Skip to content

Staff wellbeing

View all Close all
What help is available for me?

If staff would like to talk confidentially to someone, St George’s, University of London has a counselling service that can be contacted by email or 020 8725 3625. 

The Confidential Care Employee Assistance Programme will be continuing to provide their telephone service during this time. If you would like to use the service, please follow these instructions:

Email assist@cic-eap.co.uk and include the following information:

  • name
  • organisation
  • contact phone number
  • the best time to receive a return a call (preferably with a 2 hour time window)
  • a brief sentence on the reason for calling.

If you are a member, the British Medical Association provides confidential counselling which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0330 123 1245. 

In addition to University services and tools, there is also a lot of advice available through various media about how best to look after your health and wellbeing during the pandemic. The resources listed below offer good quality advice.

Staff furlough scheme

View all Close all
Where do I find details of the St George's, University of London Staff Furlough Scheme?

We took the difficult decision to place a number of our workers onto the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, more commonly known as “furlough”. Individuals placed on furlough continue to receive their usual pay and benefits. Some individuals are now on “flexible furlough” which enables them to work for part of the week and be on furlough for the remainder. Furlough  is regularly reviewed.

Full information is available on the HR website

Return to site

View all Close all
What are the University’s plans for staff returning to site?

The overarching aim of the Return to Site project is to recommission services on site in a safe and secure way where it is sensible and necessary to do so and ensuring the health and safety of the St George’s community.

We anticipate that a return to site for staff will be rolled out in four phases. This may change depending on further Government guidance. Some phases, affecting different groups of staff, may run concurrently.

First phase - Complete

In this phase, all laboratory-based scientific research was restored to site. This began with a voluntary return for research staff based in Jenner Wing working on non-Covid-19 related research, in three waves at weekly intervals.

Second phase - Complete

In this second phase which went into operation from 13 July 2020, some basic services for students, such as the computer room, study spaces, and printing services, were restored, alongside the Physio Labs, Radiography Suite, Paramedic Simulation Suite and OSCE cubicles. Preparations were undertaken to establish socially-distanced teaching facilities.

During this phase, some staff in the Clinical Skills team, Physicians Associate Staff, Technical and Teaching Services team, IMBE Comms team and Library team returned to work onsite

Third phase - Ongoing

This phase went into operation from 11 August 2020. Teaching will be delivered online where possible, but this phase will include the resumption of essential onsite, hands-on teaching. This phase will also see the restoration onsite of the Student Life Centre and the welfare room. Changes to these arrangements may be made in line with Government guidance.

Fourth phase

The site will be open for all staff and students, in line with future Government guidance. Some operations may continue to be delivered remotely, depending on business requirements at the time.

Further details on the project objectives and phases.

What steps has the University taken to minimise risks to staff?

The top priority throughout this process is the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. In line with government requirements the University has undertaken a detailed institutional risk assessment so staff and students can review the steps which have been taken to ensure this as much as possible. Risk assessments are being undertaken for each phase.

The document will be subject to change following amendments to Government guidance and changes that may arise on-site. 

.  Further measures which have been taken to manage risks include:

  • Undertaking local risk assessments and mitigations, led by line managers and area leads
  • Programming timetables to help the management of social distancing
  • Establishing socially-distanced teaching facilities 
  • Cleansing facilities and providing additional resources for individual hand cleaning/ clear hand cleansing signage
  • Displaying signage for social distancing and one-way routes on site
  • The provision of necessary PPE and covers by the University, if required.
What overarching principles do staff need to abide by when returning to site?

In addition to actions the University is taking, staff are required to comply with the principles guiding our return to site, which will evolve to reflect the latest Government guidance.  This of course will change with time but at present, the following points apply:

