Staff Shielding (York College)

Size of institution

6500 Students / 550 FTE Staff

What have been your key considerations in your planning for staff who have been shielding to date?

Safety is always the key consideration.  All our staff either shielding or not, where possible, have continued to work from home.  Our teaching staff have continued to teach or complete modified assessments.  Where these assessments have involved staff who have been shielding alternative staff have been identified to undertake the assessments.  In some cases, this has required a longer duration for the adapted/modified assessments.   All staff have been paid, we have not furloughed any of our staff.  Where we have staff that are available to come into the college from other disciplines that are able to support colleagues who have are shielding then we have they have supported the on-going need for staff in the building. This includes our catering staff covering reception or assisting our cleaning team.

What is your current plan for staff who have been shielding (ie: full return to work? Flexibilities? Supporting WFH where this is manageable?)

From the start of 2020-21 the College will return to ‘normal’, albeit with social distancing and Covid19 risk control measures in place. One of the risk control measures is a limit to the number of students on the premises. Only 50% of students across the College will be on site at any one time.  

In these circumstances, even allowing for the fact that the number of students on site at any one time will be considerably reduced, it will be necessary of the College to require the majority of staff who previously worked from home during lockdown, to return to the workplace from 1st August 2020 (subject to annual leave commitments, of course). However, we recognise that there will be circumstances where it is appropriate for some staff to continue to work from home

We have taken the following guidance into consideration when compiling our own advice to managers: -

  • From 1st August 2020, the government will no longer advise ‘high risk’ individuals to stay at home and ‘shield’.
  • Staff who are ‘high risk’ can attend the workplace to work, provided the workplace is COVID-secure i.e. has social distancing measures in place and appropriate risk control measures. 
  • However, ‘at risk’ staff should still work from home, if they can. (this point relates primarily to Professional Services staff (and managers).  

Staff in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category can now be requested to attend for work. However, where their role is such that they can work productively from home, and they express a wish to do so, we will give them preference over other staff.

Our timetable enables some of our teaching staff that are most vulnerable to potentially work from home and where this is such will enable this to happen. 

We are having an orientation session for all staff during August to support staff returning in September.