HR and Employment

Here you'll find a range of coronavirus/Covid-19 related HR and Employment resources; if you have any resources you would like to share with other colleges, please email

Please note that guidance documents have been provided in good faith, are accurate at the date of issue and may require tailoring to your college's particular circumstances.

Documents are generally saved in date order with the most recent first; however, as Government guidance is normally automatically updated as changes occur, these documents are placed towards the top of each section.  Due to the amount of information gathered over this period we have 'archived' some of the older documents, and you'll now find these towards the end of the page.  Below, you will find information and links under the following headings. 

  • Employment Helpline
  • General advice and guidance
  • Reopening H&S Risk Assessment related
  • Job Retention Scheme/Furlough
  • Employment and T&Cs - including pay and annual leave
  • Safeguarding/DBS/ID check
  • Health & Safety Executive working from home guidance
  • Resources - including general advice and health & wellbeing
  • Useful webinars
  • Archived documents/guidance

Employment Helpline:

The helpline, run by Irwin Mitchell LLP, is fully operational and available for members to contact about all employment related issues, including Coronavirus/Covid-19.  You can contact them here: AoC Employment Helpine


On 10 September Irwin Mitchell provided this advice for schools and colleges (Irwin Mitchell - Self isolation advice for schools and colleges dealing with outbreaks) focussing on the issue of when to self-isolate (or not). 

On 29 August 2020 DfE updated the guidance on reopening which can be found here.

This was further updated on 7 September to include What to do if a student is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Irwin Mitchell has provided advice which covers the college’s responsibility as an employer to provide PPE and face coverings.  Remember that any queries regarding your workforce can be referred to our employment helpline at 

General advice, guidance and comment

Reopening including H&S Risk Assessment related

AoC has developed a section dedicated to college reopening support which can be found here.  Contained within this section are example risk assessments, many from other colleges and unions.  The document below was developed by the AoC and national representatives from UCU, NEU, Unison, Unite and GMB and provides a checklist for reopening.

Also below are reopeneing related articles by Irwin Mitchell:

Job Retention Scheme/Furloughing related:

Listed below are the links to government guidance on the job retention scheme - which are automatically update.  Below this are further JRS related guidance documents, advice and blogs.

Employment and T&Cs - including pay, annual leave and sickness/SSP related:

Safeguarding/DBS/ID check related:

Health & Safety Executive working from home guidance

The HSE have stated that:

  • Where workers are asked to work at home as part of temporary or contingency working arrangements, there is no evidence that homeworkers are exposed to any major additional or unique risks to health and safety as a consequence of their DSE work.
  • In such circumstances, it is not necessary or practicable for employers to undertake home DSE workstation assessments for all their workers.
  • Employers should, in addition to the training provided for DSE work in the office, provide workers with appropriate advice on completing their own basic workstation assessment at home - a practical workstation checklist is available. The checklist covers the workstation and the working environment.
  • Workers should also be made aware of other simple steps that they need to take to reduce the risks from DSE work, e.g. rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity; regularly changing position, getting up and moving or doing stretching exercises; avoiding eye fatigue by changing focus or blinking from time to time. Further information is available in Working with discplay screen equipment (DSE)
  • Where workers have specialised DSE equipment needs, employers should try to meet those needs where possible. For some equipment (eg keyboards, mouse, riser) this could mean allowing workers to take this equipment home. For other larger items (eg ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable desks), this will not be practical, so employers should encourage workers to take alternative steps to create a comfortable working environment (eg use of supporting cushions) and encourage working behaviour that reduces the amount of sitting or screen-based work (eg more regular breaks)
  • Employers should also be aware of other risks that may arise from social isolation, stress, lack of supervision, perceived lack of employer support and therefore ensure regular contact or communication with remote workers. Further information is in Protecting Lone Workers - How to manage the risks of working alone.

Further information can be found on the HSE dedicated coronavirus web pages.

Resources - including general advice and health & wellbeing:

Useful webinars (please note that you may need to copy the webinar link in to a suitable browser)

Archived documents