Nov/Dec? What are the sustainability implications of keeping windows open with the heating on

The SEF team worked hard to ensure all campus spaces have adequate ventilation and provided assurance to the H&S team that ventilation in accessible areas meets the CIBSE standards. These measures include: Checking all accessible spaces against existing health and safety requirements to provide adequate supplies of fresh air; air condition filter units have been changed and units have been set to bring in air from outside where possible; some windowless rooms (e.g. lecture theatres) have air-handling systems that provide ventilation which is not immediately apparent; areas where this cannot be confirmed or that develop faults may be closed; an additional health and safety control to ventilation is face coverings

 

Staff returning to campus

What are the plans for (central) Professional Services to return to campus?

Central PS teams will be working remotely until January, when we will have a review point. PS Directors and Heads will inform divisions, teams and individuals of their plans for the return to campus. Please refer to: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/stage-two

Will School Office staff be required to wear face masks at all times?

Face coverings will not usually be required in staff offices, because other mitigations are in place, I.e. 2m social distancing. Please refer to: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/health-and-safety/face-coverings

Why are course coordinators now considered an essential/student facing service, who should return to campus?

Consult with your Head of School who is charge of the recovery plan for your School

Where is best to work if you don't have an assigned office or have shared an office space in the past?

Please speak to your line manager and also consult the offices and low hazard spaces

Where can we find the health self-assessment form?

https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/hr-policies-and-procedures/self-assessment-tool

How will the masks be delivered to us before we going to the campus please? How many masks per week we are entitled to receive from the university?

20,000 masks, which will be available on campus at various points. We have also provided 6,000 masks to students in their welcome packs

 

Wider Covid-19 / Health and safety planning

Are there any plans to provide flu jabs to staff this autumn? Some other institutions (e.g. University of Chester) are providing all staff with flu jabs, in part to reduce load on the NHS this winter.

Please refer to the HR FAQ page: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/hr-policies-and-procedures

What would the procedure be in a fire evacuation - do we need to have some guidance in advance around safely exiting a building with appropriate social distancing?

In the event of a fire, alarm, evacuate the building as normal. The priority is to calmly exit the building, social distancing should resume once the building has been cleared. Lecturers and teaching staff should control their classes’ movement to the assembly point. Guidance will be included in the Health and Safety induction slides for staff.

'A behavioural pledge is being developed in conjunction with Professor John Drury'. Will it be developed in conjunction with students too?

Yes, the Community Pledge was refined in response to staff and student feedback. Please refer to the Community Pledge page: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/community-pledge

How is distancing going to be managed for toilet facilities? My building, JMS, very low on women's toilets anyway.

During the early stages of the return to campus the simple approach of restricting all toilets to one in and one out was acceptable. However, as numbers on campus increase on site, we need to more fully utilise our toilet facilities. Face coverings will need to be worn as toilets are a communal space. Close fitting sinks and urinals will be “hit and miss”, indicated with signage, if they do not allow at least 1 metre separation. A toilet social distancing guidance document with more details about these and other measures will go onto the Health and Safety Covid resources page shortly.

Not sure if anyone's asked this before but if a student/staff was exempt of wearing mask in public spaces, would they also be wearing those card to indicate it?

Is the University proposing that those who are extremely clinically vulnerable wear a lanyard like the one illustrated that reads: 'Please be aware that I am shielding and am clinically extremely vulnerable. I need to maintain my distance from you.’

Please refer to our face coverings guidance: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/health-and-safety/face-coverings

What will happen if there is an outbreak of Covid on campus?

We will follow Government guidance and we are reviewing the SAGE and DfE information.

What is the current policy for staff and students on wearing face covers in areas like on-campus residential receptions and communal corridors/stairwells in residence blocks?

Please refer to our face coverings guidance: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/health-and-safety/face-coverings

Please wear a face covering in all indoor areas that are outside of your flat (stairwells, entranceways and your residence reception) unless you cannot due to a medical reason (lanyards to highlight exemption will be made available

The Covid Symptom Study estimates the prevalence of Covid-19 in the UK is 29,000 and rising by about 1,000 a day. This is about 1 in every 2,300 of the population. The prevalence is much higher among young people. This suggests that we can expect maybe 10 of the 18,000 students arriving this autumn to becarrying the virus, of which based on ICL's large-scale studies about 7 will be asymptomatic. How will the University prevent these asymptomatic students giving rise to an outbreak among students and staff in the first weeks of term?

The health and safety measures being taken on campus include: social distancing and face coverings in line with Government guidance. The Community Pledge sets out expected behaviours and responsibilities for both students and staff on campus: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/community-pledge. Anyone arriving in the UK from a non-exempt country must self-isolate for 14 days to help manage the risks to public health from Covid-19.

How is it against the rules to have more than 6 people gathering in a house but ok to have 200 in a hall of residence?

We are following government guidance, including the law about gatherings of no more than six people. Students will form a household bubble with their flat mates within their residence and we are putting in place housing rules for all students living in University-managed accommodation.

Postal tests will require students [in campus accommodation] to break isolation presumably to pick up a test from a communal mail area?

Postal tests will be delivered by a courier and left outside an isolating student’s flat door. It will be collected by a courier, again from outside their flat door.

Bridget mentioned exploring avenues to deal with clusters of asymptomatic testing. Presumably this will be if/when there are positive tests. Could Bridget explain if the avenues being looked into would involve asymptomatic testing by department/building/School, etc?

We will be asking students and staff to use the contact tracing app: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/newsandevents/?id=53251. Academics will be asked to record who is in lectures and seminars.

When will controls for buildings be shared?

There is information about the schedule for the opening of buildings and this is being distributed to Heads of School as first priority. Rules of the classroom will be published in teaching spaces e.g. we ask that furniture is not rearranged. There is also Health & Safety guidance for working in office and low hazard spaces. This includes guidance on determining the distance between colleagues in offices and use of other spaces. If you are working in a laboratory then you should also read the relevant Health and Safety guidance.

What procedures have been put in place for robust testing and surveillance of the university body? How can campus be opened safely when students and staff have nowhere to get tested?

Brighton and Hove City Council have three testing centres which you will be able to walk, cycle or drive to. We have explored the options of testing on campus, which would include asymptomatic testing. As the Life Sciences labs on campus would not be part of the Government scheme, this test would need to be sent off to be validated and that would overburden the NHS and testing facility. We will keep testing under review and is a subject which is discussed frequently, both within the University and with our community partners.

If students log themselves as having suspected covid symptoms, are people who have been in contact with them informed?

Please refer to: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/health-and-safety/protect-yourself-and-others Students. and staff are asked to complete the Covid self-isolation and reporting form and those who have been in contact with them will be identified and will also be asked to take a test.

SAGE recommends 'segmentation' into housing and learning bubbles to prevent widespread transmission across large networks. Are we doing this?

The Housing team is working very closely with student experience to review the segmentation requirement. Their recommendation is currently under review by UEG.

What about wastewater testing? Has proved very effective in e.g. University of Arizona

For waste water testing you need a high population density and a high infection rate for it be effective. It won't help us find out in advance if there's likely to be an outbreak. By the time things have gotten to waste water and sewage, it's probably too late. We don't actually think that is the best way of identifying whether there are cases on campus in the community.

 

Remote working and equipment

Re home working, will the University be helping staff purchase the necessary IT equipment? Working from home and children doing online learning at home means that some households have insufficient laptops/PCs. I am lucky to have one on loan from ITS, but I could do with support to purchase a laptop via a low cost route (e.g. like the bike loan scheme, or a reduced bulk rate purchase).

The University has made a significant volume of equipment available to staff. If you haven't already done so, it is important you identify what you think you need to your line manager as soon as possible. IT are giving regular updates and posting information on the ITS webpages.

What financial provision is the university going to make for staff re extra costs in house bills due to working from home? In particular for staff who are part time/low income and do not earn enough to pay tax and are therefore not eligible for the government scheme.

Please refer to: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/staff/autumn-2020/hr-policies-and-procedures. Where you have been asked to work at home (i.e. the University has requested you do so), you may be able to claim tax relief on some of the additional costs you’re incurring. To check if you can claim, visit HMRC’s website. In order to make a claim you will need to complete HMRC form P87.

 

International students / staff and arrivals

Any support for international students who are being escorted by family members particularly during the quarantine period?

