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Q. What will happen to my assignment if my building closes? Will I still get paid?

If your building is closed your department will determine whether some or all of your work can be done from home. If it can be then they will ask you to work from home.

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 wherever reasonably practicable and within your capabilities and grade equivalent.

If it is not possible for your work to be done from home (e.g. because it is not the kind of work that can be done from home or because you don’t have the necessary equipment to work from home or because you have no childcare arrangements due to Covid-19 and you are not able to work while undertaking childcare) then you will still be paid for the hours you would have worked each week. This will continue until the end of your current assignment date or until the building reopens – whichever is the earlier.

If your work could be done from home but you choose not to work from home then your assignment will be brought to a close and payment will cease.

Please keep TES informed as to where or if you are working.

Q. Should I submit my timesheet as usual?

Yes. The only way we can process hours is through a submitted and authorised timesheet. You will therefore need to continue to submit your timesheet in the usual way so it is authorised by the usual deadline (3pm, Friday unless informed otherwise). 

Each week the key question to ask is: What hours would I have worked this week had I been able to work in the office/lab?

If you are fully working from home you will fill in the hours you actually work each week - this amount may vary from week to week. 

If you are not able to undertake your assignment from home you should fill in the hours you would have worked that week had you been able to come in to the office/lab and work – this amount may vary from week to week. 

If you are able to do some work from home but not your full hours (due to coronavirus related disruption e.g. you can only do the admin part of your assignment from home but not the lab part or your need to provide childcare has reduced the amount of hours you can work) then you should fill in the hours you would have worked that week had you been able to come into the office/lab and work. You will still be paid for the hours you would have worked. For example, if you would have been able to work your expected hours (in this example 30), but due to the coronavirus disruption the department could only give you 20 hours of work, then you would still fill in the 30 hours that week and you would be paid for 30 hours. It is your responsibility to confirm with your line manager each week how many hours were actually worked.

If you attend appointments that would have taken you away from work had you been in the office/dept then, whether you are working from home or are unable to work from home, you should not fill in these hours on your timesheet. I.e. You will be paid for the hours you have worked/would have worked had you been in the office. Time spent going to all appointments etc (other than ante-natal), that would have reduced your hours worked had you been in the office will not be paid - as they wouldn't have been had work been taking place in the office.

If you are sick (due to coronavirus or another illness) then you must fill in your timesheet as sickness and not as hours worked. 

If you are taking holiday you should fill in your timesheet with a holiday claim as you usually would. All planned holiday should be put through as holiday rather than hours worked.

Q. What do I do if my authoriser is not available to sign off my timesheet?

We recommend that you have at least two authorisers who are able to sign off your timesheet. If it is sensible to add further authorisers then you will need to ask your current line manager to email temps@admin.cam.ac.uk to request additional authorisers to be added.  

If all of your authorisers are unavailable to sign off your timesheet you should contact your Departmental Administrator or Departmental HR Manager and ask if they are happy to sign off your timesheet in the absence of your authorisers. If they are then you should email temps@admin.cam.ac.uk to let us know who they are. We will then ask them to authorise your timesheet.

Q. What do I do if I am asked to work from home?

If you are self-isolating or your building or department is closed then you may be asked to work from home. This could either be doing your standard work or you may be asked to undertake some different work – which would be in line with your capabilities and grade equivalent.

You will need to undertake a home risk assessment, this must be completed by you and reviewed by your supervisor. You must both sign it off (an email confirmation will be fine if you are not able to physically sign it) and send it into TES at temps@admin.cam.ac.uk. We will review the risk assessment. If you have any concerns about working from home you should speak to your line manager and/or to TES.

The home risk assessment can be found here please note that there is information for you to read and agree to as well as the form to fill in.

Home working information that is specifically in relation to the coronavirus situaton can be found here.

Q. Can I still take holiday during this time?

Yes. You should agree any holiday time with your line manager in the usual way.

All planned annual leave from work should be taken.

If you are working we would strongly encourage you to book in holiday time as you normally would as it is good to take time away from work for your health and wellbeing.

Even if you are not able to work from home, please take periods of holiday as you would have done if you had been able to work.

