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Frequently Asked Questions


 

The purpose of this updated Q&A is to clarify the current situation with regards to your working arrangements and also to make key parts of the guidance easily accessible. Much of the advice and guidance that has been put in place to support you throughout the pandemic remains relevant and can be accessed on the Working Well Hub

In particular we would like to invite colleagues to review the resources that are available to support your wellbeing.

 

General

Under the new lockdown restrictions am I able to come onto campus?

 The start of term remains as Monday 11 January 2021 and following lockdown restrictions all teaching will be online.  The campus is open to support the needs of a number of our students, including international students who have arrived in the UK, students who remained on campus over the Christmas break, students who do not have access to appropriate study spaces and those whose mental health would be better supported by being on campus. 

Staff coming on to campus must be limited to those whose role is in:

  • the physical, educational and emotional needs of those students living and/or studying on campus for services which cannot be delivered remotely
  • the safety and security of campus and its users
  • campus maintenance
  • essential services for staff working on or off campus, which cannot be delivered remotely
  • work which requires access to equipment and facilities on site which can be delivered in a safe and socially distanced manner (including preparation for teaching)
  • legal requirements which require face to face interactions (for example UKVI checks) or access to campus (for example fire alarm tests)

Campus will remain open throughout the coming weeks to allow these services to continue.  Staff attendance on campus should be kept to a minimum of what is required to deliver this work effectively.  All other colleagues should work from home.  It will be possible to come to campus to collect items if this is required.

Clinically extremely vulnerable staff have been advised by the government to return to shielding, and must stay at home.  The College also requires that all pregnant staff remain working from home.

What measures are being taken to ensure that campus is covid-secure for those who continue to live, work and study there?

 We have considered the risk controls that were in place on campus last term and believe that they were effective at managing the transmission on campus.  Across the first term we had 14 positive cases reported by staff and 6 of those staff had not been attending campus.  Whilst we have confidence that the arrangements were effective, for term 2 we will strengthen some of the existing controls and introduce some new measures.

Prevention – hands, face and space will continue to be our main preventative controls.  As before, these will be reinforced by one way systems and marshalling. It is important that all staff and students follow these precautions when on campus.  The Government recently included letting in fresh air as part of their messaging but this is something that College has adhered to since the return to Campus in September.  Our teaching spaces and working areas continue to exceed the guidance for ventilation

Containment – our processes for reporting cases and managing self isolation will continue ensuring we react quickly to contain transmission when we become aware of positive cases and that we are putting in place support where needed.

Testing –We will be operating a testing centre on campus and will be expecting students who are on campus to take two Lateral Flow Tests on their return. Students who receive a positive outcome will be required to self-isolate.  Staff are also encouraged to take a test and can book a test here.

Do staff working in Higher Education have critical worker status and are we able to access school places and educational settings?

The Department for Education has confirmed that higher education staff who are required to deliver or to support delivery of teaching or research and the provision of appropriate university facilities are considered critical workers for the purposes of access to education.

HEIs have now been issued with a standard letter alongside clarified guidelines about which staff will qualify as a critical worker. Determination will be on a case by case basis but the expectation is that staff designated as critical will fall in four broad categories:

  1. Staff or research students responsible for research and other activities to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and for other essential research and supporting activity necessary to meet regulatory, legal, health and safety or other on-going requirements.
  2. Academic and teaching staff, to deliver face to face teaching to those students that are permitted to receive teaching on campus, or to support those students who are continuing their placements in person and cannot be supported remotely, as well as those developing or delivering resources for remote learning including where these need to be created or updated using facilities only available on the provider’s premises.
  3. Staff responsible for providing services for students who need to remain in student accommodation or in facilities which remain open for students or essential research, including catering staff, cleaners, wardens, mental health support, IT and security staff.
  4. Staff critical to the safety and security of the university estate and other business critical operations.

