Working from home

As the coronavirus pandemic eases, we are planning for a phased and safe return to campus. In the meantime, staff must continue to work remotely until advised otherwise. This page contains detailed information to help with this, including support with any difficulties staff may find working from home.

We have put together a package of support to ensure staff who are working at home get all the help they need, including: 

  • Our new COPE Framework to help managers and staff agree working principles that work for them.

Read more below on setting yourself up at home, access to campus and how to support new starters.

Setting yourself up at home

We appreciate that working at home is not ideal for all of us. To make sure that you’re working in the optimum environment as far as possible, it’s a good idea to follow the guide to setting up your home work station, put together by our Safety, Health and Environment Unit. The HR guide to working from home may also prove useful.

It’s worth remembering that the while the University’s insurance extends to home workers, it's important to check with your own home insurer that home working does not invalidate your own policy. University property and equipment continues to be insured while temporarily removed from campus but reasonable precautions should be taken to prevent any loss or damage. Reports of loss or damage, or any insurance-related enquiries, should be directed to our Insurance office: insurance@kent.ac.uk

We understand that some staff may be unable to work due to caring responsibilities associated with coronavirus, such as the temporary closure of their child's school or nursery. If you are unable to work due to caring responsibilities, then you should contact your manager. We are urging line managers to be as constructive and flexible as they can be.

Our focus is on maintaining core services and it may be (particularly if two parents are working from home) that it is possible to rotate caring responsibilities so that you can undertake at least some of your core tasks. If staff are unable to work, please see our updated University Pay Policy related to Covid-19.

Access to campus

Staff must only return to campus when they are directly advised to by their line manager. 

We are currently working on a phased return to campus in line with Government guidelines. In the meantime, access remains restricted to essential workers and those in priority buildings which have been thoroughly risk assessed.

As part of our phased approach to returning staff to campus, we are opening buildings in sequence once appropriate risk assessments have taken place. These will only be open to staff directly advised they can return by their line manager.

Once a building has reopened, staff usually based there who have not been selected to return to work will be able to request access to collect DSE, office equipment, documents etc. Access will be by appointment only, between 18:00 and 20:00 Monday to Friday and 10:00 and 16:00 on a Saturday for the two weeks following the building opening. This is currently limited to Ingram, Stacey and Jennison.

To request access, staff will need to fill out a form via the Estates websitePlease note your access card will only work for the building if you have been given permission to collect equipment.

If the building you usually work in has not yet re-opened and you need to collect equipment, please discuss directly with your manager. 


New starters

Yes, the University has entered into a contract with the individual and we will do our best to honour this. However if, like most staff, you are working at home and limiting social interaction, our HR team recommends a virtual induction to ensure new starters receive the support, guidance and information they need. Equipment and VPN access can then be arranged to allow your new colleague to work from home.

A right to work check is still required. Temporary measures have, however, been published by the Home Office. You can find guidance on carrying out right to work checks during the Covid-19 outbreak – including for new starters who are self-isolating - on the Staff Immigration webpages. Our HR Immigration team can help untrained staff undertake a document check – email L.Rymill@kent.ac.uk or E.L.Milton@kent.ac.uk

They can start employment, but the new employee will need to declare their reason for self-isolation. If it’s due to their own illness, you should record their sickness absence and follow the standard sickness absence procedure. If your new starter has been told to self-isolate for other reasons, you should let HR Operations know. If your new starter cannot commence employment, the start date must be delayed. Please contact your HR Operational Services Coordinator to advise any changes to start dates/employment.

Although we have a valid right to work check, it may not be possible to pay staff who are resident outside of the UK, except where they are contracted to one of our European centres. If the new starter cannot travel to the UK, please email HR Operational Services for guidance.     

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