The International Student Support team organise a coach service from Heathrow airport. Family members can also book onto the free coach service from Heathrow, subject to availability. Bookings closed at midnight on 15 September for Welcome Weekend.

How can I get taxi to the university from the airport? Does it have to be the specific taxi which take me to self-isolation place?

Please refer to: https://student.sussex.ac.uk/new-students/before-you-arrive/travel-to-sussex. Staff may also use the Sussex581 code from Heathrow and Gatwick to get the fares advertised.

How can I do self-isolation on campus?

Please refer to: https://student.sussex.ac.uk/coronavirus/looking-after-your-wellbeing/isolation

It takes 4 days for the home kits to arrive. How are students newly away from home and yet to make friends supposed to isolate in their rooms until their test results arrive a good few days after that?

We have comprehensive guidance for any students who need to self-isolate when they arrive at Sussex, or in the course of studying with us. This includes information about the Welcome programme, online events and opportunities to socialise virtually.

Are the new test sites going to be open in time for student arrivals?

Brighton and Hove City Council have three testing centres which you will be able to walk, cycle or drive to. And remember the walk-in centres are about symptomatic testing not asymptomatic testing. So if people have symptoms, you can have a test delivered to you within 24 hours and so everyone can get a test that needs a test and you need to test if you've got symptoms.

 

Travel

Have you had any discussions/assurance from the bus company regarding enforcement of guidelines surrounding distancing / capacity / face masks on buses when students begin to use them?

What planning has been put in place with Brighton and Hove buses to make sure that public transport will be as safe as possible?

Travel companies Brighton and Hove Buses and Southern Rail are following the national measures required. Thye have a duty of care to passengers around social distancing and face coverings. Our Transport team has been in constant liaison with B&H buses and Southern Rail, and are putting in as many control measures to minimise the risk, but we all have to be socially responsible to keep ourselves and others safe. The Estates team has been doing some modelling on where we anticipate arrivals in terms of footfall into campus and trying to do some prediction with the bus companies in terms of the load levels for the buses and that is continuing. There is a line for feedback to those companies if things aren't to the satisfaction of the general public and I am also happy to take observations to our Transport team who are in dialogue with high levels of leadership within both Southern rail and the bus company.

 

HR

I have been shielding during the Covid-19 period. I share an office with one other person with very little space and am also student facing. I am obviously concerned about returning to the workplace. I have managed to work successfully at home offering 1-1s. Will blanket decisions about working on campus be made?

Those who previously had shielding letters and therefore are clinically vulnerable are not expected to return to campus at this time. However if this person particularly wants to return to campus, then there needs to be a conversation with the line manager to talk about how we could manage that and how we can mitigate the shared office and scenario.

If I live with someone who works at the hospital how does that effect my status?

In terms of your own personal circumstances, many of us live with other people and that's about you maintaining all of those sanitization regulations that Bridget talked about, both in the workplace and at home. So we would expect you to take your own precautions. What we have said is that for those people living with clinically vulnerable people again, we would look at exemptions at this time.

If you have to stay home due to Covid sickness, will this be taken out of your ordinary sick leave? If an individual is off sick for more than seven calendar days as a result of the Coronavirus, will the University require a GP certificate or will a self-certificate for 14 days be acceptable? What are my obligations if I am unwell (COVID or otherwise) now that we are currently working from home?

The NHS has asked that people with Coronavirus stay away from NHS facilities. Therefore, if an individual has the symptoms of Coronavirus (a persistent cough or fever), and is off sick, we will accept self-certification for absence relating to Coronavirus for a period of up to 14 days. However, normal certification arrangements will remain in place for all other absences. If you are unwell (with COVID or otherwise) and you would usually take sick leave, you should report your illness to your manager as agreed. You are not expected to work at home while you are ill.

Employers in HE have legal responsibilities and duties of care towards staff and students (Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; Equality Act 2010). How is the University preparing to comply with these obligations, and any legal penalties, if staff and students get sick as a result of exposure to coronavirus during their time on campus?

Our duty of care has put into place all legal requirements and in addition to that we have putinto place many measures that go over and above the legal requirements. We have health and safety at the centre of everything we've done. All of the decisions that have been taken have had the benefit of health and safety advice.