Decisions to provide letters must be supported by the Director of Professional Services, Head of School or Head of Department as this is where the nature of work and its implications are best understood.  The template letter will be issued locally.

Please note that having a letter will not guarantee a place at a school as schools will themselves be prioritising access to a limited number of spaces.

My children have not returned to school as planned. Will this be a problem?

 This is the situation many colleagues found themselves in during the first lockdown. We continue to recognise that if you have children at home or have other caring responsibilities and are working from home, you may struggle to work your normal hours, or commit to a full day of work.

Royal Holloway understands that the current situation is not of your choice and we appreciate the huge amount of work put in by all members of our community to enable the College to continue functioning. We understand that in these difficult circumstances it is likely that many staff will need to adjust their normal working patterns. Do what you can, ask for assistance and take care of your family. You may find it helpful to revisit the guidance we provided in March.

I have tested positive, what do I need to do?

Please report this through the covid reporting form and speak to your line manager about arrangements to cover your work and how you will remain in contact whilst you are sick.

Your absence will not be classed as a sickness absence but as a separate category of paid absence.  You will receive pay as normal during your sickness.

I need to self-isolate, what do I need to do?

 Please report this through the covid reporting form and speak to your line manager.

If you are able to work from home you are expected to do so, providing you are not unwell. You will receive pay as normal for the self-isolation period.

If you cannot work from home this will not be classed as a sickness absence but as a separate category of paid absence.  You will receive pay as normal for the self-isolation period. 

Can I use laboratory spaces?

Only if it is necessary for you to do your work. You should consider whether your work can be done differently, including rescheduling activity to avoid the need to come onto campus if possible.  You must ensure that you continue to follow the standard health and safety requirements of working in the laboratories and in particular that you adhere to the Covid controls of Hands, Face, Space and suitable ventilation.

Is testing for covid-19 available on campus?

We are running our start of term lateral flow testing on the Egham campus in the Picture Gallery until Friday 15 January and we are expecting all students and staff who are on campus to take at least one test, unless they are exempt.  From Monday 18 January, test availability will move Mondays and Thursdays until at least Monday 22 February. Staff who are working on campus, or who attend campus regularly, are also strongly encouraged to be tested on a weekly basis through this test centre.

The test centre will be open on a Monday and Thursday morning between 8am and 12 noon, until at least Monday 22 February.  To book a test at the Egham centre follow this link.  Testing is also available for students and staff at the Central London campus at the University of London led facility at Student Central in Bloomsbury. Tests can be booked at the Central London campus by following this link.

How many tests do I need?

Staff working on campus are strongly encouraged to be tested on a weekly basis from 18 January, through the lateral flow testing centre on campus.

Health and Safety

How is good hygiene promoted on campus?

All staff are encouraged to wash their hands regularly, at least on entering and leaving a building, or use hand sanitiser when this is not possible.  Hand sanitiser stations are available to students and staff at high traffic locations where hand washing would be impractical.    If requested, visors can be provided. These are the general controls applicable College wide and more specialist controls may be provided as required by school, department, building, or task-based risk assessments. 

How is social-distancing being encouraged?

Clear signage is in place across campus to encourage social distancing, and the number of staff working on campus has been reduced. We have provided staff and students with information on what is expected of them whilst working from campus.  To help to keep ourselves and each other safe, we all need to demonstrate a large degree of personal responsibility. 

My role requires a high level of social contact and places me at increased risk of the virus. What additional support is in place?

Colleagues who are identified as at increased risk of exposure to Covid-19 through their role should complete mandatory training on the basic controls to keep them safe. In addition, school, department, building, and task-based risk assessments will require more controls for those at more risk.  You can book in for a lateral flow test on campus up until 15 January if you wish to.

I normally commute to the College by public transport and I am concerned about travelling in this way. What can be done to help?

