Template email to line managers: return to on campus working

The following has been drafted by Health and Safety reps in collaboration with UNISON in relation to rota based return to on campus work for support and ARPS (Academic related and professional services) staff. We would similarly encourage teaching staff to raise their concerns over face to face teaching and to make sure that these concerns are in writing before the start of term:

Dear line manager,

I hope all is well with you. I am writing in response to our recent communications regarding returning to on campus work. As I understand it, all of the risk assessments relating to on campus work indicate that we should continue to work from home wherever possible.

I hope you would agree that we’ve all done our best to keep services going over the summer, and have worked as hard as we can to deliver services remotely in order to keep everyone safe. The best way to keep everyone as safe as possible is for on-campus work to be limited to where there is a specific designated need. The more numbers on campus increase the greater the risk will be for students and staff in general (as well as our team specifically).

As a result, I was wondering if you could clarify whether there is a specific task that requires our return to campus, and also why this task cannot be undertaken remotely?

I do feel strongly that health and safety is the responsibility of all staff and therefore feel that it would be irresponsible for me to return to on campus work without a clear understanding of the rationale behind it. 

*Optional – mention specific circumstances If applicable*

  • *As you may be aware, I have a specific underlying health condition that puts me at higher risk from Covid-19. Because of this (in addition to the above) I also request that an individual risk assessment is conducted and shared with me prior to any proposed return, so that I can review and comment on this.*
  • *As you may be aware, I have caring responsibilities that may at times affect my ability to undertake any on campus activity. I understand that the University’s best endeavours and special dependent leave policies remain in place, and I would as a result appreciate a separate conversation on how any proposed change in our team’s working practices could be modified in order to avoid conflicting with my caring responsibilities.*

Conclude

I feel that returning to campus on a simple rota or permanent basis without a specific need to do so would be unsafe at this time, given that we are able to work from home and this is the best possible way of controlling the virus.

Many thanks in advance for any information you are able to give on this.

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