  • Any work that can be done at home, should be done at home, other than where required as part of Phases 1-3 of the return to site project. However, staff that are struggling with home working and wish to work onsite occasionally, should discuss this with their manager.
  • University work/study places are being made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines
  • Government advice is that extremely vulnerable and vulnerable staff/students no longer need to shield. If vulnerable individuals need to return to site, an individual risk assessment evaluating fitness to return should be completed and discussed with their line manager or course admin team. All individuals undertaking clinical placements will be required to complete an individual risk assessment sent to them by course admin teams. Further advice may be obtained from course admin teams and HR. It remains the Institution’s responsibility for the health and safety of all staff and students and this responsibility cannot be delegated to individual staff /student members to decide when/how/if they return to campus. Willingness to return to campus does not automatically mean they should.
  • Individuals must self-isolate if they have even mild symptoms of Covid-19, or are a household contact of someone who has been symptomatic. Anyone with symptoms should obtain a test through the government Test and Trace system. Members of staff who work in education (teacher/ support staff), are entitled to priority testing. Tests can be booked online, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet.
  • Staff and students should minimise use of public transport as far as possible; if it is necessary to use public transport, face coverings are mandatory and staff should try to arrange work so that travel can be at off-peak times.
  • Travel into St George’s must be for work/placement/teaching that cannot be done at home. 
  • Face coverings must be worn if entering the Hospital, public areas, and retail facilities on site. You must wear face coverings in all common parts/spaces of the University. This includes, the main Foyers, The Street, Library, Common Rooms, the Halls of Residence (but not individual flats). 
  • Once inside your workplace, be that a laboratory, office or teaching space, where the area meets Covid-secure guidelines and 2m distancing can be maintained you are not required to wear a face covering.   However, if 2m distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings must be worn in accordance with the Government 1m+ rule. (see FAQs here).
  • Line managers, course leads and project supervisors will facilitate staff and students to organise their work to enable social distancing but individuals must also take personal responsibility. Where it is not possible to organise work to maintain social distancing then careful consideration must be given as to whether or not this activity should proceed. If it must then additional precautions must be identified to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
  • Staff and students must wash their hands with soap and water or hand gel frequently and whenever leaving the laboratory/place of work/teaching space.
  • Staff and students are advised to bring their own food and drink to work if required as access to kitchen facilities will be limited.

Please see the full principles outlined here

What should I do to prepare for returning to site?

Ahead of the phased return to site, staff need to read and familiarise themselves with the following documents, which are now available on the website:  

More information will follow as we implement these phases of our return.

A handy pocket guide on social distancing and returning to site can be found here (PDF). A large-font version is also available here (PDF).

When I return to site, is there guidance on how to safely use specific spaces?

Yes, please follow the room usage guidance posted on the doors of shared facilities such as offices, tea rooms and lifts. This includes specific occupancy numbers in some cases.

Please also refer to the personal safety and social distancing guidance.

For everyone's safety, it is very important that you adhere to these guidelines and breaches will not be tolerated. For further guidance the Key Principles of returning to site can be found here.

A handy pocket guide on social distancing and returning to site can be found here (PDF). A large-font version is also available here (PDF).

I’m a member of staff who works in a laboratory. When and how can I return to site?

Government advice (issued in May) has permitted a return to scientific laboratory work.

In response, the University has worked intensively to plan and implement a suite of policies and procedures to ensure the return for staff is as safe as possible. The health and safety of all staff and students remains the University’s responsibility, including deciding who returns to campus and when this is feasible. 

Staff and students who can work from home should continue to do so.   

The University has managed the return of staff to laboratories in two waves.  

Please note that the University’s guidance for return is in line with specific government advice for laboratories, which differs from guidance for NHS Trusts. 

Wave 1 

The first wave of people to return from Monday 8 June included only those staff who: 

  • Are Research Institute members or joint members doing scientific laboratory work 
  • Who cannot work from home 
  • Who live locally and can travel to work without relying on public transport (this is because we want to ensure our new social distancing measures work with low numbers of people first and individuals can easily return home if required).  
Wave 2 

The second wave of people who returned from Monday 15 June were the same as above, except with the inclusion of those who use public transport to travel to the University.  In addition, PhD and MD students who have laboratory work that they wished to continue were allowed to return at the same time.   

We are now undertaking risk assessments of others who are unable to work effectively at home because part or all of their work is in a laboratory environment but have other reasons which may prevent return to work.  

As a member of staff who works in a laboratory, what specific steps do I need to take before I return to site if I have not already done so?
Returning in Wave 1 or 2 

If you are returning to laboratory work, you must discuss and agree your return with your PI/line manager.  

PIs/line managers (or a delegated individual) need to: 

  • Complete a new risk assessment for your area of work (lab and office) 
  • Make sure your local rules are updated to include social distancing measures 
  • Complete a lab inspection before any work can commence 
  • Review all relevant COSSH forms 

These forms will need to be sent to the RIM before any work can commence. Guidance to support this is available on the Health and Safety website and help is available from the SHE office

Changes to ways of working 

Please remember that returning to Jenner is for laboratory work only and writing up or data analysis should still be performed at home.  Please ensure to familiarise yourself with the Key Principles and social distancing guidance.

