Here you will find answers to coronavirus FAQs specifically for staff. Please also see the general coronavirus FAQs. Staff will find more information on our COVID intranet site (remember you need to be logged into the Remote Desktop to access the intranet). You might also find the archive of COVID updates to students and staff useful.

Last updated: 25 November 2021

Where can find information on how the University is operating and our route map to normal operations?

QMU COVID Route Map 2021 (published 22 July 2021)

When should I self-isolate?

Please see NHS Inform for a simple guide as to when you should self-isolate.

Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who has COVID-like symptoms or is awaiting a test result?

Please see NHS Inform for a simple guide as to when you should self-isolate. 

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

If you suspect you have coronavirus, please stay home and visit NHS Inform for advice.

If you are self-isolating or suspect you have coronavirus or have been diagnosed with coronavirus, it is important that you tell us. Please:

1. Tell Security (tel 0131 474 0000 ext 2222)

2. Email the Head of Human Resources at ASmith2@qmu.ac.uk

3. advise your line manager.

If you experience symptoms while on campus, it is important that you tell Security immediately (wherever possible by phone - 0131 474 0000 ext 2222 - rather than travelling across campus to see them in person).

You can find out more information about leave and pay arrangements here.

Not sure if you have COVID or a cold? See the guidance on the Scottish Government’s student information website.

How do I book a coronavirus test?

If you have symptoms:

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a PCR COVID test and self-isolate immediately. You can choose either to have a test sent to your home or to attend a testing site, which are located across Scotland.

COVID test booking for people with symptoms

Students - in the event that you need assistance in arranging transport to a testing site, you should contact either Accommodation services or Security for assistance.  If you live in the halls of residence, speak to the Accommodation Services team as they have a supply of testing kits for use in particular circumstances.

If you don't have symptoms:

If you do not have symptoms: everyone in Scotland can now order lateral flow tests online or collect them from a test site, for fast twice weekly testing at home. Many people have COVID-19 but have no symptoms, which is one of the ways it can spread quickly to different people. That’s why being tested is so important. It protects everyone within your household and in our community.

Find out more about regular COVID testing for those without symptoms

Specific COVID testing arrangements for QMU University students and staff without symptoms. 

 

 

 

What should I do if I receive a positive COVID test result?

If you receive a positive test result (whether a lateral flow or PCR test) you must follow NHS guidance on self-isolation and contact tracing. You must also advise the University that you have tested positive as follows:-

Staff - please tell Security (0131 474 0000 ext 2222) and email the Head of Human Resources at ASmith2@qmu.ac.uk. Please also advise your line manager.

Students - please tell Security (0131 474 0000 ext 2222) plus Accommodation (0131 474 0000 x 4902) if you live on campus, and contact the School Office - schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk.

The University will also implement contact tracing. You may be asked to provide details of potential close contacts but you should not contact individuals outwith your own household directly unless you are advised otherwise by Test and Protect.

 

If I need to self-isolate, how will I be treated by the University?

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. You can find out more information about leave and pay arrangements here.

What processes do I need to follow before returning to work on campus or holding a meeting on campus?

Please review the route map for details of how the campus is operating.

Staff are being given access to an updated "Working Safely on Campus” e-learning module. We ask you to complete it as soon as you can if you have not done so already. For more information see the COVID intranet site.  

Where can I find the University's COVID risk assessments and guidance on when local risk assessments are required?

This information is found on the Risk Assessment section of the COVID intranet site.

What if I am due to travel on University business?

The University will consider requests for travel, both in the UK and abroad, on a case by case basis. If you are a staff member with plans to travel on QMU business, please discuss this with your line manager. Your travel will be permitted if they agree that it is required and appropriate, having regard to a risk assessment of the proposed travel and Scottish Government travel advice. The risk assessment should be sent to QMU Health and Safety before agreement to the requested travel is confirmed. Please be aware that there are currently restrictions on the level of insurance cover provided by the University’s travel policy in respect of risks related to COVID-19. Please check this out with the Finance Office when you are completing your risk assessment, and ensure that any restrictions on insurance cover are taken into account in completing the risk assessment.

Students planning travel related to their studies at QMU should speak to their Programme Leader, who will then need to seek the advice of QMU Health and Safety.

Please also check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for advice.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where can I find advice on personal travel?

Please see the Scottish Government website.

 

What do I do if I need to care for children if they cannot attend school or nursery for COVID related reasons?

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.

You can find out more in our Caring Responsibilities at Home Guide.  

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

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.)

You can find out more in our Caring Responsibilities at Home Guide. 

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 has 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.

We have also created QMU@Home, a new web page to support staff by bringing together useful resources related to working from home, including maintaining a good work/life balance, health and wellbeing advice, and ways of staying in touch with the QMU community during this uncertain time. The site also provides details of key contacts if you need specific support from colleagues. In addition, it features blogs in which individual staff members describe how our present circumstances are affecting them and how they are adjusting.

 

How do I request equipment for safer home working?

Staff can find information on the process for requesting equipment on our COVID-19 intranet pages. If you think you need equipment that is not available from the campus, please speak to your line manager or the Health and Safety Adviser (mkennedy1@qmu.ac.uk) for advice, as there is a process to enable such purchases. Please don’t order equipment yourself because we may not be able to refund you.

Our Health and Safety Adviser, Mike Kennedy, has also written a blog for the QMU@Home section of our website, which features some useful information on setting up your home working area.

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.

Our IT team has prepared a brief document detailing steps to take to ensure your Zoom meetings are as secure as possible.

What ventilation is there on campus?

The campus buildings have modern ventilation systems that have been designed to meet building standards and the fresh air provision is through natural ventilation (i.e. windows), mechanical ventilation ventilation that provides 100% fresh air, or a combination of both. The mechanical ventilation is primarily supplied through floor grilles but can also be via high-level grilles. In line with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommendations, our ventilation systems are set to be fully operational from two hours before occupation and continue two hours post occupation to purge the buildings. The Estates team will continue to monitor the performance of the system via the Building Management System and will audit the air quality in spaces by deploying portable CO2 monitors, as appropriate.  

How are trade unions supporting staff through the current situation?

The University has implemented and adapted 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

What is the advice regarding research projects?

At the current time, it is anticipated that research studies will be able to take place in person and on campus, provided that they are compliant with any reduced room capacities, face covering requirements, hygiene measures and restrictions in place at that time.  Studies will also be subject to any relevant professional body, clinical or research council recommendations and requirements.

To apply for ethical approval for a new study commencing in semester one please complete an Ethical Approval Form. If the study is considered ‘non-invasive’ or ‘minor invasive using an established procedure at QMU’ then the application should be submitted to the appropriate Divisional Research Ethics Committee (DivREC) for consideration. If the study is considered ‘minor invasive using a new procedure at QMU’ or ‘major invasive’ then the application should be submitted to the DivREC for consideration and then referred to researchethics@qmu.ac.uk for consideration by the QMU Research Ethics Panel.   Please note that the Risk Assessment section of the application form should be fully completed and address any COVID-19 related risks as appropriate.

If you have received approval for an ongoing study which includes on-line only interaction and you want to make changes to the study to allow in person research when this is permissible, please complete a Notification of Changes form, a risk assessment form and update the Ethical Approval Form (highlighting changes made) and submit it to researchethics@qmu.ac.uk for consideration by the QMU Research Ethics Panel.

You might also find useful the Scottish Government's updated COVID checklist for labs and research facilities, published September 2021.

 

 

Where can I find guidance and support on wellbeing?

In the first instance, please visit QMU@Home

Please also see the Wellbeing section of the COVID intranet site. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about the University's approach to COVID?

Please speak to your line manager in the first instance. Beyond that, your Senior Leadership Team member is your route into the Business Continuity Group, which is handling the University's COVID response.  For health and safety matters, please email hs-staff@qmu.ac.uk). 

Can I get time off for a vaccination appointment?

We encourage all staff to take the opportunity of a COVID vaccination when it is offered to you.  You are entitled to reasonable time off during your normal working hours to attend medical appointments, including an appointment to receive your vaccination. When you receive your invitation, please inform your manager of the time and date of your appointment.  You might also like to note that UCEA (the Universities & Colleges Employers’ Association, of which QMU is a member) and the five sector HE trade unions have  agreed a joint statement on vaccinations for staff.

If you suffer side-effects from having been vaccinated, and are unable to work, you should follow your normal absence reporting procedure, i.e. let your line manager/ designated School/Department contact know as soon as possible.  Your absence should be recorded on iTrent under the following absence reason, ‘COVID Vaccination Recovery’. The first three working days of your absence will be treated as special sick leave; you’ll be paid as normal and your absence will have no effect on your absence record and entitlement to sick pay.

 

Do I need to be vaccinated before I return to campus?

While the University would strongly encourage you to be vaccinated, it does not require you to be vaccinated to be able to return to and work safely on campus. We don’t need to know if you’ve been vaccinated once, twice or not at all, and if not, why not. We deem your decision to be a private matter. 

If you have been asked to return to campus and are concerned about doing so before you have been vaccinated please discuss these concerns with your manager. They will explain the measures in place to protect your health, safety and wellbeing and will discuss what if any adjustments may be needed to help you to return to campus.

Where can I find information on our approach to teaching and learning in the 21/22 academic year.

How can I best reduce unnecessary ‘close contact’ in classrooms and office spaces?

Avoiding unnecessary close contact will help reduce the risk of transmission, protecting your colleagues and friends. It will also reduce the risk of you and others being asked to self isolate by Test and Protect.

In classrooms

Stay two metres away from students once the class starts. You can achieve this by staying at your desk area and/or by the front wall, and not moving around the classroom beyond that area.

Don’t re-arrange seating: in the general teaching rooms, it has been set out in such a way to limit to five the number of students that would be asked to self-isolate if someone sitting around them contracted COVID.

Don't ask students to move groups/tables in the course of the class.

In office spaces

Avoid gathering in large numbers in communal areas such as kitchens, tea points and break out areas.

Be reassured that desk configuration meets distancing requirements. You can use your desk even if someone is at the desk immediately beside or opposite you.

Remember too

  • Being double vaccinated can reduce the time that you need to self isolate. For more information, see NHS Inform.
  • If you are not sure whether or not you need to self isolate in any situation, simply use the online guide on the NHS Inform website.
  • Testing for COVID twice weekly is an important way of stopping the spread.
  • Please familiarise yourself with our route map and our University wide risk assessment (intranet link). This will help you operate safely in our COVID adapted facility.

More FAQs

General coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Students

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs