The University is planning to start the 2020/21 academic year under Stage 2 of its COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan (BCP). This means that, for those staff who have not been working on-site since the lockdown began, we are moving back towards onsite working in a carefully managed way with the safety of our staff and students as a key priority.
Many staff will continue to work from home. Equally, others have been working onsite throughout the lockdown period or for some time and will continue to do so. Over time, however, many more members of staff will start to return to onsite working for some or all of their contracted hours.
Return to onsite working conversations
HR have provided guidance on supporting staff with concerns about on-site working. This guidance sets out a process for a conversation, between the returning individual and an appropriate person, to understand any vulnerability or other factors that require consideration before agreeing an approach to achieve, as safe as possible, a return to work. It applies in instances where the department has decided that it needs a member of staff to return to on-site working for some or all of their contracted working hours.
Some staff may be comfortable returning to work and feel that a conversation in advance is not necessary. In such cases no conversation is required, however, every member of staff should be offered the opportunity to have a conversation to discuss any concerns they may have.
HR guidance on supporting staff with concerns about on-site working
The process for these conversations is set out in this flowchart
Self-assessment of vulnerability
A self-assessment of vulnerability tool has been produced by the University to help members of staff understand their level of risk if they contract COVID-19.
Note: The self-assessment tool does not measure the risk of contracting COVID-19
The tool is designed to give you and your manager as much information as possible to facilitate a safe return to the workplace where appropriate.
Complete the self-assessment of vulnerability tool
Referral to Occupational Health for further support
If, after completing this tool, you or your manager have any health-related concerns that you are not able to resolve, you are advised to contact Occupational Health for an initial telephone consultation with one of our specialist Occupational Health Advisors.
Occupational Health will review the self-assessment tool you have completed and discuss your concerns and the workplace controls with you. The aim is that we are able to support the departmental risk assessment you and your manager have discussed and reassure you of any concerns you may have.
If it is identified, however, that your medical concerns or workplace risks are more complicated, a more in-depth appointment may be necessary.
Note: Priority of service and self-referrals
Anyone can self-refer for a consultation with Occupational Health regardless of their risk level, although individuals are asked not to do so unless they have concerns about their risk level.
Priority will be given to those who have been assessed as being at a very high level of vulnerability using the self-assessment tool.
A referral must be made in the following instances either as a self-referral or by an appropriate person:
- An individual has conducted the self-assessment and believes that they are at a very high level of vulnerability (or in any case where they remain concerned)
- The appropriate person or manager believes the individual is at a very high level of vulnerability
Where an individual has a high level of vulnerability, it is recommended that they are referred for a consultation either by a self-referral or by an appropriate person.
Download the referral form
Occupational Health will offer an appointment date and time to your email address, captured on the referral form, within three working days of receipt of the referral.
Where possible, the consultation will take place within three working days of the receipt of the referral. It will have the following features:
- The Occupational Health Advisor (OHA) will use a standardised interview based around the ALAMA COVID-19 Vulnerability Self-Assessment to understand individual vulnerability.
- The self-assessment method draws from published sources and takes into consideration age, ethnicity, existing health conditions, or any other factors that might impact on disparities in risk. The suitability of the assessment method will be periodically reviewed by Occupational Health.
- The OHA will assess individual vulnerability in relation to the current ALAMA criteria and classify the person using an established risk scale as published by ALAMA.
- Oral feedback will be given to the individual at the consultation with a brief summary statement to follow (using a simple, standardised template) usually within two working days. Where the vulnerability level is very high and the employee is proposing returning to work, this statement must be shared with the appropriate person. In other cases, the individual will not normally be required to share this statement with the appropriate person, although they are encouraged to do so, so that they can best be supported in their retuen to on-site work (or other arrangements). In all cases, the appropriate person will be made aware of the individual's vulnerability level as assessed by the OHA.
- The OHA may choose to make an onward referral to the Occupational Health Physician (OHP) or other services.
Note: The consultation will focus on the vulnerability of the individual staff member
Occupational Health are not able to provide advice for staff with concerns about the risks to members of their household or others whom they wish to support
Please complete this referral form and send this to Occupational Health:
Email the Occupational Health mailbox