For everyone’s safety, there will be some changes on site and staff should familiarise themselves with how things will change on site in advance. For example:  

  • There are sign-posted directional routes for entering/exiting and going up/down between floors in Hunter and Jenner buildings.  
  • We have installed more hand gel dispensers at key locations, but we also ask you to wash your hands regularly in addition to good laboratory practice
  • Please see the guidance on face coverings here.

We wish to ensure that social distancing measures are in place in laboratories and offices and hot desking is discouraged. This means that there will be maximum capacity caps in lab and office areas. These will be defined by local rules. 

We wish to ensure that social distancing measures are in place in laboratories and offices and hot desking is discouraged. This means that there will be maximum capacity caps in lab and office areas. These will be defined by local rules. 

Some groups may have to work in shifts to accommodate these requirements.  Whether this means working at different times of the day or on different days will be up to PIs to decide.  

The University does not encourage working out of hours, since support from Research Operations and other teams is limited at such times.  We will monitor out of hours usage (after 19.00 Monday-Friday and at weekends) and if this is greater than normal then this will be reviewed. 

Government guidelines encourage you to bring in your own food and drink; you can use kitchens to make a hot drink or similar, but first wash your own hands and always remember social distancing guidelines in these areas must be adhered to, and you must clean up carefully after yourself. 

You should also be aware that arrangements for obtaining clinical research specimens or using clinical facilities in any way, will depend on the clinical realities at present and will require discussion with clinical collaborators. At the moment, the CRF is Covid-19 focused (St George’s is currently recruiting to more NIHR-approved studies than anywhere else in the UK), but we expect other clinical research to resume soon.  

Staff with any further queries should contact either Professor Jon Friedland or Professor Debbie Baines.

I am not laboratory based or included in phase 2 or 3, should I continue working from home?

We anticipate that a return to site for staff will be rolled out in four phases, with an anticipated conclusion in July 2021. This may change depending on further Government guidance. Some phases, affecting different groups of staff, may run concurrently.  If you’re not included in phase one, two or three you should continue to work from home. However, staff that are struggling with home working and wish to work onsite occasionally, should discuss this with their manager.

I’m not part of the phased return yet, but can I collect things from my office?

All staff wishing to return to site prior to their agreed phase return date will require their Line Manager's approval.

Once onsite, in the event of an emergency such as a fire alarm activation, staff must evacuate the building and ensure that they inform a Fire Marshal (who can be identified by their Hi-visibility vest) that they have vacated the building and their office location.

I'm struggling to work from home, can I come back onsite?

If you are not covered by Phases 1-3 of the return to site project and you can work from home then you are encouraged to do so. However, we are aware that some staff face difficulties in working from home, for example due to feelings of isolation or logistical reasons such as poor WIFI connectivity. If you believe that it would be advantageous to your wellbeing to work onsite occasionally, please speak to your manager to discuss what might be possible. Further advice for you or your manager is available from Human Resources.

If you do come onsite you must follow our guidance on social distancing and wearing face coverings.

Remote working

View all Close all
Can I work from home?

Any work that can be done at home, should continue to be done at home (unless you are included in phase one to phase three).

However, staff that are struggling with home working and wish to work onsite occasionally, should discuss this with their manager. 

Government advice is that extremely vulnerable and vulnerable staff/students no longer need to shield. If vulnerable individuals need to return to site, an individual risk assessment evaluating fitness to return should be completed and discussed with their Line Manager (Personal risk assessment [Word]).  

Further advice may be obtained from HR. It remains the Institution’s responsibility for the health and safety of all staff and students and this responsibility cannot be delegated to individual staff /student members to decide when/how/if they return to campus. Willingness to return to campus does not automatically mean they should.

The University has initiated a four-phase project to restore key on-site operations. More information on the project can be found here

Staff are being contacted locally by their line-manager about whether their working arrangements will be affected by this transition.

If I am working from home, what costs will the University cover?

If you need help regarding an IT purchase for use at home please contact itav@sgul.ac.uk who will be happy to advise on suitable items. IT can process hardware ordered through Dell against your budget code, but other items should be procured through your normal departmental processes as any costs need to borne by your department. It is now possible to edit the delivery address within Agresso. The University does not reimburse for any other costs associated with working from home, for example utility bills, broadband or stationery supplies.

