Attending DCU 2020/21 - Staff - Working Through The Pandemic

Attending DCU 2020/21: Everything Staff Need To Know

Working Through The Pandemic

This is DCU

Current Status

The government has decided, as of late December 2020, to move the country back to Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID.  For more detailed information on what that means, click here to visit the website.

As you are aware, DCU's planning from the beginning of this academic year was to put in place a timetable to maximise on-campus activities and to put in place health and safety measures that were designed to allow us to maintain activities, even with Level 5 restrictions in place, to give staff and students some certainty. 

However, unfortunately, we all recognise that as a country we are in a period of heightened concern and hence additional Level 5+ measures are required, as alluded to in Minister Harris’s statement on 6 January and we are now putting in place the following additional measures to protect staff and students:

- Semester Two started as planned on January 18th, however, no on-campus teaching will take place during the Semester except in exceptional circumstances. These exceptions will apply to the following programmes, and activities will be scheduled when we are in a position to make specific plans. Students have been informed that Programme Chairs will be in contact with them: M.Ed. in PE; Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance (all years); BA Joint Honours Music (yrs 1-3); Athletic Therapy (2nd & 3rd years) and PE programmes (PEB/PEM)  and Engineering programmes (specific 4th year students who need access to specialist facilities/equipment)

- Campus Residences on the Glasnevin campus will remain open and operational for the remainder of semester 2 and continue to be open for applications.  Any student who is not planning to avail of their on-campus accommodation for the remainder of semester two can apply for a refund directly to Campus Residences.  Refunds will be dependent on rooms being vacated and checked and will be processed at the end of the semester. Short term stays will be available for nursing students only.

- All staff who can work from home should do so. However we recognise that we have staff which, by the nature of their roles and responsibilities, it is essential for them to be on campus. The health and safety measures we have in place are there to ensure we have a safe campus environment. 

- We are also encouraging Heads of Unit, where feasible and appropriate, to distribute necessary campus time between staff and/or to operate in separate Pods.

- Where it is essential, due to personal circumstances or lack of access to reliable broadband etc – staff can access their workspace/office as all University buildings will be open but please note that buildings will be on reduced heating settings.

All DCU Buildings will move to staff swipe card access (8am-6pm) from Friday January 8th.  Buildings are closed on Saturdays and Sundays and can only be accessed by prior arrangement with DCU Security. If you require access to Senior House on the All Hallows Campus please contact DCU Security (01-7005999) when you arrive on the campus and they will provide access through the doors in the Dunboyne wing

- All CTYI and DCULS classes will be delivered online

Research:  Access to campuses will be maintained for researchers/research students - only where it is essential e.g. for access to specialist facilities/laboratories.  Researchers/ research students are encouraged to minimise their time on-campus and to work from home insofar as feasible.

Returning To Campus

The full detail of the measures put in place across our campuses - along with substantial additional information - is in the Staff COVID-19 Guide.

DCU’s Health and Safety Team has put together a helpful ‘Return to Campus’ webpage. As well as the staff guide, it includes information on protocol, cleaning and a FAQs around fieldwork, taking attendance on Loop and signage.

DCU Human Resources

The Human Resource department has staff dedicated to working with staff that have concerns regarding COVID-19 and in particular feel they may fall with the high or very high risk groups as defined by the HSE.

More details are available in the Return to Working on Campus policy document for DCU staff.

The DCU HR website also has a section dedicated to issues around Covid 19 as it relates to the University, which can be viewed here.

Among the areas covered is the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is a confidential support service for all DCU employees and their immediate families (18+) who are experiencing personal and work related issues, now provided by Spectrum Life. For more information click here.


Remote Working Policy

The University’s Remote Working Policy is available here
DCU HR’s COVID-19 section also contains tips and advice for staying well while working remotely.

This is DCU

Travelling For Work

As Universities are classed ‘essential’ workplaces under Government guidelines, staff are permitted to use public transport and to cross county boundaries at all levels including Level 5 Restrictions.

Current guidelines include that you must not travel overseas on work-related business.


Mental Health And Wellbeing

We wanted to share this guide from Mental Health Ireland and See Change on returning to work 'A New Reality living with COVID, the pocket guide to returning to the workplace'. Although many of us are not returning just yet, you will find good information on mental health and practical advice.