If you are taking a period of holiday then you should fill in your timesheet with a holiday claim rather than with working hours.

Q. What do I do if I am sick?

All sickness should be reported to your line manager as usual. You should also let TES know if you are sick.

If you are ill with coronavirus or another illness you will not receive your standard hourly pay but you will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provided that you satisfy the qualifying conditions. To apply for SSP you should fill in a CHRIS/73 form and send it through to TES at temps@admin.cam.ac.uk

Sickness for a period of over 7 consecutive days usually needs to be supported by a doctor’s note, this continues to be the case for all sickness other than coronavirus, for which a doctor’s note is not required.

You should keep your department and TES notified about your sickness and your expected return to work.

Q. Do I get paid Statutory Sick Pay from day one of my illness?

The Government has said they will bring forth emergency legislation in order that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) can be paid from day one of illness, however, that legislation has not yet been passed so currently SSP is payable from the fourth day of illness/self-isolation.  

We will update this section of the FAQs as soon as we get further information.

Q. I am in self-isolation, will I be paid?

Yes, if you are in self-isolation in line with the guidance published by Public Health England then you will be paid. If you are well then your department may ask you to work from home. If you are not able to work from home then you will still be paid for the hours you would have done if you had been able to come into the office/lab.

Q. My work is not due to start for a few weeks. Will I still be paid for work I have not yet started?

Yes. If you have an assignment agreement in place for an assignment due to start at a future date, if the department is not open when the assignment is due to start you will still be paid in line with our standard guidance i.e. you may be asked to work from home, if that is not possible you will still be paid for the length of the assignment or until the building reopens – whichever is the earlier.

 

Q. What should I do if I get another job?

During this exceptional situation the University has decided to continue to pay TES workers for work already committed to, even if they can’t work, this is because we do not want workers to be financially disadvantaged. However, should you find alternative work during your assignment, you must let us know and your assignment with us will cease as you start up your new work.

Q. Are there still new work opportunities for TES workers?

Given the current situation in the country, there are very few new assignment requests coming into the TES office at the moment. We are receiving a few requests for someone to work from home or for an essential job to be covered and if you are suited to one of these assignments we will be in touch with you. However, we do not anticipate there being a lot of new work opportunities while the situation in the country remains the same.

Q. Should we still be emailing in every couple of weeks to let you know we are available for work?

Under the current circumstances there is no need to email in every couple of weeks to let us know you are available. We will move to a default of assuming you are available unless you tell us otherwise. However, if you are no longer available please do tell us so we can maintain accurate records of who is and isn’t available and so we can close your registration down and issue your P45 – which you will need to ensure correct tax payment if you find work elsewhere.

Q. If I have not worked for 8 or more weeks will I be automatically removed from the payroll in line with standard TES policy?

No. Given the exceptional situation the country is in, Payroll have given permission for people who still to intend to take up work once things pick up again, to remain on the payroll even if they don’t work for more than 8 weeks.

However, if you finish an assignment and have no intention of taking up any further work with TES, please do mark your final timesheet accordingly so we can issue you with your P45 – which you will need for your next job. If you forget to mark your final timesheet accordingly, please email the TES office on temps@admin.cam.ac.uk and we will close your registration for you.

Q. How do I contact TES during the coronavirus situation?

Currently emailing us on temps@admin.cam.ac.uk is the best way to contact us. We are monitoring emails during our standard office hours (Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm). 

From 2pm on Fri 20th March you will temporarily not be able to contact us by phone. We are working to get our phones up and running as soon as possible and will amend this FAQ when we have done so.

Q. Is there anything else I should read?

The University has produced and will continue to update FAQs. Please do read through the FAQs relevant for TES workers as they will provide you with helpful information. These can be found here.

Q. What do I do if my question is not answered in these FAQs?

If you have queries that are not covered in these FAQs please do contact the TES office on temps@admin.cam.ac.uk. Please do bear with us, we will respond to you as soon as we can but, as I am sure you will appreciate, we are getting a lot of queries at the moment so there may be a slight delay in our reply.

 

We will update these FAQs with answers to common questions on a regular basis so please do check back here as well.