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Human Resources

 

Please also see the following guides available on the HR Coronavirus Guidance and Resources page:

  • Guidance for Managers: Managing Your Team Remotely
  • Remote Working Guide for Individuals

The University has developed the following homeworking protocol to mitigate the potential disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).  

Working arrangements  

  • You should discuss with your line manager to what extent your normal duties can be carried out at home; homeworking in some roles is likely to be impractical. In these circumstances, your line manager will need to consult your institution’s local continuity plan to identify alternative cover for the work in question, particularly for business-critical activities. You may also be asked to undertake alternative duties wherever reasonably practicable and within your capabilities.  
  • If you are working from home, you may have caring responsibilities for dependants, for example:
    • If the schools or nurseries are closed, opened on a reduced basis or dependant cannot attend for other reason
    • If nursing homes are closed
    • If a dependant falls ill with coronavirus
  • In these circumstances, we expect staff and line managers to exercise flexibility and understanding.
  • You should discuss with your manager the possibility of fitting your work around your caring responsibilities. For instance, you and your manager could agree on new working arrangements such as altered working hours or altered working patterns.
  • We recognise that this may not be possible in all cases. If your line manager agrees that it is not practicable for you to carry out your normal duties from home, you may be asked to undertake alternative duties within your capabilities. 
  • Employees with unforeseen caring responsibilities may also be entitled to take emergency leave (see the University’s Special Leave Policy for details of eligibility) or you may wish to request to take annual leave at this time.
  • If your normal or alternative duties cannot be carried out at home, your line manager will discuss the use of annual leave, unpaid leave, emergency carers leave (if appropriate), redeployment or continuation of furlough.  Please see the Furlough FAQs for more information.
  • You may wish to visit the Supporting Parents and Carers at Cambridge (SPACE) website for sources of support and advice.
 

Health, safety  and  insurance  

  • You should report any changes in your health to your line manager at the earliest opportunity.  This would include Coronavirus (COVID-19) or any other sickness or health issues (e.g. pregnancy, accident, injury, disability or work-related stress).   
  • You should ensure that you have access to a safe homeworking environment in which you can carry out your duties.  
  • You should follow the Safety Office guidance on Setting up a Home Workstation. 
  • You should also read the University’s guidance on Computer Health.  
  • Institutions will reimburse your telephone costs where appropriate and strictly by prior agreement. Please see the University’s Expenses Policy Additional Measures during the Coronavirus outbreak. However, you are encouraged to use free virtual means of communication as listed below (e.g. Microsoft Teams for communicating with colleagues within the University).  
  • You will be responsible for all other normal costs associated with your place of residence (e.g. heating, lighting and broadband and any home insurance to cover loss or damage to personal property in use whilst you undertake work duties).  

Communication   

  • It is anticipated that meetings will be conducted via virtual means during this period. Meeting organisers should allow for adequate breaks between meetings, particularly given that the majority of participants will be managing home-working, together with home-schooling and other caring responsibilities. 
  • Homeworking over a sustained period of time can lead to feelings of isolation. You should ensure that you are in regular contact with your team throughout, including maintaining one-to-ones and team meetings and continuing to collaborate with colleagues remotely.  
  • You are recommended to view the University’s guidance on looking after your wellbeing and mental health in response to coronavirus, which can be found at https://www.cam.ac.uk/coronavirus/wellbeing.

Home working  tools and  set-up  

  • Your department should identify whether University equipment, such as laptops or mobiles, could be made available to you during the homeworking period for work purposes.  You must take reasonable steps to safeguard this property and return it at the end of the homeworking period, or earlier if requested.  
  • If you require access to University-only websites or applications such as CHRIS or CUFS, you can use the UIS VPN service (see https://help.uis.cam.ac.uk/service/network-services/remote-access/uis-vpn) to connect a laptop or desktop computer to the University’s network.  
  • You can access your email via one of the following URLs:  
    • Exchange online: https://outlook.office365.com – login using crsid@cam.ac.uk and UIS password (staff at the Judge Business School, Clinical School, Sainsbury Laboratory and Department of Zoology should log in using their institutional email address).  

Resources  

Confidentiality and Security whilst homeworking   

  • You should continue to mindful for the threat posed by malicious or scam emails that may be received in the coming weeks, purportedly relating to coronavirus (COVID-19). You should also confirm that an unfamiliar caller is who they claim to be by verifying with another colleague or your line manager.  
  • The same work security procedures need to be followed if working from home. This may include locking your screen and putting paperwork in a safe location out of view and reach of other household occupants.   
  • Confidential papers which are no longer needed should be shredded after use. If you do not have access to confidential shredding facilities at home, please keep such paperwork secure and return it to the University to be confidentially shredded at the first available opportunity.  
  • It is still important to remain compliant with data protection laws (GDPR/DPA 2018) and security best practice when working from home, whether you are working on your own computing equipment or the University’s.  Please read the important security guidance about working from home and keeping safe online to prevent compromising the security of the University’s data (see https://help.uis.cam.ac.uk/service/security/wfh-security).  

  

Last updated: 18 September 2020