Can I get financial support from the Government for working from home?

You can apply for Government tax relief for some working from home expenses. This can be done directly with the HMRC here.

You can only claim for things to do with your work, for example, business telephone calls or the extra cost of gas and electricity for your work area. 

You cannot claim for things that you use for both private and business use, for example, rent or broadband access. 

How can I work well remotely?

Read our guidance for working from home, including accessing your apps, documents and St George's IT systems.

Follow our checklist for ensuring your workstation is set up correctly at home.

We have created a dedicated area on Canvas for all staff, which is now available to you as we continue to prepare for remote and online delivery of courses at St George’s.

For St George’s staff, you can access this support area here or https://canvas.sgul.ac.uk/courses/36.

For HSCE staff, do not click on this link until you have logged into Canvas and opened up a SGUL awarded module (and your URL states https://canvas.sgul.ac.uk/), then click on the link provided above (this is because you need to authenticate before accessing the link).

If you require support on the use of any of the recommended technologies, please email LTS@sgul.ac.uk

I have teaching scheduled. How do I prepare to deliver this online?

To deliver teaching and learning activities remotely, we have identified the core hardware/infrastructure needed. These are: 

  • Internet connection 

  • Web-enabled device (PC/laptop/tablet/phone) 

  • Audio playback (most devices have this built-in) 

  • Webcam (most devices have this built-in) 

  • Microphone (most devices have this built-in) 

  • Headphones or headset (as an alternative to audio playback and microphone).  

Guidance for staff to support plans is available on Canvas here. You can also read our full remote delivery plan (PDF). 

If you feel that you are not equipped with one of these, could you please contact edtech@sgul.ac.uk so that we can liaise with you directly on how we might be able to support you.

Should line managers continue to complete Personal Reviews during this time?

Yes. Line managers should continue to carry out their roles and responsibilities in line managing their staff in their teams and this includes leading, developing and managing staff. Managers are responsible for planning the aims, objectives and priorities of their work area (and communicating this to their team and to colleagues as appropriate). Providing structure and direction and purpose to their teams - and ensuring staff are engaged and also feel valued – is particularly important in the current evolving working environment.

We would expect line managers to have an ongoing dialogue with their staff. Whilst there continues to be a degree of uncertainty it is important to discuss current and future work objectives and review and update these. This includes signing off probation and completing Personal Reviews if these are due. No doubt future objectives will need to be revisited once we return to business as usual, but this does not preclude Personal Reviews being undertaken now.

It is important to keep undertaking regular one-to-ones and team meetings. This maintains a sense of structure and continuity for all. Below is some additional advice and guidance for managers on how to conduct effective remote one-to one meetings:

Which survey tools are staff able to use?

Throughout the academic year staff across the University use surveys to inform their work. In light of this, it is important all staff are up to date with the latest University advice. Below is an update on the tools to help you with this activity.

  • Microsoft Forms - Please use this survey tool, if you need to create a survey or questionnaire as part of your work or study.

  • Survey Monkey - We do not recommend this online tool due to data protection concerns. For staff with a subscription to Survey Monkey it can be used during the academic year 2020/1.

  • JISC Online Surveys - Where Microsoft Forms does not provide the necessary functionality for your needs, it may be possible to use JISC Online Surveys instead. We will be transitioning to Jisc Online Surveys as the preferred tool for 2021/2.

Guidance on survey tools can be found here.

Please make sure you refer to relevant guidance before setting up your survey, in terms of either data protection or research ethics requirements. Data protection guidance is available here and more details for researchers can be found here.

Data protection/information governance

View all Close all
I have an information governance question, where can I access help?

To assist staff the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) and best practice guides are in place and are regularly updated: 

If you have any questions or concerns around data protection or information governance compliance please contact Claire Morrissey or Geoff Gray via dataprotection@sgul.ac.uk

Please note all staff have a responsibility in how they handle confidential information and to ensure the right controls are in place as the same compliance responsibilities apply whether working remotely or from their desktop on site. You must comply with the Information Governance Framework policies and procedures which can be accessed here.  

For further guidance on remote working please see here

I have a data protection question, where can I access help?

To assist staff the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) and best practice guides are in place and are regularly updated: 

If you have any questions or concerns around data protection or information governance compliance please contact Claire Morrissey or Geoff Gray via dataprotection@sgul.ac.uk

For further guidance on remote working please see here

What video conferencing tools can I use?

St George's, University of London hosted video conferences and meetings are to be carried out by the use of Microsoft Teams or Teams Live. Due to recognised security concerns we do not allow the use of other video conferencing services for St George's hosted events without the approval of the Senior Information Risk Owner.

Staff or students can take part in externally hosted video conferences / meetings that use other tools, such as Zoom or Zoho, but sensitive data (including personal identifiable data)

from St Georges' is not to be communicated at these events and staff or students are not to initiate meetings using these tools. Further guidance on this can be found here:

How do I report a data breach?
Data breaches should be reported using the data incident reporting form here

Working on-site / Research and clinical staff

View all Close all
I am a member of research staff. What preparations do I need to consider now should the University be further affected?

Please see above question: “As a member of staff who works in a laboratory, what specific steps do I need to take before I return to site if I have not already done so?" for details on the phased return to laboratories.

Further information can be found here on contingency planning for research.

I am a clinical academic and may be required to increase my clinical work to support the NHS in dealing with Covid-19. How should I reorganise my work for the University to enable me to do this?

You should discuss the situation with your manager within St George’s, University of London so that you can determine what can be de-prioritised. If you are undertaking more hours for the NHS please let your Finance Manager (Karen Stewart or Matthew George) know so that we can charge appropriately.

I am a clinical academic. What is the University’s position if I need to reallocate my duties to do clinical work?

We support colleagues who want to contribute more to clinical service. However, we need to ensure that our students are also supported in their studies and related assessments, to ensure they graduate on time.

Where clinical colleagues have a leadership role in either education or research, they should identify an ‘academic buddy’. If clinical work becomes more of a focus, the ‘buddy’ would take over their university responsibilities to ensure business continuity.

I am a member of research staff involved in clinical research studies at St George's. What action do I need to take?
Read our guidance for restarting clinical research studies.
What do I do in the event of an incident or accident on the University site?

All staff should follow the guidance contained in the relevant health and safety policies and procedures which can be found on the Health & Safety webpage.

In the event of fire you must leave the building immediately by the nearest exit.

For other accidents and incidents, you should contact your Line Manager for advice and inform Security Control on 0909 or 0208 725 0909. You can ask Security to contact the SHE Manager or SHE Advisor. 

If you require first aid you should call security on 0909 or 0208 725 0909. Many of the security staff are first aid trained and can provide assistance.  If the injury is severe, you should go to the Emergency Department in St. James Wing of the hospital.

When you leave the site you must notify your Line manager and sign out at the Security Control Centre.

You or your Line Manager must complete the RIDDOX accident / incident report available at this link.

Sickness, absence and self-isolation procedures

View all Close all
I have symptoms and think I might have Covid-19 / I have been diagnosed with Covid-19. What should I do to let the University know?

If you or a member of your household have coronavirus symptoms, or a positive test result, it is crucial you notify the University. Find out more on our Report a case page.

I live with someone who has symptoms of Covid-19. What should I do?

Individuals must self-isolate if they are a household contact of someone who has been symptomatic. Further information on self-isolating can be found here.

If you are well enough to work, follow the guidance on self-isolation below.  

If you yourself become unwell, follow the guidance above on sickness. 

Anyone with symptoms should obtain a test through the government Test and Trace system.

I am a staff member, what do I do if a student needs to self-isolate or is diagnosed with coronavirus?
Read the guidane on our Report a case page.
I am a member of staff and need to self-isolate even though I feel well enough to work. What arrangements should I make?

You should call your line manager and inform them that you are self-isolating and the reason for your self-isolation. If self-isolating we would normally require that, if you are well enough to do so, you should work from home. You should discuss arrangements for working from home with your line manager, who may, if necessary, ask you to undertake alternative duties from home (e.g. if you cannot access a specific system at home).

Staff should also notify HR via hrhelp@sgul.ac.uk with dates and locations of when they were onsite. 

More information on self-isolation is available on the here.  

Please note, anyone with symptoms should obtain a test through the government Test and Trace system

At the end of a period of self-isolation you should contact the Occupational Health Unit on 020 8725 1633/1622/0460 to confirm that you may return to work.

As a staff member who is self-isolating, what leave should I take?

If self-isolation is required and it is possible to work from home this will be considered as a normal working day. 

Do I need a Fit Note (doctor's note) to self-isolate?

If you are required to self-isolate and are not able to work from home you will need to obtain an isolation note. You can obtain an isolation note from the NHS using this link.

If I self-isolate, will I be paid?

If self-isolation is required and it is possible to work from home this will be considered as a normal working day. If it is not possible to work from home during self-isolation you should discuss this with your manager. In this case you will need to obtain an isolation note from the NHS.

I am the line manager of a member of staff who needs to self-isolate or has been diagnosed. What should I do and how do I record the absence?

If self-isolating, discuss whether the individual is well enough to work from home and what remote working may be possible. If necessary, you may need to ask the individual to undertake alternative duties. If an individual is self-isolating because they have symptoms of Covid-19 and are not fit to work, you should record their sickness absence in MyWorkplace. The individual should be tested and, if it is confirmed that they have Covid-19, you should record their sickness absence as “Covid-19 Confirmed”. The individual will need to obtain an isolation note from the NHS. You should encourage the individual to seek medical advice if their condition worsens. They should only return to work after 14 days, or longer if symptoms persist.

However, if an employee is self-isolating but is well and is working from home, there is no need to record their absence as they continue to work. 

If an individual is away from work because they are unwell and unable to work but do not have symptoms of Covid-19, you should record their sickness on MyWorkplace in the usual way, using one of the existing sickness categories.

You should also ask the individual if they require additional assistance, for example to support them with the emotional impact of self-isolation or with practical assistance. You may wish to direct the individual to our Employee Assistance Programme (assist@cic-eap.co.uk), which can provide support and counselling or direct the individual to the Counselling Service (020 8725 3628, counselling@sgul.ac.uk).  

Annual leave

View all Close all
What should I do if I travel to a country where quarantine restriction apply on return to the UK?

The Government has introduced 14 day quarantine for arrivals from a number of overseas countries. Quarantine can be introduced quickly and with little warning.

If you are already in a country when the announcement of quarantine on return from it is made, you will need to self-isolate for two weeks on return. If possible, you should work from home during this period. If working from home is not possible, your manager can agree special leave for you, which can be booked via MyWorkplace.

If you decide to travel to a country for which quarantine rules already exist, you will need to be able to cover your period of quarantine on return. If you can work from home, you should do so. If you cannot work from home, you will need to take leave to cover the quarantine period (either annual leave or unpaid leave). You should check the validity of your travel insurance if travelling to a country where quarantine rules are in place.

I was planning to go away on holiday but it has been cancelled at late notice due to travel restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Can I cancel my annual leave and book it at another time?

Your manager would have to approve any leave cancellation and may not feel able to do so, particularly if only a few days’ notice has been given – in general we would expect you to give as many days’ notice of cancellation as the length of the leave (eg 2 weeks’ notice to cancel a 2 week holiday).  

At present we would strongly advise against cancelling leave. Even if we can’t go away we will all still need a break during this time. 

Any leave carried forward to the 2020/21 leave year must be used by the end of October 2020.

Will there be any changes to the annual leave year in light of the Covid-19 outbreak?

No, the leave year will continue to run until end-July. As with previous years, you were able to carry over the equivalent of one working week (dependent on your working pattern) to the 2020/21 leave year, which must be used by end October 2020. The same rules will apply for the 2020/21 leave year.

You are encouraged to continue to take annual leave during this time in order to ensure you get a break from work.

The government has eased restrictions on the carry-over of statutory leave, can I now carry forward more than a week’s annual leave?

For the majority of university staff, it should still be possible to take your leave. The University’s policy is that you should continue to take annual leave during this time in order to ensure you get a break from work.

The government’s change is predominantly aimed at key workers who are unable to take their leave due to their work in tackling the Covid-19 epidemic. For the University this is likely to relate mainly to clinical academics who have had to increase their hours working with the NHS, or individuals involved in Covid-19 research.

Am I able to attend conferences?

According to current guidance to avoid non-essential travel and mass gatherings, staff should not be attending conferences.

Can I accept an elective student to join my group?
No. Electives are voluntary activities and in the current unique circumstances we must assume we may not have staff available to offer students the support they need on a placement at St George’s.
I am a staff member or student affiliated with the Joint Faculty. Which guidance should I follow – St George’s, University of London advice or Kingston University’s?
Staff and students should follow the guidance for whichever site they are usually based at or attended during the day, e.g. if you feel unwell on-site or need to notify other staff of contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19 while on the St George’s site, this guidance should be followed.   