If you are concerned about travelling to campus by public transport please raise this with your manager – it may be possible to stagger your start and finish times to avoid peak travel times.  Parking is available on campus should you wish to travel by car instead.  Please also be aware of the College’s Cycle to Work Scheme, which is designed to enable staff to purchase a bicycle and safety equipment for commuting.

Will I be provided with a face shield/visor?

 Face shields/visors can be provided on request.

Clinically extremely vulnerable

How do I know if I am clinically extremely vulnerable (at high risk) to Covid-19?

 Details of which conditions fall within this category can be found here on the NHS website.  The list may change as more is learned about the virus.  If you have a medical condition which falls within this category then you will have received a letter from the NHS to confirm this.

Can I continue to work from home if I am clinically extremely vulnerable?

 If you are clinically extremely vulnerable then Government advice is that from 5 January you must remain at home.  

I am clinically extremely vulnerable, but I would like to return to working from campus. Can I do this?

 No - the Government’s advice from 5 January is that you must remain at home.

I live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable. Can I continue to work from home?

 The Government’s advice from 5 January is that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable must remain at home.  If you are living with or caring for someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, then it is advised that you also should remain at home.  

Clinically vulnerable

How do I know if I am clinically vulnerable (at moderate risk) to Covid-19?

 Details of which conditions fall within this category can be found here on the NHS website.  The list may change as more is learned about the virus.

I am clinically vulnerable – should I be working from campus?

 Working on campus will only be permitted if your role involves supporting students who are living or studying there, campus maintenance, safety or security, essential services that cannot be delivered remotely or work which requires access to equipment and facilities on-site.  If you are clinically vulnerable and your role involves working in one of these areas then you should discuss concerns with your manager to assess how any work that you do on campus can be adjusted to minimise your risk of exposure to Covid-19 and additional controls can be put in place as required.  

I live with someone who is clinically vulnerable – should I be working from campus?

 Working on campus will only be permitted if your role involves supporting students who are living or studying there, campus maintenance, safety or security, essential services that cannot be delivered remotely or work which requires access to equipment and facilities on-site.  If your role involves working in one of these areas and you live with someone who is clinically vulnerable then you should discuss concerns with your manager to assess how any work that you do on campus can be adjusted to minimise your risk of exposure to Covid-19 and additional controls can be put in place as required.  

Covid-19 and pregnancy

Can I continue to work from home?

 Yes.  The College’s position remains that pregnant colleagues must not come to work on campus at the present time.  If you were to come to campus to work then we would need to ensure that additional controls were in place and these would need approval from the Director of Health and Safety

Can I return to work from campus?

 The College’s position remains that pregnant colleagues should not come to work on campus at the present time.  Please let your manager know that you are pregnant if you have not done so already, complete the health questionnaire and return it to hroperations@rhul.ac.uk.

If you were to come to campus to work then we would need to ensure that additional controls were in place and these would need approval from the Director of Health and Safety

Concerns that do not relate to a medical condition

My child has not returned to school as planned. Will this be a problem?

This is the situation many colleagues found themselves in during the first lockdown. We continue to recognise that if you have children at home or have other caring responsibilities and are working from home, you may struggle to work your normal hours, or commit to a full day of work.

Royal Holloway understands that the current situation is not of your choice and we appreciate the huge amount of work put in by all members of our community to enable the College to continue functioning. We understand that in these difficult circumstances it is likely that many staff will need to adjust their normal working patterns. Do what you can, ask for assistance and take care of your family. You may find it helpful to revisit the guidance we provided in March.

I have caring responsibilities and I do a role that mean I will need to work from campus. I am worried about this – what are my options?

You should discuss this with your line manager. If you are caring for someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable please see the questions above. If your concern is about flexibility, you may discuss splitting working hours/days between campus and home-working or sharing caring responsibilities with partners or other family members.

Royal Holloway understands that the current situation is not of your choice and we appreciate the huge amount of work put in by all members of our community to enable the College to continue functioning. We understand that in these difficult circumstances it is likely that many staff will need to adjust their normal working patterns. Do what you can, ask for assistance and take care of your family. You may find it helpful to revisit the guidance we provided in March.

