Human Resources: COVID Support for Staff

What support is the University providing for staff as we return to campus? 

If you are a Manager, see our Returning to Campus Managers Guidance Document here.

If you are an Employee, see our Returning to Campus Employees Advice Document here.s

We encourage line managers, and colleagues to regularly keep in contact with one another as much as possible.

Please remember that all colleagues have free and confidential access to our NUI Galway Employee Assistance Service (EAS).  Our NUI Galway Employee Assistance Service (EAS) operated by Spectrum Life, is a completely free, confidential service for NUI Galway employees and their immediate families (those living at home with them who are 18 years of age and older).

The EAS is a free and confidential professional counselling and information service that provides support to NUI Galway employees, their partners and dependents over the age of 18 and residing at the family home to resolve personal and work related concerns. EAS is available 24/7, 365 days a year covering numerous topics such as:

•    Counselling
•    Mental health support for worries around COVID-19
•    Infertility & pregnancy loss
•    Elder care support
•    Parent coaching
•    International employee support
•    Legal information
•    Financial information and more.

What are the tips for well-being and mental health while transitioning back to campus?

Please visit our Employee Wellbeing section here for more help and support information.

How can I manage the health and safety aspects of hybrid / blended working?

 It is the individual staff member's responsibility to ensure that they do not place themselves or others at risk whilst working in a hybrid / blended working environment.

While hybrid / blended working, you can make sure that:

  • You have a suitable space to work from.
  • You access the workspace easily and safely.
  • That there is adequate light, ventilation and heat to allow you to work comfortably.
  • That there is enough space to allow you to work without twisting, bending or sitting/standing awkwardly.
  • That there is enough workspace to accommodate the equipment or other materials needed for the activity.
  • That the floor is clear and dry, e.g., kept clear of electrical cables or anything else you could trip over / slip on.
  • That your workspace is free of clutter.
  • Ensure that electrical sockets, plugs and cords are in good condition e.g. no charring, exposed wiring or frayed cables.

 You can find further information to ensure your safety please visit the Returning to Campus Safely SharePoint site here.

How will Recruitment and Contracts of Employment be dealt with?

Ongoing and new recruitment including advertisement, shortlisting, interview, offer and contract, new, renewal and contract extensions will continue and is subject to following two part process during this period:

Stage 1: Completed paperwork and funding for priority posts to be agreed in co-operation with your UMT line Manager.

Stage 2: Prioritised posts identified from stage 1 above are reviewed by UMT subgroup.

Once a post ongoing or new is agreed to progress from Stage 2 above, recruitment and contract management will commence.

IMPORTANT:  See below your HR Manager contact details who will work with you to deliver the approved recruitment and contracts movement once stage 1 and 2 above are completed.

 Unit HR Contact details for all your HR queries: 

UMT Member

HR Senior Manager

email

President & VP International

Josephine Hynes

josephine.hynes@nuigalway.ie

Registrar, Bursar, VP Student Services, VP Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Graduate Studies

Carmel Browne

carmel.browne@nuigalway.ie

Academic Secretary, VP Development

Ann Marie Keelan

annmariekeelan@nuigalway.ie

COO

Sinead Wynne

sinead.wynne@nuigalway.ie

VP Research, Executive Dean Arts, Social Science & Celtic Studies

Ann Kyne

ann.kyne@nuigalway.ie

Executive Dean Engineering & Science

Helena Kenny

helena.kenny@nuigalway.ie

Executive Dean Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences

Pauline McNamara

pauline.mcnamara@nuigalway.ie

Executive Dean Business, Public Policy & Law

Niamh Kavanagh

niamh.kavanagh@nuigalway.ie

What should I do if I have COVID-19/suspected COVID-19?

Special leave with pay may be granted. Please see the University's QA105(B) Covid-19 Sick Leave Policy for full information. 

What should I do if I contract another illness?

Any non-Covid-19 related illness will be recorded as sick leave and the rules governing the University sick leave policy will apply. You should forward a clear legible photo/scan of you medical cert to your line manager, copying hrsickleave@nuigalway.ie. If the absence is for more than 3 days, you should apply for illness benefit from the Department of Social Protection and Employment Affairs. See the university sick leave policy QA105 here.

What happens if I advise that I am in an 'at risk' category?

The advice from Government is that if employees are in the 'at risk' category they should attend the work premises and, in accordance with HSE advice, employees in the 'at risk' category should take extra care to practice social distancing where possible and wash their hands regularly and properly. Appropriate measures may need to be considered for employees in the 'at risk' category in the work premises where maintaining social distancing is difficult.
 
If an employee identifies that they are in the 'at risk' category, the line manager will review and consider if accommodations can be made. Where this is not possible and the employee is needed to attend the workplace to undertake their work, then a referral to an Occupational Health Physician may be necessary and a risk assessment may be required. This may involve some changes to the roles and responsibilities if the employees original role can not be done from home.
 

Take extra care to follow the advice on how to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Have you been advised by a doctor to self-isolate at this time? 

If you have any common symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), you should self-isolate, and phone your GP straight away to see if you need a free COVID-19 test. You should inform your Line Manager/Head of School/Unit that you are unwell, and have contacted your GP and are awaiting a test. Where you can work remotely, you should continue to work if you are feeling well enough. If you are unwell and unable to work then you will be required to provide a medical certificate.

What happens if I choose to travel abroad and have to restrict movements on my return?

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution (this includes Great Britain but not Northern Ireland). All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19  Public Health Passenger Locator Form before entry. In line with the EU traffic lights approach, there are no entry restrictions on travellers from green regions.

Passengers entering Ireland certain countries may be requested to restrict their movements for a period of time. Special leave with pay will not apply during the self-isolation period. In such situations, annual leave or unpaid leave may be requested. Leave is subject to the approval of your Line Manager.

Are there restrictions on work related travel?

Refer to up to date Government guidelines as appropriate.

I don’t want to attend work as I'm afraid I will catch the virus. What should I do?

If you have a fear of contracting the virus, then discuss this with your line manager in the first instance. If you have concerns about returning to Campus, then you may be referred to our Occupational Health Service to be reviewed. 

Please remember that all colleagues have free and confidential access to our NUI Galway Employee Assistance Service (EAS).  Our NUI Galway Employee Assistance Service (EAS) operated by Spectrum Life, is a completely free, confidential service for NUI Galway employees and their immediate families (those living at home with them who are 18 years of age and older).

Has the University considered granting staff the €3.20 a day tax-free allowance towards our costs of working from home?

The University is not in a position to pay this allowance to employees. However, there is tax relief available for remote working on costs incurred on heating, electricity and broadband that can be claimed directly from Revenue. Further details of this are available at the link below.

Can staff who have close contact with someone in their family who is immune-compromised continue to work remotely if they wish?

If you are worried about someone in your family who is immune-compromised, then discuss this with your line manager in the first instance. Contact HR for additional support if required.

Should staff who are not in Ireland and do not have teaching and research duties that require being present on campus continue to stay abroad and work remotely?

Revenue requires that all employees of NUI Galway reside in the Republic of Ireland.

Human Resources: COVID Support for Managers

How will HR Support you as a manager?

Below are the HR Manager contact details who will work with you to deliver on all your HR queries. Please also refer to the HR Policies and Procedures site here.

HR Contact details for queries for your unit:

UMT Member

HR Senior Manager

email

President & VP International

Josephine Hynes

josephine.hynes@nuigalway.ie

Registrar, Bursar, VP Student Services, VP Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, Graduate Studies

Carmel Browne

carmel.browne@nuigalway.ie

Academic Secretary, VP Development

Ann Marie Keelan

annmariekeelan@nuigalway.ie

COO

Sinead Wynne

sinead.wynne@nuigalway.ie

VP Research, Executive Dean Arts, Social Science & Celtic Studies

Ann Kyne

ann.kyne@nuigalway.ie

Executive Dean Engineering & Science

Helena Kenny

helena.kenny@nuigalway.ie

Executive Dean Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences

Niamh Kavanagh - for

College Office and
School of Nursing and Midwifery

niamh.kavanagh@nuigalway.ie

Executive Dean Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences

Pauline McNamara - for

School of Medicine (including Academies) and

School of Health Sciences

pauline.mcnamara@nuigalway.ie

Executive Dean Business, Public Policy & Law

Niamh Kavanagh

niamh.kavanagh@nuigalway.ie

How will recruitment and employment contracts be managed?

Ongoing and new recruitment including advertisement, shortlisting, interview, offers and contracts, new, renewal and contract extensions will continue and will be subject to following a two part process during this period:

Stage 1:Completed paperwork and funding for priority posts to be agreed in co-operation with your UMT line Manager.

Stage 2Prioritised posts identified from stage 1 above are then reviewed by a UMT subgroup.

Once a post ongoing or new is agreed to progress from Stage 2 above, recruitment and contract management will commence. 

What supports can you as a manager put in place for your colleagues?

If you are a Manager, see our Returning to Campus Managers Guidance Document here.

We encourage line managers, and colleagues to regularly keep in contact with one another as much as possible.

Please remember that all colleagues have free and confidential access to our NUI Galway Employee Assistance Service (EAS).  Our NUI Galway Employee Assistance Service (EAS) operated by Spectrum Life, is a completely free, confidential service for NUI Galway employees and their immediate families (those living at home with them who are 18 years of age and older).

The EAS is a free and confidential professional counselling and information service that provides support to NUI Galway employees, their partners and dependents over the age of 18 and residing at the family home to resolve personal and work related concerns. EAS is available 24/7, 365 days a year covering numerous topics such as:

•    Counselling
•    Mental health support for worries around COVID-19
•    Infertility & pregnancy loss
•    Elder care support
•    Parent coaching
•    International employee support
•    Legal information
•    Financial information and more.

How can managers work and keep in touch with colleagues?

It is important to maintain ongoing communication with your team members. Be transparent about your availability and be ready for questions that may come up.  Keep up- to-date on the latest guidelines and plans. Communicate important updates in a timely manner.   Ensure all University communications i.e. University Alerts are made available to any staff member in your area who does not normally have access to emails or website.

How can I manage the health and safety aspects of hybrid / blended working?

 

 It is the individual staff member's responsibility to ensure that they do not place themselves or others at risk whilst working in a hybrid / blended working environment.

While hybrid / blended working, you can make sure that:

  • You have a suitable space to work from.
  • You access the workspace easily and safely.
  • That there is adequate light, ventilation and heat to allow you to work comfortably.
  • That there is enough space to allow you to work without twisting, bending or sitting/standing awkwardly.
  • That there is enough workspace to accommodate the equipment or other materials needed for the activity.
  • That the floor is clear and dry, e.g., kept clear of electrical cables or anything else you could trip over / slip on.
  • That your workspace is free of clutter.
  • Ensure that electrical sockets, plugs and cords are in good condition e.g. no charring, exposed wiring or frayed cables.

 You can find further information to ensure your safety please visit the Returning to Campus Safely SharePoint site here.

As a manager, what should I do when an employee member contacts me about potential COVID-19 infection?

Refer to our Returning to Campus Managers Guidance document here

How do I record leave?

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 requires employers to hold records of all forms of leave. It is important that you keep records of all leave (Covid-19 special leave with pay, annual leave, sick leave, unpaid leave, maternity leave) locally in each area as is the standard procedure. These should be readily available for University and DES statistical data, if requested.

All leave applications should continue to be forwarded to Human Resources at leaveschemes@nuigalway.ie for processing.

All absences due to illness should be reported to hrsickleave@nuigalway.ie  

What is the policy regarding sick leave at this time?

Please refer to the University's QA105(B) Covid-19 Sick Leave Policy

Is there guidance availble on the protection of personal data while working remotely?

The Data Protection Commission have issued useful guidance on protecting personal data when working remotely.  The NUI Galway website should also be referenced.