Return to campus plans  (13th Aug)

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We’ve had a number of concerns recently from members regarding the local plans being made for returning to campus. It’s clear that there is a huge amount of variation across the institution, with some good practice where continued home working remains the default as well as unfortunately many examples where a return to on campus work is being considered on an arbitrary rota basis. 

Your safety reps have been very clear with the University that working from home should remain the default option, and on campus work should only take place where this is to fulfil a specific purpose that cannot be done from home. We’ve asked this to be urgently clarified in University-wide communications. If this doesn’t happen by early next week we will be considering a public statement about this to try and get the University to change course.

As described in previous emails, health conditions, caring responsibilities and other factors should also be borne in mind and factored in to any decision about delivering an on campus service. 

Further advice on this will be given at the meeting next week but in the meantime we’ve attached:

  • A draft email for members to modify and send to their managers if they feel they are being asked to return without a clear reason behind it. We would encourage all members being asked to return without a good reason to send something along these lines even if you feel relatively relaxed about it – ensuring that people are only on campus when there’s a good reason behind this is the best possible way to keep everyone safe.
  • Return to work guidance for managers – provided by HR this is guidance that is given to managers in having conversations with staff about returning. This is the University’s answer to the individual risk assessment that many organisations are using. We do still have some reservations about this document which we can explain in more detail next week.
If anyone needs any individual advice in the meantime please get in touch.

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