Black, Asian and Minority ethnic staff are disproportionately affected by Covid-19. What is the College doing to support these staff returning to campus?

The College is aware that Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.   All staff who may be required to return to work on campus will be offered a one-to-one conversation with their line manager to discuss concerns, risk assessment and possible reasonable adjustments. If you are concernd about the impact contracting Covid-19 may have on you because of your ethicity you should indicate this on your personal health questionaire and a referral will be made to Occupational Health.  Occupation Health will undertake a Covid age assessment which determines how the combination of age, ethnicity, BMI and underlying medical conditions combine affect vulnerability and may recommend that additional measures are put in place.  Mandatory “Increased Risk of Exposure” training will be provided for staff whose role places them at a high likelihood of having contact with people who may have Covid-19 during their work. This includes, security, maintenance, school admin offices, front line Commercial Services and front line Library Services staff.  A recording of this training will be available for all other staff.  Staff from Black and Ethnic Minority backgrounds can join the online College Cultural Diversity Network forum where challenges and support structures are discussed. To join the network please email  equality@rhul.ac.uk

I suffer from anxiety and find the prospect of returning to campus daunting. What support is there for me?

All staff will be offered a one-to-one conversation with their line manager to explore the reasons for their anxiety and discuss further adjustments that could be made to enable a return to campus. Staff also have access to support services at College such as the Employee Wellbeing Programme, and you may find it helpful to talk to your GP.  Referrals can also be made to Occupational Health for support and guidance.

For further reassurance on the controls in place on campus please see the Health and Safety Principles and the College’s Risk Assessment.  Mandatory “Increased Risk of Exposure” training will be provided for staff whose role places them at a high likelihood of having contact with people who may have Covid-19 during their work. This includes security, maintenance, school admin offices, front line Commercial Services and front line Library Services staff.  A recording of this training will be available for all other staff.

Will I be able to find a private space on campus to pray?

The College has been in discussion with the Chaplaincy throughout the pandemic and having followed the advice of the Roman Catholic Church, the Muslim Council of Britain, and the Church of England the Chapel and Muslim Prayer Room are open in a Covid Secure way. More detail can be found <link>.

In the meantime please discuss any requirements with your manager, who will seek to accommodate these requirements locally where this is feasible.

What is the College’s position on quarantine for staff?

The Government foreign and commonwealth office continues to advise against non-essential international travel, including business travel, except to certain exempt countries and territories; and these are rapidly changing. We cannot predict which countries are, or will be, affected. As a result, we would discourage you from taking annual leave internationally, unless you have a plan for potential self-isolation (quarantine) when returning to the UK, that you have discussed with your line manager. That plan may include working from home, if you are able. If you are considering, or plan to travel abroad, please discuss this in the first instance with your line manager.

Reporting and supporting Covid-19 cases and symptoms

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

 The most visible symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home, self-isolate and follow the most up to date Government advice and arrange to have a test.

The guidance on COVID-19 symptoms is being updated as more is learned about the virus, so do check the website if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms. The NHS website also has guidance. If you are concerned, you can obtain medical advice on symptoms as follows:

  • England: 111 online coronavirus service
  • Scotland: NHS inform
  • Wales: NHS 111 Wales
  • Northern Ireland : contact a GP or GP out-of-hours service

The  BBC website has a helpful comparison of cold, flu and covid-19 symptoms.

What should I do if I develop Covid-19 symptoms?

 You must not come into any part of the College if you develop symptoms that may be COVID-19.

 If you are unwell and experiencing symptoms which indicate a need to self-isolate, please take immediate action to notify your manager so that they can take all necessary steps to consider your own and your colleagues’ health and safety.