Volunteering

View all Close all
I’ve been injured while working or volunteering at St George’s or elsewhere. What should I do?

Please see above question “How can I work well remotely” or contact St George’s Safety Health and Environment office to obtain advice on working from home safely. If you have been injured while working at home or on the St George’s, University of London site please follow the guidance contained in the relevant health and safety policies and procedures which can be found on the Health & Safety webpage.

If you are working or volunteering elsewhere, you will need to contact the health and safety team of the place you are working or volunteering at.

Does St George’s, University of London support Staff Volunteering?

In line with the Coronavirus Act 2020, staff have the right to request to volunteer for other roles to support the efforts to combat Covid-19. In such circumstances employees must give the University 3 days’ notice and provide a copy of their emergency volunteering certificate. Staff should discuss their volunteering with their line manager. 

An emergency volunteering certificate is a document issued by an appropriate authority confirming the details of the issuing health and social care authority, the details of the named volunteer who has been permitted to volunteer and the duration, which may be for a period of up to two, three or four consecutive weeks, up to a maximum of sixteen weeks, unless the emergency is curtailed by the government who have committed to constantly review the measures in place. The expectation is that staff would volunteer for at least a fortnight in the first instance. This means that St George’s, University of London would expect employees to regularly review their volunteering activities with their line manager and no less than once a fortnight. 

These opportunities are classed by government as unpaid leave at present and staff may use annual or unpaid leave to cover the absence from the University. Anybody who is on furlough may volunteer during their time on furlough.

All Staff have the right to volunteer and to return to their substantive role at the end of the volunteering period. 

The situation will be kept under review in line with the current imperatives and requests from the government and NHS.

Finance and pay

View all Close all
How are death in service payments affected if I volunteer or work elsewhere?
If you are on the St George’s, University of London payroll and still paying pension contributions, death in service is covered regardless of where you are working/volunteering, including if you are furloughed.
I have a timesheet or an expense claim which needs to go to payroll but am working from home, what do I do?

We understand that in the current situation where a significant number of staff are working from home you may not be able to obtain approval signatures for timesheets and expenses in the normal way. Please see below details on how to process these. 

Timesheets: please email these to the approver for them to send to payroll via email with their approval. 

Expenses: The new online expenses system is now live and all staff expenses should be submitted via the new system. The system is a module within the current Agresso/FRIS system and payment will be processed via accounts payable following electronic approval from managers/budget holders and payroll. The claimant and approver quick card guides can be found here (PDF).

You will be required to scan and upload receipts as part of the claim process, if you do not have access to a scanner, you can download “Office Lens” app onto your smartphone, or alternatively you can use other scanning apps that you may already have and comfortable with.

Payroll will still require the original receipt’s but understand the issues at this time, therefore in the meantime please hold onto all receipts and then submit to payroll as per the user guide when normal business resumes and we are back onsite.

People not on our payroll who need to claim expenses via the University will continue to use the paper-based forms. Please either hold onto these until we are back onsite, or alternatively email through to payroll@sgul.ac.uk


What happens to my pay during this period?

Staff will continue to be paid as normal. Working from home is considered to be a normal working day. 

If staff fall ill, usual sick pay entitlements will apply.

Recruitment

View all Close all
I'm starting a new job at St George's shortly, can I still start and what do I need to do?

St George’s will continue to employ anybody for whom we have made an offer and agreed a start date. New starters will likely need to commence work virtually and your new line manager will discuss how to do this and plan the most appropriate induction. Unfortunately, new starters may not enjoy as comprehensive an induction as would have been the case if they had physically joined and met the team from day one but we will do all we can to ensure that your new job with St George’s goes smoothly.

I have a role in my team I need to fill, can I still recruit and if so how?

Given our current financial constraints, any recruitment will require approval by RRC. You should give careful consideration to whether recruiting now is the best option. We can expect the current arrangements of working from home and social distancing to continue for some time and some potential candidates may defer applying for roles while the current measures are ongoing. On the other hand, in some areas there may be more people looking for work.

You also need to consider whether the work the role entails will be required at the same level while the current situation continues. On the other hand, the timeframes for recruitment, including advertising and somebody having to work their notice should also be taken into account. In light of this, you may decide that continuing to recruit is the best option. HR will be monitoring the situation and will discuss with managers whether recruitment at this time is the best option.

If you do decide to recruit you will most likely need to undertake a remote interview. This could be undertaken using Microsoft Teams or Skype for business.

Communications and updates

View all Close all
How is St George’s coordinating its response to Covid-19?

During the most acute phase of the University’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the St George’s Business Continuity Planning (BCP) framework operated. This involved a number of response teams meeting regularly to manage the institutional response, enable resumption of operations and minimise risk to St George’s: Gold (strategic), Silver (operational) and specific sub-groups focusing on Education, Recruitment and Admissions, and Technology.  Read more about the response structure here.

The University is now reverting to ‘business as usual’ governance structures.

I’m a member of University staff. Should I send out my own communications about coronavirus, or update my local web pages with information? Where should I direct any enquiries?

All communications should go through the Communications team to ensure communications across the University are consistent and in-line with the latest Government advice and University policy.  

The Communications team will be keeping in touch with you as the position evolves with any urgent messages and regular updates

The FAQs on the website will continue to be updated regularly. Please refer to these in the first instance for answers to any questions you might have. 

We are aware that some staff are dealing with a high volume of enquiries. If any answers are already covered in the FAQs, please use these in your responses.

Please notify the Communications team about any new questions you are receiving so they can update the FAQs, or if there is information you suggest is covered in the new regular bulletins

The team can be reached on 0208 725 5180 / 1139 or on communications@sgul.ac.uk. Out of office hours, the duty press officer can be reached on 07979 913 141 for advice.   

I’ve been called by the media asking about the University’s preparations / outbreak etc. – what should I do?

Any media enquiries should be directed to the Communications team. Within business hours, the team can be reached on 0208 725 5180 / 1139 or on communications@sgul.ac.uk.  

Out of office hours, the duty press officer can be reached on 07979 913 141 for advice.   

What is the University doing to plan and keep people informed during the current coronavirus outbreak?

Staff, students, visitors and others who are part of the University’s broader community should refer to www.sgul.ac.uk/Covid-19 for the latest advice. 

All previous communications to staff and students can also be accessed there. 

What should I do if I have worries related to Covid-19 (Coronavirus)?  

View all Close all
I’ve experienced bullying or abuse related to Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Who can I talk to?

St George’s does not tolerate any bullying and harassment of staff. If you think you may have been the subject of any bullying or harassment within the University, you should inform your line manager or HR. You can also contact our Employee Assistance Programme (assist@cic-eap.co.uk), which can provide support and counselling or the Counselling Service (020 8725 3628, counselling@sgul.ac.uk). 

If you have been subject to any bullying or harassment outside of the University, you may also contact the police to report a hate crime. 

What support is available if I am feeling anxious about family or friends who may be affected by the virus?

If employees or students would like to talk confidentially to someone, St George’s, University of London has a counselling service that can be contacted by email or 020 8725 3625. 

Students can seek advice from a Personal Tutor, Student Union Vice-President (Education and Welfare) or Student Union Welfare Advisor. 

The staff Confidential Care Employee Assistance Programme will be continuing to provide their telephone service during this time. If you would like to use the service, please follow these instructions:

Email assist@cic-eap.co.uk and include the following information:

  • name
  • organisation
  • contact phone number
  • the best time to receive a return a call (preferably with a 2 hour time window)
  • a brief sentence on the reason for calling.

If you are a member, the British Medical Association provides confidential counselling which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0330 123 1245. 

Will the Counselling Service continue to offer appointments?

The Counselling Service staff will be continuing to offer sessions remotely.  The booking chart will not be available and there will be no Open Sessions for the moment. 

For staff who already have a named counsellor

Some counsellors are working remotely from the 16 March and will get in touch if you have a session booked. Please contact your named counsellor if you are unsure or have not heard from them. You will need to download Skype for Business onto your computer/laptop or it is possible to have a phone session. All students and staff are entitled to Skype for Business as part of Office 365.

Please contact the counsellor you have been seeing by their individual email address. The counsellors are:

If you have not been to counselling at the SGUL Counselling Service previously

We still want to hear from you. Please send an email to counselling@sgul.ac.uk and we will be in contact as soon as we can to take a referral from you. Please note we are not a crisis service but will check this email at least once a day. 

This is a difficult time and may be unsettling and distressing. Please continue to look after your mental health as well as your physical health. Please see the link to ‘MIND’ below which offers some useful suggestions: Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Find a profileSearch by A-Z