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Updated staff FAQs: staff with caring responsibilities, pay and expenses

19 Mar 2020

Staff FAQs will be updated regularly

This advice is correct at the time of publication of this news article.   

If you have health concerns then you should refer to the NHS website as recommended by Public Health England, however to make other queries regarding the current situation you can email Coronavirus-info@manchester.ac.uk. 

We will be updating the staff frequently asked questions on a regular basis. 

The latest questions are: 

Where a nursery or school is closing due to coronavirus and a member of staff has caring responsibilities but is expected to work from home, what is the University’s advice to staff?

We recognise that the closure of nurseries and schools brings additional challenges for many staff. If you are affected you should speak with your line manager who should listen to your concerns and discuss what options are available. This may include working from home for some or all of the time the nursery/school is closed, as agreed with your line manager.

This should only be undertaken if it is agreed that you can reasonably care for your child/children whilst undertaking your work-related duties. We appreciate that colleagues will do what they can to work at full capacity, but understand that this may not be possible, particularly within ‘normal’ working hours.

Colleagues will continue to be paid as normal during this period and if you have any issues or concerns you should discuss these with your line manager.

Where this arrangement is not feasible, the general provisions of the Special Leave Policy will apply to cover the emergency and you will normally be given paid ‘special coronavirus leave’ which has been agreed on a temporary and exceptional basis to supplement the Special Leave Policy. This will not impact the application of the normal provisions under the Special Leave policy for other reasons throughout the year. Policies may be subject to ongoing review.

What are the provisions where staff members have dependants who are in self-isolation and the staff member has caring responsibilities?

The member of staff should raise the matter with their line manager who should listen to any concerns/issues they have and discuss what options are available, which may include:

  • Working from home for some or all of the time their dependent is in self-isolation and as agreed with line management. This should only be undertaken if it is agreed that the member of staff can reasonably care for their dependent whilst undertaking their work-related duties. We appreciate colleagues will do what they can to work at usual full capacity, but understand that this may not be possible, particularly within ‘normal’ working hours. Colleagues will continue to be paid as normal and if you have any issues or concerns you should discuss these with your line manager.
  • Where this is not feasible, the general provisions of the Special Leave Policy will apply to cover the emergency and the member of staff will normally be given paid ‘special coronavirus leave’ which has been agreed on a temporary and exceptional basis to supplement the Special Leave Policy. This will not impact the application of the normal provisions under the Special Leave policy for other reasons throughout the year. Policies may be subject to ongoing review.

Will I still receive my salary during this period of closure?

Pay for all members of staff on permanent and fixed term contracts: Pay will be processed as usual for all the above staff members aligned to the normal mid-month/end of month pay dates.

Pay for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs): Pay will be processed as usual, timesheets are to be submitted via HRServices@manchester.ac.uk and will be processed according to usual timescales.

Pay for casual staff: Casual staff will be paid in the usual way on the hours submitted through timesheets. 

Pay for agency staff: It is expected that agency staff who are able to work from home are doing so, and as such their pay through time sheet submission arrangements will not be affected. However as the University does not pay agency staff directly each staff member needs to ensure that there are no issues affecting their pay by their employment agency. To date we have not been notified of any issues affecting pay from employment agencies on our preferred suppliers list. If any agency workers are engaged in what are deemed to be essential services (e.g. security, residences, areas of catering, and some laboratory areas), then they may be asked or required to work on campus during the closure.

Will expenses claims still be processed during this period?

All expenses which were submitted to HR Services prior to the Tuesday, 17 March will be processed. For expenses yet to be submitted these can be submitted by electronic signatures being attached to the expense form and the form being emailed to HRServices@manchester.ac.uk. For expenses to be processed and paid, authorising managers must send a separate email detailing their electronic signature for this to be validated. Authorising managers only need to do this on one occasion. 

More information