If you think you may have COVID-19 you must:

1.      If you are at work, maintain a distance of at least 2m between you and anyone else.

2.      Inform your manager and leave the building immediately. Let them know when you started experiencing               symptoms and which colleagues you have been in contact with at work in the previous 48 hours. 

3.      If you are not at work, ring your manager immediately and let them know when you started experiencing               symptoms, and whether you have been at work in the previous 48 hours (and if so, which colleagues you             came into contact with).

4.      Begin to self-isolate for 10 days (from the date you started experiencing symptoms).

5.       Report your self-isolation using the Covid-19 Reporting Form on the Working Well Hub.

6.      Arrange to have a COVID-19 Test and let your manager know the result as soon as you know it.

7.       If you test positive complete another Covid-19 Reporting Form

Stay in touch with your manager as far as reasonable practicable, at least weekly if possible.

Do I need to provide a sick note if I need to self-isolate because I am unwell and not able to work?

For absences up to seven days you should self-certify in accordance with the Absence Management Policy.

If you are absent for more than seven days, including weekends, you should provide a sick note from your GP. 

What do I need to do if I’ve been told I need to self-isolate, but I don’t have COVID-19 symptoms?

 If you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app:

  • Inform your manager.
  • If you are able to work from home, make arrangements to do so with your manager.
  • If you are unable to work from home you will receive paid leave for the period you have to self-isolate. Your manager will need to record a Paid Absence using the reason `Coronavirus’ in MyView.  
  • You should stay at home for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person who tested positive for coronavirus – it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear.

The NHS track and trace website has further details on self-isolation.

Will I be paid if I have to self-isolate but I am not unwell?

 If you are able to work from home you are expected to do so, providing you are not unwell. You will receive pay as normal for the self-isolation period.

If you cannot work from home this will not be classed as a sickness absence but as a separate category of paid absence.  Your manager will need to record the paid absence and select `Coronavirus’ as the absence reason. You will receive pay as normal for the 14 day self-isolation period. 

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

 If your result is positive, you must continue to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started, or when your test was taken. Follow any instructions that are provided with your result.

1.       You must let your manager know of any colleagues you have been in contact with in the workplace, so that they can be instructed to self-isolate. Your name will not be shared without your consent. Colleagues will simply be told they may have been in contact with an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19.

2.      If you are notified that you have tested positive for COVID-19 and advised to self-isolate, you have a legal duty to self-isolate. Failure to comply may result in a fine.

You will receive a request by text, email or phone telling you to log into NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts. This information will be used to give public health advice to your contacts but they will not be told your identity. Further information is available about your legal obligations on the NHS Test and Trace service website.

Someone in my household in my household has symptoms or has tested positive. What should I do?

 Please complete a  reporting form to tell us this.  You are required to self-isolate according to  government guidance

Please inform your line manager and agree how you will remain in touch.

If you develop symptoms you should  get a test to check if you have Coronavirus as soon as possible.

If you receive a positive test result please submit a new form confirming that you have tested positive for Coronavirus.  

What if I’m self-isolating but test negative for COVID-19? Do I still need to self-isolate?

 A negative result means the test did not find coronavirus on that occasion. If you get a negative test result, you should tell your manager.

Whether you need to continue to self-isolate will depend on the circumstances. You do not need to self-isolate if your test is negative, as long as:

  • Everyone you live with who has symptoms tests negative
  • Everyone in your support bubble who has symptoms tests negative
  • You were not told to self-isolate for 14 days by NHS Test and Trace. If you were, consult the Track and Trace website for what to do if you’ve been in contact with someone who has coronavirus.
  • You feel well. If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t work until you’re feeling better.

 

If you are being sick or have diarrhoea, stay at home until 48 hours after they have stopped

If I’m off sick with COVID-19. Will this prompt sickness/absence management procedures to be started?

 If you are unable to work because you are unwell due to COVID-19 this will count as sickness absence and sick pay will apply from day 1 of your sickness. 

I have been in contact with someone who has been asked to self-isolate, but has not shown any symptoms. What should I do?

 You do not need to self-isolate.

If you do develop symptoms then you should self-isolate and  get a test to check if you have covid-19 as soon as possible. 

If your status changes and you develop symptoms, then please complete a  reporting form.

I had COVID-19 some time ago but am experiencing continuing symptoms during my recovery. Will I be expected to come back to work?

 

We don’t expect anyone to return to work who is not well enough to do so and we will support those who continue to experience symptoms as a result of acquiring COVID-19.

We anticipate the number of cases lasting more than four weeks to be low, but we are aware that sometimes the effects may be longer lasting. This has been referred to in the press as ‘ Long COVID’. It affects a very small percentage of people who have COVID symptoms, but not all, and nobody knows how long it will last. On that basis our principle is that we will treat longer term symptoms in the same way as we would any other long-term condition where the length of sickness absence is uncertain, but we will keep this under review and treat each incidence on a case by case basis.

If you experience the longer term symptoms of COVID-19 or ‘Long COVID’, your manager should record your absence using the usual sickness absence procedure and using the sickness category `Coronavirus’ in MyView. You will need to provide a GP’s sick if you are absent for more than seven days.

If you are able to return to work but need reasonable adjustments including flexible working arrangements, you should discuss your needs. 

What support is available if I need to self-isolate?

 You will find more information on support that’s available if you need to self-isolate  here.

My child has been sent home from school and is required to self-isolate due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 in their class/bubble/year and I need to provide childcare to them. What do I do?

 

We recognise that unanticipated childcare needs may arise where there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your child’s school and this results in your child being sent home from school.

 

Where this situation arises, please discuss with your manager to establish if alternative arrangements can be made, for example change of working hours, splitting working hours/days between campus and home-working or sharing caring responsibilities with partners or other family members that may allow some return to work.  Subject to your annual leave balance, you may alternatively choose to take annual leave for the period that your child is at home.

 

It is understood that where parents and carers have no alternative support then flexibility is required as has been the case throughout the lockdown.  The Working Well from Home hub includes guidance and resources for parents on working from home with children.

As a manager what are my responsibilities in relation to the COVID-19?

 As a manager you’re responsible for managing service delivery and also for ensuring your staff feel safe at work – particularly if they are more vulnerable, e.g. pregnant, have underlying health conditions or if they live with a vulnerable person. Seek advice from your HR Business Partner if you have any queries about how to deal with situations involving vulnerable staff.

You need to make sure they know what is expected of your staff in relation to the new ways of working due to COVID-19.

If a member of staff reports sick with COVID-19

1.       Speak with them by phone to establish the status of their health. Ask if they have had a test – if they have symptoms and have not had a test, ask them to arrange a test and let you know the outcome. Ensure they read these FAQs and follow the government guidance.

2.      Ask them to complete the  Covid-19 Reporting Form on the  Working Well Hub and remind them to complete another form if they receive a positive test.

3.       Agree with them how you will stay in touch and ask them to self-certify for the first seven days and thereafter to send you Sick Notes as required, for the duration of their absence.

4.      Record the sickness absence in MyView using the sickness absence category `Coronavirus’.   See the  Entering absence for colleagues for further information on how to do this.

5.       On receipt, forward all certificates or sick notes or self-isolation notes to  HRopertations@rhul.ac.uk .

 

A member of staff needs to self-isolate, is not unwell and is able to work from home

 

1.       Speak with them by phone to establish the status of their health.  Ask if they have had a test – if they have symptoms and have not had a test, ask them to arrange a test and let you know the outcome.

2.      Ask them to complete the  Covid-19 Reporting Form on the  Working Well Hub and remind them to complete a further form if they receive a positive test.

3.       You do not need to record the absence in MyView if the person is not unwell and is continuing to work from home.

 

A member of staff needs to self-isolate, is not unwell but is not able to work from home

1.       Speak with them by phone to establish the status of their health. Ask if they have had a test – if they have symptoms and have not had a test, ask them to arrange a test and let you know the outcome. Ensure they read these FAQs and follow the government guidance.

2.      Ask them to complete the  Covid-19 Reporting Form on the  Working Well Hub and remind them to complete another form if they receive a positive test.

3.       Agree with them how you will stay in touch.  This will not be classed as a sickness absence but as a separate category of paid absence.  You will need to record the paid absence on MyView and select `Coronavirus’ as the absence reason. See the  Entering absence for colleagues for further information on how to do this.  The member of staff will receive pay as normal for the 14 day self-isolation period.

 

A member of staff needs to provide childcare because their child has been sent home from school and is required to self-isolate due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 in their class/bubble/year group

We recognise that unanticipated childcare needs may arise where a confirmed case of COVID arises in a school which results in a staff member’s child being sent home from school.

Where this situation arises, please discuss with your staff member to establish if alternative arrangements can be made, for example change of working hours, splitting working hours/days between campus and home-working or sharing caring responsibilities with partners or other family members that may allow some return to work.  It is understood that where parents and carers have no alternative support then flexibility is required  as has been the case throughout the lockdown.  The Working Well from Home hub  includes guidance and resources for parents working from home.

 

Expenses and home working

How do I claim expenses?

All staff expenses must be claimed through the Agresso system which can be accessed here.

You can obtain a user account here

You can find a quick guide to submitting an expenses claim here

What can I claim?

Additional costs which have been necessarily incurred in the course of maintaining normal business and which comply with the College’s Travel, Subsistence and Personal Expenses Policy can usually be reimbursed through expenses.  Re-imbursement remains dependent on submission of appropriate receipts or other evidence.

How do I submit receipts?

For all expenses, if scanning facilities are not available then photographic evidence will be accepted.

Can I claim for my home broadband?

The College does not normally reimburse home broadband costs as such claims would usually give rise to a taxable benefit. Technical glitches are part of home working – but if you are having difficulties with your home broadband you can find advice here.

Can I claim for telephone calls?

Additional costs arising from home working may include Pay As You Go mobile phonecalls, or additional charges for dialling into conference calls. Evidence should be an itemised bill or, if not available, alternative evidence in the form of screenshots of bank statements from a period before and periods during will be acceptable to evidence any additional costs.

What if I need equipment?

If you could work more comfortably with your office desktop PC and peripherals, then IT can offer options for collection. Alternatively, you may just need a different laptop because your personal device is inadequate or is shared amongst others in your household. To request any of these options, please log a call with the IT Service Desk.

IT equipment should not be purchased by individuals and reimbursement sought through expenses, and this may give rise to a taxable benefit. In exceptional cases minor incidental items may be purchased and reimbursed on expenses if they are required for home working and there are no suitable alternatives.

If other office-related items are required, for example as a result of a home working risk assessment, you can either arrange collection of the required items or request purchase through your department/central purchasing. Any items purchased will remain the property of the College.

The government have relaxed the rules regarding taxable benefits for home working equipment due to Covid-19 – however in order to comply with purchasing procedures, items of equipment should be requested through central College channels rather than purchasing items personally and then requesting reimbursement. 

Can I claim a homeworking allowance?

If you believe you incur additional costs working from home you can claim tax relief of £6 per week to be deducted from your taxable income. This means that £6 of your income becomes tax free. You will need to claim this directly with HMRC either through your self-assessment form, if you complete one, or you can fill out an online P87 form here. You can only claim if you are required to work from home (not if you choose to).

How can I get equipment I need for working from home?

Further information on how to get equipment needed for working from home can be found here

 

 

Is there any further guidance on expenses?

The College’s Travel, Subsistence and Personal Expenses Policy can be found here. For any questions please contact Rachel Burgess, Head of Financial Control.