New National Restrictions

If you are a parent or caregiver, you may have specific questions about what happens when you or a family member has to self-isolate.  

Self-isolation is vital for protecting the community from COVID-19. Please review the updated information on the Testing for COVID-19 page of the University’s coronavirus website and NHS guidance – so that you can help to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Employees with a family member who has been advised to self-isolate due to potential contact with an infected person – for example, a child who has been sent home from school – should review the detailed advice on self-isolation below.  

Under current Government guidance, a person must self-isolate for 14 days after they have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus. However, members of their household do not need to self-isolate (but they should “avoid contact as far as possible and follow advice on hygiene”). Therefore, if you have a household member who has been advised to self-isolate, you can attend the workplace as normal if you are working on site. If this is not possible, for example, if the person required to self-isolate is a child who cannot be left at home alone and you are the sole care-giver, you should work at home wherever possible. This may require some flexibility, as was demonstrated during the full lockdown, and it is understood that it may not be possible to put normal back-up childcare arrangements in place. If you cannot attend the workplace and it is not operationally possible for you to do any work from home, you should talk to your department about the options.   

Caring responsibilities 

If you are a parent or caregiver, you might have to undertake caring responsibilities if schools, nurseries and other care facilities close. If this happens, you should continue working from home if possible. If working at home or making alternative care arrangements is not possible, you will continue to be paid as normal. It is always important to keep in regular touch with your line manager or supervisor (if you have one) so that they know when you are working.

For more information on any of the above, please consult the Coronavirus working from home guide for University staff.

Childcare and nursery arrangements 

The new restrictions do not affect the University’s nursery arrangements. Childcare, which includes child-minders, after-school clubs and nannies, is permitted to stay open. This means there should be no change to any member of staff’s childcare arrangements unless a childcare bubble needs to close for 14 days due to a positive COVID case in their bubble. However, if you are in doubt please check with your childcare provider. The nurseries and Childcare Services have a wealth of information for impacted staff if this does happen, and you should not hesitate to enquire directly.  

For more details on nurseries and the new national restrictions, please consult the Government Webpage, where you will also find information on childcare bubbles. In addition, there is specific guidance on nursery arrangements at the University, as well as on working safely in other people’s homes.