Welfare Welfare

Where can I access Wellbeing Support?

If you require further wellness support, our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider, Health Assured, have provision to deal with sudden increases in demand and business continuity.

They have made extensive preparations across their business to maintain service delivery through this period of extended uncertainty. Helpline services will remain available and you will continue to receive confidential guidance and support, 24/7. Visit the EAP page which includes contact details for Health Assured.

You can get more information on staying strong and in good mental health please see the links below:

I’ve been told to self-isolate, what does this mean?

The Government and NHS are now advising self-isolation if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. Read NHS advice about staying at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Your absence in these circumstances will be treated as paid sick leave. For those of you who have been told following contact with NHS111 to self-isolate because of Coronavirus symptoms and are unable to work from home, we ask that you complete the process on gov.uk to request an isolation note. You should report your absence to your department in the usual way and submit a copy of the isolation note by email as soon as you are able to do so. This will be logged, using COVID-19 (self-isolation) as the reason, but will not count against triggers for absence monitoring.

Advice on home isolation for patients and for those caring for patients can be found on the government website. 24/7 support is available to all members of staff via the Employee Assistance Programme and their 24/7 helpline number is 0800 030 5182.

Guidance on sickness absence and pay arrangements

As the government begins to ease lockdown measures and the University begins its phased re-opening of campus, this guidance sets out the University’s absence and pay arrangements effective from 1 September 2020.

These arrangements will be continually reviewed and updated in line with new or amended government guidelines or changes to UEA policy.  It may be necessary to implement additional or alternative measures in response to changing circumstances. 

Managing sickness absence 

During this period managers should continue to apply good practice in line with the principles of the Sickness Absence Management Guidelines, keeping in touch with absent colleagues, offering appropriate support and maintaining records of absence.
 
Sickness absence of more than seven days

Members of staff diagnosed with COVID-19 or isolating with COVID-19 symptoms can complete a personal sickness certificate for absence of up to seven days.  For those using MyView to record absence, it is now possible to select ‘COVID-19 (Confirmed Case)’ and ‘COVID-19 (Self-Isolation)’ as reasons for absence. If you are absent for more than seven days you should request an NHS COVID-19 self isolation note and forward this to your line manager. 

We recognise that individuals absent for more than seven days for illness unrelated to COVID-19 may not be able to attend GP practices due to the current restrictions and in these circumstances and during this interim period you may complete a personal sickness certificate for absences of more than seven days.

Annual Leave

Staff are encouraged to take annual leave and must have taken at least the statutory minimum before 30 September.
 

 

Pay arrangements for employees

 

 

  • Employees who are unwell will receive contractual sick pay in accordance with their terms and conditions of employment .
  • Employees caring for dependents who are self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms may take paid time off to meet these commitments and the normal limit of five days 'dependents' leave will apply. This can be supplemented with reasonable unpaid time off work or paid annual leave.  Should a longer-term solution be required a temporary reduction in FTE should be agreed to reflect revised working hours to accommodate caring commitments.  There are likely to be few cases where this will apply, and this policy may be reviewed in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.
  • Employees who are working at home, including those temporarily redeployed to undertake alternative duties, will continue to be paid as normal. Managers should keep in touch with team members to explore any circumstances which may impact working arrangements and consider appropriate and reasonable flexible working arrangements to accommodate these circumstances. For example, wherever possible we will support individuals in this category to work from home. If it is not possible to undertake your usual duties from home we will consider whether it is possible for you to undertake alternative duties from home during this period. We will explore whether flexible working arrangements can be put in place to support you in undertaking work from home. This might include mutually agreed adjustments to start and finish times or working patterns. Managers are asked to be as flexible as possible to enable staff to adjust their hours and patterns of work to accommodate their personal circumstances. In cases where it isn’t possible to identify a flexible working solution to enable staff to undertake their contractual hours of work a reduction in FTE should be agreed to reflect revised working hours. There are likely to be few cases where this will apply, and this policy may be reviewed in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.
  • As outlined in the HR guidance on Transitioning and Supporting Staff Back Into the Workplace, individuals working in areas identified for return to campus should have an individual discussion with their line manager to explore any circumstances which may impact their return to work.  Managers should discuss and explore individual circumstances and consider appropriate and reasonable flexible working arrangements to accommodate these challenges.  
  • For example:
    •    Wherever possible we will support individuals in this category to work from home.  If it is not possible to undertake your usual duties from home we will consider whether it is possible for you to undertake alternative duties from home during this period;
    •    If it is not possible for you to undertake work from home, we will explore whether flexible working arrangements can be put in place to support you in undertaking your work on campus.  This might include mutually agreed adjustments to start and finish times or working patterns.  Managers are asked to be as flexible as possible to enable staff to adjust their hours and patterns of work to accommodate their personal circumstances.    In cases where it isn’t possible to identify a flexible working solution to enable staff to undertake their contractual hours of work a reduction in FTE should be agreed to reflect revised working hours
  • Employees who are unable to work but are eligible for the Government’s job retention scheme may be furloughed.  In these cases the University will continue to pay 100% of the individual’s salary providing staff members take a minimum of five days annual leave by 31 August and any remainder by 30 September at the latest. Any lieu time should also be taken whilst on furlough and by 30 September at the latest.
  • Individuals previously in the shielded category should continue to work from home wherever possible but may be supported back to work on campus through individual discussions, risk assessment or OH referral.  In cases where it isn’t possible to identify a flexible working solution to enable staff to undertake their contractual hours of work a reduction in FTE should be agreed to reflect revised working hours.  

