The University of East London takes the health and safety of its students and staff very seriously. We are monitoring the situation and are in communication with public health partners. This page has FAQs directly relating to UEL staff.
UEL staff can access support from Occupational Health during office hours and our Employee Assistance Programme on 0800 389 0285, which can provide emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you have any concerns or queries about Covid-19, you can now access a specialist helpline by phoning 0345 053 6791. You can speak to trained, clinical staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Big White Wall is an online mental health service available to all University of East London students and staff.
Teaching and learning queries
The University will continue to need to operate some essential services with a physical presence on site during this period but arrangements have been made to facilitate working from home from the 20 March for staff where this is feasible. There will be increased availability of applications to support academics and students over the next few days.
Please discuss remote working options with your line manager first. You will need to agree in advance what work you will do and make arrangements for regular liaison and updates.
If you have a pre-existing health condition which would make you more vulnerable if you contracted the virus, or are pregnant, or have vulnerable family members living with you, we strongly recommend that you should work from home.
There are some roles which need to be carried out on campus and for which remote working is impractical. If you are in one of these roles you will be notified by your line manager and practical arrangements about working on campus during this period will be discussed. It is very important for you to inform your line manager if you have a pre-existing health condition, are pregnant, or have vulnerable family members living with you, so that alternative working arrangements can be agreed.
Our campuses at USS and Stratford have now closed. We are busy transitioning all essential, face-to-face or physical University service provision to Docklands Campus only. All essential University operations will continue although the service will be re-focused to provide the equivalent provision on-line and through remote working.
We are currently trialling approaches to remote working. All academic staff will be receiving, from their Deans of School and Directors of Education and Experience, plans for online learning. This includes Panopto and additional use of Moodle and Microsoft Teams. All staff are required to undertake Microsoft Teams training which will be used as our primary remote working platform should this become required. Details about this will be communicated by separate email and directly via line managers.
Remote working arrangements must be agreed in advance by your line manager. You should also agree in advance what work you will do and arrangements for regular liaison and updates, (including method of communication and how often).
You should ensure whenever practicable you are available via phone, email and other virtual communication channels and that your colleagues know the best way of contacting you.
Make sure you are familiar with the necessary remote working technology for your job role so you can be productive and contribute to ensuring the continued smooth running of the university.
It is important to have a regular routine, including lunch, and breaks from your screen.
To prevent social isolation and to keep abreast of changes, do ensure that you participate in virtual meetings which will be organised on a regular basis by your school/service e.g. via Skype or Teams.
Unless you are on authorised annual leave or are sick you should continue to work to your full capacity and be available during your core working hours.
We recognise that you might find it difficult to work if unexpected caring responsibilities arise, or if you need to care for dependants during this period. We ask you to do whatever you are able and to consider creative solutions which allow you to work at flexible times when circumstances allow. In this situation, please ensure you keep in contact with your line manager, so they are able to plan and monitor workloads.
During this unprecedented period, the University will need to focus available staffing on its core functions to ensure that students continue their education and for the functions of the University to remain solvent.
The temporary move to online learning and remote working arrangements are part of the University’s strategic response to the Covid-19 situation, you may need to alter your working area to facilitate this by attending on campus and/or working from home on different duties, and where required, this will involve some rapid induction.
To facilitate the above, car parking charges are to be waived from 16 March onwards for all staff to facilitate attendance, if needed, without reliance on public transport. Applications for access should be made to your line manager.
Staff who are concerned about the current situation may receive support from either Occupational Health or can call the Employee Assistance Programme on 0800 389 0285. Further details can be found on the Health and Safety intranet pages.
We recognise that you might find it difficult to work while caring for others. We ask you to do whatever you are able. Please ensure that you keep in contact with your manager, so they are able to plan and monitor workloads.
Exposure to infection
If the student or colleague is on campus, follow the latest advice from the NHS regarding self-isolation. If they are seriously ill, call 999. While you wait for advice or an ambulance, find somewhere safe for the individual to sit which is at least two metres away from other people.
If possible, find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a shut door. If possible, open a window for ventilation. The sick individual should avoid touching people, surfaces or objects, and should cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when they cough or sneeze. If no tissue is available, they should cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm. People who become unwell should not be advised to go to their GP, pharmacy, urgent care or hospital.
If the student is not on campus, advise them to self-isolate at home.
Our students' health and wellbeing is our first priority. Self-isolation should not affect their visa, and we will work with students to ensure self-isolation impacts their studies as little as possible. You can find more immigration and visa guidance here .
The Home Office has set up an information source for international higher education staff and students if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus, including questions about urgent cases where a Chinese national or other visa national based in China needs to travel to the UK.
A Home Office coronavirus immigration helpline and email address is available for immigration enquiries related only to Coronavirus: Telephone: 0800 678 1767, open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Calls are free of charge. Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.
We recognise the global impact of Covid-19 and the University of East London is taking the situation extremely seriously. We are busy cancelling or rescheduling all public events. Please check back here for updates on other major events.