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Update on working from home arrangements

24 Jun 2020

All staff who are able to work from home should continue to do so until 1 September 2020 at the earliest

The University of Manchester

Dear colleagues

We are progressing with a phased re-opening of some research facilities on campus and the planning for the start of the new academic year.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors to campus are our main concern and all our planning is guided by the latest advice from the Government and Public Health England.

Staff who are not on furlough leave and are not required to come into work on campus at the moment because their work can be carried out remotely should expect to continue working from home until at least 1 September 2020. This date will be reviewed again at the end of July 2020 and a further update provided.  

From 1 July 2020 the University can use furlough leave on a more flexible basis, so some staff on furlough leave may be asked to return to work either on a part-time or full-time basis.  Your line manager will contact you if they require you to return to work and will give you at least one week’s notice.  For staff who remain on furlough leave beyond 30 June 2020, the University will continue to top up to 100% of salary throughout July 2020 and this will then be reviewed on an ongoing basis.   

Some research colleagues working in labs which have re-opened have already returned to campus and appropriate arrangements have been put in place so that they can work safely.  Other colleagues will be required to return to work on campus over the coming weeks as we re-open further research facilities;  in order to prepare online teaching and learning materials; and to get ready to deliver a student experience which all our students can fully engage with and participate in.

Whilst some staff will be required to return to work on campus on a permanent basis, others may be expected to return on either a temporary or occasional basis over the summer. If you are required to return to work on campus your manager will inform you, outline what is involved and let you know when you are expected to return.  Where we ask colleagues to return to work on campus we will give you at least one week’s notice.  If you have not been asked to return to work on campus but feel you need to do so, you should contact your line manager to discuss your options. 

We understand that some colleagues may have concerns about returning to work, either because they have an underlying health condition or live with someone who does, or because they are balancing work commitments with caring responsibilities.  If you are asked to return to work but have any such concerns, you should speak with your line manager and you will be asked to 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 to work, 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.  

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those colleagues who have continued to work on campus over the past three months, providing essential services to keep our campus safe and secure; caring for those students who have remained in halls and of course those contributing to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic through their research.   Your commitment is greatly appreciated. 

Colleagues who are continuing to work from home may wish to collect equipment and items from campus to help them to work at home.  Some University buildings will be temporarily opened over the next few weeks to enable staff to briefly visit, in a co-ordinated way, to collect items.  More information has either already been provided, or will be provided shortly, by your Faculty, School or Directorate outlining how and when you can collect items.

I hope this message gives you some more certainty about your working arrangements over the coming weeks, especially for those colleagues who are balancing caring responsibilities with work commitments.  I would encourage you all to continue to support each other, by keeping in regular contact as this period of working in new and different ways continues.

Best wishes

Karen Heaton

Director of Human Resources

Useful links to further information and guidance: