Can staff work from home in the run up to Christmas?

QUESTION:
Will staff be allowed to work from home in the run up to Christmas?

 

ANSWER:
There are no restrictions in place regarding ‘working from home’ during the two weeks leading up to Christmas and normal approval protocols apply.

We have explained in an earlier response that we would not anticipate Faculties/Services approving ‘working from home’ on Christmas Eve. Anyone who has not booked leave on this day will be required to attend the University to provide appropriate cover. If there is appropriate cover in place, then of course working from home can be approved at the line managers discretion.

Does the University have a policy for taking leave during strike action?

QUESTION:
Does the University have a Policy about people wanting to book annual leave on a day that has been declared a Unison National Day for Strike Action?

 

ANSWER:
The University needs to take steps to plan for industrial action to ensure that the impact upon students and visitors to the University is minimised. In doing this, managers are asked to review the activities in their area and make plans to ensure that the impact of the industrial action is mitigated as far as possible. This includes such steps as not approving any annual leave for the day of industrial action where this is a single day’s leave and where this is more than one day then this should only be approved if it will not impact on services.

The Annual Leave Policy (Section 6) advises that a line manager has the right to refuse annual leave, in some circumstances, due to the exigencies of the service. This would apply in the case of industrial action.

 

Can Managers appear on MyView?

QUESTION:
Is it possible to have line managers added to the My Section Planner on My View?

 
ANSWER:
Thank you for your question. It would be helpful to have line managers appearing on the My Section Planner on My View. We have raised this matter with the software provider as an enhancement to the system which we are assured will be included in future upgrades.

Do staff have to submit annual leave for Friday’s closure?

QUESTION:
Following Michael Gunn’s decision to close the University on midday last Friday, are staff expected to submit half day annual leave?

 

ANSWER:
The decision taken on Friday to close the University facilities, lectures, tutorials and exams at midday was taken as a result of the worsening weather and travel conditions. Members of staff were asked to consult with their line manager with regard to their individual circumstances. You would not need to book annual leave if your early finish on Friday was agreed with your line manager in order for you to travel home safely.

Is working from home allowed leading up to Christmas?

QUESTION:
Am I right in thinking that ‘working from home’ is now not allowed during the two weeks leading up to Christmas?

If so, how will the University ensure that everyone complies and books any days off work as leave?

ANSWER:
There are no restrictions in place regarding ‘working from home’ during the two weeks leading up to Christmas and normal approval protocols apply.

We have explained in an earlier response that we would not anticipate Faculties/Services approving ‘working from home’ on Christmas Eve. Anyone who has not booked leave on this day will be required to attend the University to provide appropriate cover.

Could leave entitlement be reduced?

QUESTION:
I’d like to ask the Exec about leave. The University provides for an overly generous leave entitlement, which in the cases of many senior managers cannot be fully taken, during the course of a year, despite the ability to carry forward 5 days. In some instances leave is simply wasted, indeed some colleagues often use leave to work from home and will take calls, answer e-mails etc, whilst technically on leave. I wondered whether the leave entitlement for those on grade 8 or 9 and above could be reduced to a more manageable, but still very generous 30 days with perhaps a commensurate pro-rata increase in salary?

 

ANSWER:
Thank you for the question. Annual leave is an important part of the contract and allows colleagues time to refresh themselves and gain some work life balance. That being said higher education does enjoy a more generous annual leave entitlement to most other sectors and many colleagues do not utilise their full annual leave entitlements. Pay rates are determined at a national level through national bargaining arrangements and so currently it is difficult to transfer local terms and conditions across to areas determined nationally – on a swap or compensation basis. That being said, it is not impossible and we will look into this suggestion further.