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Update on furlough leave and key worker payments

21 Jul 2020

A message from Karen Heaton, Director of Human Resources


Please note, there is no longer a requirement to complete a self-declaration form. Please see the most recent update on StaffNet.

Dear colleagues

Whilst some colleagues begin to return to work on campus to get ready for the start of the new academic year, or to work in our re-opened research facilities, we still have around 1,500 University staff on furlough leave. 

I can confirm that these colleagues will continue to have their salary topped up to 100% by the University for as long as they remain on furlough leave, which the government has announced is due to end on 31 October 2020. Agency staff and a small number of contractors working for the University who are currently on furlough leave will be contacted individually to advise them of their salary arrangements until 31 October 2020.

Some colleagues on furlough leave are now being asked to return to work on campus either on a full-time or part-time basis.  Your line manager will contact you if they require you to return and will give you at least one week’s notice.  If you are asked to return to work but have concerns because of your own health or that of someone you live with, you should speak with your line manager and complete a self-declaration form.  Your line manager will then discuss with you what arrangements can be put in place to support you in your return, but we are not asking colleagues who are vulnerable, shielding or live with someone who is extremely vulnerable to return to work on campus at present.  We will be providing all colleagues and students with washable face coverings and clear guidance on how our work and teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone stays safe.

Throughout lockdown, around 750 colleagues identified as key workers have continued to work on campus ensuring that essential facilities and operations continue.  These include colleagues from various parts of our University including Security, Estates and Facilities, Residences and IT Services.  In thanks and recognition of the continued commitment of these colleagues we decided early on in the pandemic to award our key workers a £75 per week payment (pro-rata for part-time staff) in addition to their usual salary.  Now that the government has lowered the UK alert level to 3 and larger numbers of non-key worker staff begin to return to work on campus, we have taken the decision to end the key worker additional payment with effect from 31 August 2020.

We are, of course, incredibly grateful to those colleagues who have continued to work on campus during this period and I would like to thank them for their valued contribution during this challenging time.

Karen Heaton

Director of Human Resources

Useful links to further information and guidance: