Staff Advice


Last updated: 22 September 2020, 12:00 


We are keen to assist colleagues with advice following the exceptional circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve done our best to anticipate your key questions. 
No one knows how long the alternative arrangements for working will need to last, as things change updates will be made available as quickly as possible. USW employees can find additional advice and guidance on Connect

Policies and Procedures

We are keen to assist colleagues with advice following the exceptional circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. If you are a member of USW staff, you can find a comprehensive list of HR Guidance relating to coronavirus and the current working arrangements on Connect.This includes guidance about flexi time, annual leave, pay and sickness absence, recruitment and selection, working from home and many other topics.  

If you are unable to find an answer to a query that you have on the above page on Connect, or in these FAQs, please email coronavirusadvice@southwales.ac.uk or hradviser@southwales.ac.uk for HR related queries. 


Your health and wellbeing

Please follow public health advice. You can find the latest information on the Gov.uk website. Please inform your line manager by phone or email and keep them updated. If you are unwell and unable to work, your sickness absence will be recorded as: Sickness absence – Coronavirus related.  You can find further HR Guidance on Connect

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of: 

  • new continuous cough and/or 
  • high temperature 
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of taste 

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. 

  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation for more information) 
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14 day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See the ending isolation section on gov.uk for more information). 

if you have coronavirus symptoms: 

  • 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 
  • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home 
  • if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999. 



Please follow public health advice. You can find the latest information on the Gov.uk website. Please inform your line manager by phone or email and keep them updated.  

If you are well and can work during the self-isolation then you should continue to do so, in line with the current home working arrangments. If you are unwell and unable to work, your sickness absence will be recorded as: Sickness absence – Coronavirus related.  

You can find further HR Guidance on Connect



Please follow public health advice and the guidance on self-isolation which can be found on the gov.uk website. Following the period of self-isolation you should return to work. 

  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation for more information) 
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 
  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See the ending isolation section on gov.uk for more information) 


Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 16 March, the University’s senior leadership team made a decision to immediately move to remote learning for students, with staff working from home where possible. 

The government is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. 



Following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 16 March, the University’s senior leadership team made a decision to immediately move to remote learning for students, with staff working from home where possible. 

The government is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures, this includes pregnant women. 

In line with Welsh Government guidance, it is mandatory for face coverings to be worn indoors at all of our sites. 

They can be removed in teaching spaces if desired, where 2m social distancing is securely in place, and where PPE hasn’t been deemed mandatory for a specific task. Please be mindful of the interests of other people and if in doubt please wear a face covering. There will of course be some exemptions for people wearing face coverings, and this may be because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a disability or impairment. 

Whether somebody has a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering will not always be obvious. Students will of course not need to wear face coverings when they are in their own accommodation within University-owned halls of residence on our Treforest campus. Students will still need to wear them outside of their accommodation in shared facilities such as the laundry facilities. Where PPE is required, because of a specific task or because sufficient social distancing cannot be achieved, then clinical standard personal protective equipment will be issued after a relevant risk assessment of tasks has been carried out. 

Our site user guides have been designed to help our staff, students and visitors understand how our buildings and facilities will be operating for the first term of the 2020/21 academic year.

You’ll find useful information about our sites and buildings, how particular spaces will be arranged, as well as which facilities are accessible.

You can view a copy of the guide by following this link.

Please do not print a copy of the guide - please refer back to this page for the latest version, as it will be updated to reflect any changes to guidance.



Research

A comprehensive list of FAQs have been published for USW staff who are involved in research, whether as researchers, managers of research active staff. You can find them on Connect.  


Updates made to this page 

22 September 2020
PPE and face covering guidance

21 May 2020 
Updated to reflect changed advice on the most common symptoms of coronavirus 

27 March 2020 
FAQs for researchers

25 March 2020  
Updated to reflect the Government’s stay at home guidance. 

19 March 2020 
Introduction of links to comprehensive HR guidance on Connect for USW staff and deleting FAQs which are now superseded by this guidance. 

18 March 2020
Removal of need to record self-isolation on ESS if you are well enough to work from home. 

17 March 2020
Updated public health advice, links to government information pages, immediate suspension of all face-to-face teaching suspension, start of home working for staff where possible and remote learning to begin from Monday 23 March. 

16 March 2020 
Update about face-to-face teaching and assessments stopping at the end of this week, with online teaching starting from Monday 23 March, and clarification for students on a Tier 4 visa.  

13 March 2020 
Updated public health advice about self-isolation and when to contact 111, travel advice, and updated links to government information pages.