STATUS

PAY

ACTIONS REQUIRED

Unwell due to COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis

Contractual sick pay

Employee (up to seven days) self-certifies using the reason ‘COVID-19 (Confirmed) or (Self-Isolation)

Employee (over seven days) requests NHS isolation note and sends to line manager

 

Unwell for other reasons

Contractual sick pay

Employee (up to seven days) self-certifies

 

Employee (over seven days) provides fit note or self-certifies where not possible.                   

 

Line manager submits records to HR/payroll.

Undertaking usual duties, or alternative duties, from home

Normal pay

Line manager to keep a record, no system reporting required.

Unable to work from home due to nature of job, inability to arrange alternative work, or caring responsibilities that cannot be fitted around work.

 

Temporary redeployment to undertake alternative duties either at home or on campus; other flexible working arrangements where practical; revised FTE to reflect adjusted hours; annual leave/unpaid leave/dependants leave.

Line manager to liaise with HR to formally agree any contractual changes and system work.

 

Employees are expected to be contactable during this period to assist with queries and undertake work where practicable.

Pay arrangements for other staff

 

 

  • Staff who are unwell will either receive contractual sick pay or may be eligible to receive statutory sick pay in accordance with their terms and conditions of employment.
  • Staff who are working at home, including those redeployed to undertake alternative duties, will continue to be paid for the duration of their contract.

 

STATUS

PAY

ACTIONS REQUIRED

Unwell due to COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis

Associate Tutor contracts

 

Contractual sick pay

Individual (up to seven days) self-certifies using the reason ‘COVID-19 (Confirmed) or (Self-Isolation)

 

Individual (over seven days) requests NHS isolation note and sends to line manager

 

Temporary staff contracts

 

May be eligible for statutory sick pay

Individual self-certifies using the reason ‘COVID-19 (Confirmed) or (Self-Isolation) and informs payroll.

Unwell for other reasons

Associate Tutor contracts

 

Contractual sick pay

Individual (up to seven days) self-certifies

 

Individual (over seven days) provides fit note or self-certifies where not possible.                  

 

Line manager submits records to HR/payroll.

Temporary staff contracts

 

May be eligible for statutory sick pay

 

Individual self-certifies and informs payroll.

Undertaking assigned work or alternative duties from home

Associate Tutor contracts

 

Normal pay for assigned hours

Department to keep a record, no system reporting required.

Temporary staff contracts

Normal pay for assigned hours

Department to keep a record, timesheets to be submitted and authorised as usual.

Variable hours contracts

Normal pay for assigned hours

Department to keep a record, timesheets to be submitted and authorised as usual.

Unable to work from home due to nature of job/inability to arrange alternative work

Associate Tutor contracts

Normal pay for assigned hours

Department to keep a record and inform HR, no system reporting required.

Temporary staff contracts

Normal pay for assigned hours - the government’s recently announced job retention scheme may apply in these circumstances. 

Department to keep a record and inform HR, timesheets to be submitted and authorised for assigned work.