Here you will find answers to coronavirus FAQs specifically for staff.

In what situations should I self-isolate?

Please see advice at NHS Inform.

Please report your absence to your line manager and the Head of Human Resources (asmith2@qmu.ac.uk), advising whether you are signing off sick or working from home. 

If you are experiencing cold symptoms and have an underlying health condition which means you may be more vulnerable you should seek advice from your GP/healthcare professional or by calling NHS24 on 111, share the advice with your line manager.

Who do I tell in the University if I am self-isolating or have been diagnosed with coronavirus?

If you are self-isolating or have been diagnosed with coronavirus, it is important that you advise us. Please email the Head of Human Resources at ASmith2@qmu.ac.uk.

Should I come into work if I am living with someone who is immune-suppressed?

If you are living with someone who is immuno-suppressed and you want to self-isolate to protect them, we will be sympathetic. In such a situation, please speak to your line manager about working from home.

(Note, since this FAQ was written, most staff have moved to home working but the FAQ remains for completeness.) 

If I need to self-isolate (or can’t return the UK), how will I be treated by the University?

(Although all teaching is online, and staff are working from home, this FAQ remains for completeness)

If you are a member of staff, please contact your line manager for support, who, in turn, must inform the Head of HR at ASmith2@qmu.ac.uk. As a general rule, if you are feeling well you would be required to work from home (where possible) and return to work only if you did not develop symptoms during the incubation period. If home working were not possible for some or all of the recommended period, authorised paid leave would be allowed. If you are unwell, the University’s Sickness Absence Management Policy and Procedure applies.

What if I am due to travel on University business?

The University is suspending all but essential business travel, both in the UK and abroad.  If you are a staff member with plans to travel on QMU business and you think this travel is essential, please discuss this with your Line Manager. If they agree that your travel is essential, they will need will need to discuss this with QMU Health and Safety. If you are a student planning travel related to your studies at QMU, please speak to your Programme Leader, who will then need to seek the advice of QMU Health and Safety

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to some areas. Please check the FCO guidance to see if your destination is one of those areas. The University will not allow work or study related trips which are not covered by the University insurance policy.

Remember, the guidance above relates to travelling on University business only. For advice on personal travel, see section below.

There is some useful general travel advice at Travel Health Pro.

What is the University’s advice on personal travel?

While the University is not responsible for you on personal trips, we all have a social duty to help avoid the spread of coronavirus and to help minimise the social disruption arising from it.  We strongly recommend that you follow the advice and guidance found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at all times. This includes advice on whether it is safe to travel to a particular country, advice on health and security, including advice on coronavirus, and advice on what to do when returning from a trip e.g. whether it is necessary to self-isolate for example. If you decide to travel against FCO advice, be aware there may be travel restrictions imposed that may impede your return to the UK.  Please also check your own travel insurance policy. If you think there is a reasonable chance that your personal travel plans might result in a need to self-isolate on your return to the UK or in-country, please talk to your line manager, who should in turn seek the advice of the HR team (staff) and Dean or Head of Division, or your Programme Leader (students). 

Given the evolving situation, managers will be sympathetic to requests from employees to cancel or amend annual leave, even at short notice.

There is some useful general travel advice at Travel Health Pro.

What is the University’s policy on annual leave for staff during the coronavirus situation?

We all need to keep ourselves fit and well. Taking annual leave contributes to that, even if our vacation opportunities are limited.  We would ask staff to continue to take annual leave during the coronavirus situation and to switch off entirely from work when they are on annual leave.

What do I do if I need to care for children because their school is closed because of concern about the virus?

Staff are now working from home, and so should be available as required to look after children. We expect colleagues in this situation to continue to work from home where possible, but we recognise that it may be difficult for those with young children to do so during their normal working hours and/or to work a full working day. We will continue to provide full pay to all staff in this position, and in return we would ask that staff, where possible, exercise a degree of flexibility.

We recognise that some members of staff may wish to take additional annual leave to allow them to fulfil childcare commitments, and we can confirm that line managers will be as flexible as possible in responding to any such requests.

What do I do if I need to care for a dependent parent or other family member?

Most of our staff are no longer on campus, so should be available as required to care for dependants. We expect colleagues in this situation to continue to work from home where possible, but we recognise that it may be difficult to do so during their normal working hours and/or to work a full working day. We will continue to provide full pay to all staff in this position, and in return we would ask that staff, where possible, exercise a degree of flexibility.

We recognise that some members of staff may wish to take additional annual leave to allow them to fulfil caring commitments, and we can confirm that line managers will be as flexible as possible in responding to any such requests.

(See separate FAQ about caring for children when schools are closed.)

Is there advice on working safely and effectively at home?

While working remotely, we all need to ensure that we take breaks and take other steps to protect our wellbeing.  

The HR team have provided guidance for staff on tips for working from home and work station set up. These are in addition to the existing Working from Home Guidelines, and can be found on the staff intranet.There is also guidance for line managers on managing staff working from home.

Training session: Working Successfully from Home

You might like to access a one hour ‘Working Successfully From Home’ training session that is delivered online via Zoom by our training partners Positive People.

The session is presented by David Longstaff who has delivered the Ease the Load session to staff in the past. The session will be most useful to those that are unfamiliar with working from home.

Sign up for a session here

Just enter your details at the link and add PREPAIDQMU in the coupon code box.

There are a number of dates available and more will be added.

Please access Zoom via your browser rather than through the Horizon desktop in order for voice and video to work. 

Session content includes:

  • the value of daily routines
  • dealing with distractions
  • juggling work and children
  • focusing on priorities
  • getting exercise
  • knowing when to stop work
  • overcoming guilt

Where can I find guidance on remote working and video conferencing?

See our you can do IT at home webpage for information, guidance and tips.

How are trade unions supporting staff through the current situation?

The University is implementing and adapting contingency plans as appropriate through regular Business Continuity Group meetings with student and staff health and wellbeing foremost in mind. The three campus trade unions are represented on the Business Continuity Group meetings and play a full part in its work.  TU reps are attending meetings in order to liaise around issues such as work contracts and conditions resulting from changing working practices due to COVID 19. The unions are liaising with each other over representation on the group and feeding back to each other. We have written a series of info e mails which we can send out to you if you missed them. Below are names and contact details of the reps dealing with case work etc linked to Covid 19. Members are most welcome to contact them with any issues that they would like raised with the Business Continuity Group or specific issues and case work arising through your work.

Your trade union reps are:

UCU: Oonagh O’Brien and Stephen Darling, UCU ucuqmu@qmu.ac.k

Unison Franziska McPherson, (FMcPherson@qmu.ac.uk), Kitty Flynn kflynn@qmu.ac.uk

EIS Andy Hendry ahendry@qmu.ac.uk  Irvine Allan iallan@qmu.ac.uk

More FAQs

General coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Students

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs