HR COVID-19 Updates

HR will provide ongoing updates and supports to staff during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, full details of which are outlined below.

Covid-19 Latest Update

DCU continues to adjust its plans in relation to staff returning to work on campus in line with the latest government decisions having regard to the Framework for Restrictive Measures due to COVID-19.   For the latest University updates please refer to Latest COVID-19 Updates for Staff and Students.


HR Service

The HR service is fully operational by following a hybrid model of working from home and on campus.   All queries should be directed as normal to the relevant HR contact. If you are unsure who to contact please refer to the following HR contact details or email askhr@dcu.ie

Should you wish to meet on campus with a member of the HR Team, this can be pre-arranged by appointment and the meeting will take place in an appropriate well ventilated room that accommodates the required social distance.
 


Returning to work on Campus

The University is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all staff and students by adhering to government guidelines when addressing our return to campus. With robust risk assessments and safety measures in place at all times, the University is working hard to keep you safe. Staff will receive information regarding the specifics of their return to campus from their relevant line Manager/Unit Head.

The Return to Working on Campus policy outlines in full everything you need to know about returning to work on campus.

In relation to the operation of the return to work policy, managers with queries can contact their HR Business Partner.

In advance of attending campus for the first time, following your appointment to DCU, please ensure that you complete the Covid-19 new starter self-declaration form and the Covid-19 induction training. You will also be required to download the University Safezone App.  

Full details of what is required is outline in the New Starter Document
 

In advance of returning to campus you should contact your Line Manager to discuss and put in place all the necessary arrangements to facilitate your return.  In advance of attending the campus please ensure that you: 

  • Covid-19 Declaration Form: Unless your circumstances have changed you are not required to complete this form.   In the event that your circumstances have changed, you should complete and return the updated form to your line manager 3 days before attending the campus.
  • Covid-19 Return to Campus Induction Training: If you previously reviewed this video, you are not required to do so again unless you wish to re-familiarise yourself with the health and safety advice / protocols.
  • Download the DCU Safe Zone App onto your mobile phone or use the desktop version.

When you attend campus don't forget:

  • to ensure you wear face coverings in all public spaces in University buildings
  • maintain a social distance of at least 2 meters, where possible
  • that the Employee Assistance Programme is available for all staff and has a wide range of services to help support you as you return to work on campus.

The information contained on the COVID Response Guideline for Staff page intends to clarify what you should do / advise others to do in any Covid-19 related scenario from feeling symptomatic, testing positive or being advised to self-isolate or restrict your movements.  

Commencing in July, staff will gradually be returning to work on campus in line with the advice and guidelines issued through the COO. The University has extensive plans in place that range from enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, provision of PPE for staff (face coverings, alcohol hand gel stations, face visors if required etc), the training of over 200 COVID-19 co-ordinators and modifications to building ventilation systems to ensure no recirculating air is used in any University facility to ensure that campuses will be safe environments for staff and students and will be following the latest Government / National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) advice at all times.

It is widely recognised that certain people are at higher risk to COVID-19 than others. The HSE has classified higher risk into two categories, full details of which can be viewed at High Risk and Very High Risk Categories.

Very High Risk

If you are in the Very High Risk category, you should follow the general Public Health Advice and read the current Government Health Restrictions on gov.ie.

As per HSE Guidelines most people in this category will be fully protected against the virus once they are vaccinated.   HSE Advice suggested that you may not get the same level of protection from the vaccine as other people if you:

  • Are immunocompromised due to disease or treatment
  • Have cancer
     
  • Have chronic kidney disease

​​​​​​​If you have not been offered a vaccine you should talk to your GP or hospital care team. They will help you to get a vaccine as soon as possible.   

Employees who fall into the Very High Risk categories who are concerned about returning to campus should contact their Line Manager and HR (Susan.Healy@dcu.ie) in the first instance. They should provide certification from their GP and/or treating consultant. The University will also seek advice from the University Medical Advisors, Medmark to ensure the appropriate steps are taken in the interest of the health, safety and wellbeing of the employee in advance of returning to work.

High Risk

In line with HSE advice, this category of employee should take extra care by social distancing, washing hands regularly and wearing masks in line with HSE Guidelines, Protect Yourself from Coronavirus.

Employees in this category who are not ill, should attend the workplace, unless advised otherwise by the University's Occupational Health Advisors. 

Please note that occupational advice may be sought for any Covid-19 concerns raised by employees or their Line Manager. 

Further information about COVID-19 and occupational health is available on the website of the COO.

(Updated July 2021)


HR Supports

The following outlines particular arrangements that have been introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Important support information and links to other useful resources are available here.

Staff may be eligible to special leave with pay in lieu of sick leave with pay for Covid-19 related cases eg. where an employee is advised to self-isolate and is displaying symptoms or has tested positive for  COVID-19.  Medical or HSE advice will be required and should be followed. 

If an employee feels well, but is self-isolating or restricting their movements in line with medical / HSE advice as they have tested positive for Covid-19 or are symptomatic, they may continue to work from home instead of availing of special leave with pay, subject to this being agreed with their Line Manager and/or HR.  They should not attend the campus and must follow the medical and HSE advice.    

If you are a close contact and you have received a Covid-19 vaccine
You do not need to restrict your movements or be tested for COVID-19 if it is more than:

  • 7 days after your 2nd Pfizer-BioNTech dose
  • 14 days after your 2nd Moderna dose
  • 14 days after your Janssen vaccine
  • 15 days after your 2nd AstraZeneca dose

But you may not get the same level of protection from the vaccine as other people if you:

  • Are immunocompromised due to disease or treatment
  • Have cancer
  • Have chronic kidney disease

Visit the HSE website for guidelines regarding close contacts.

Further details of Special leave with pay are available here

 

Remote Working 

A remote working policy was in operation while there was a requirement for staff to work full time from home. As we are now moving to returning to work on campus on a phased basis, initially and then full time, this policy is currently under review.

Health and Safety

During this period of COVID-19, the DCU Health & Safety Office has put together some Health and Safety Tips for working from home.   Staff are also reminded and encouraged to consult local departmental Safety Statements.

Linkedin Learning Courses

  1. Working Remotely - Coach Mike Gutman reveals how you can create a productive work environment at home. 
  2. Successful Remote Meetings, provides tips on how to make the most out of online meetings.
  3. Leading from a Distance - For managers and leaders making the jump from in-person to virtual leadership can be challenging. In this course, instructor Kevin Eikenberry lays out how to lead effectively from a distance.
     

Zoom Video Conferencing
The Teaching Enhancement Unit is providing a wide range of supports to staff in the use of Zoom. Find out how to set up a Zoom account and meeting functionality. A full range of supports are available on the Loop Staff Support page.
 

Don’t forget that the Employee Assistance Programme is available for all staff. It is a confidential service which is designed to support employees and their immediate family members (18+) to resolve personal or work related concerns.

You can contact the EAP through the 24/7 freephone number 1800 814 243 or by text, or WhatsApp, by sending "Hi" to 087 369 0010. 

You can also access their Wellbeing Portal which provides instant access to a range of online information, supports and intervention tools.

Further information on how to access the Wellbeing Portal and other supports available can be found on the EAP Webpage.

 

Helpful tip sheet from our Employee Assistance Programme - Spectrum Life - on how to navigate the return to a physical environment. 


HR Updates

The following outlines updates or changes to HR related processes or procedures during the period of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recruitment and Selection

Due to the current campus closure, HR staff are working remotely and are endeavouring to maintain support in the area of recruitment and selection as close to normal levels as possible.

The advertising of both internal and external roles will continue as normal. The applications for such roles will be processed and assessed as normal. Applicants should continue to apply for roles in line with the advertised closing date and time.

Where appropriate, interviews will be conducted remotely on the basis of a preliminary or final assessment. To ensure our process is planned, organised and conducted in a way that supports an objective and transparent assessment of every candidate which results in the selection of the best candidate based on their merits and abilities, please follow the Recruitment and Selection During COVID-19 Guidelines.

For all recruitment and selection queries, please contact your HR Business Partner.

 

Staff Request Application 

The Staff Request Application (SRA) remains operational and should be used for all staff requests for fixed term contracts. If you require a new user to be set up or if you require any changes to approvers in your area please contact Joe Maxwell or Yvonne Kennedy.

 

Core Portal

Core Portal is available as normal to staff. The following can be accessed or submitted using CorePortal

  • Payslips
  • Annual Leave Requests
  • Training & Learning Course Requests.

Flexi-time

The accrual of Flexi leave is suspended during the COVID-19 emergency.

Flexitime balances will be restored to the values as at 16th March when the normal working arrangements resume (please note - missed clockings between 11- 13th March may be requested through Coreportal and they will be approved in the usual manner by the line manager.

Staff working from home are expected to carry out their duties as agreed with their line managers. Staff members who are without childcare arrangements may need to adjust their normal working hours and work outside of core hours. In such cases, the staff member should liaise directly with their respective line manager.

 

The HR Learning & Development Unit will operate a blended approach to the delivery of training.   In-person delivery will be essential for courses and programmes that require participants to work collaboratively, network, build particular skills e.g. Leadership courses or orientation.

Other courses and programmes will continue to be held on-line with a view to maintaining the high levels of participation and equality of access from all 3 campuses that was achieved during the last 18 months. 

This is in line with Organisational Development best practice. 

Don't forget the wealth of courses also available to all colleagues on LinkedIn Learning. If you need help accessing the platform or need a reminder of your activation code please contact us on learning.development@dcu.ie

 

On 14th September 2021 Minister Humphreys and Browne announces final temporary extension of immigration permissions:

  • for permissions due to expire between 21 September 2021 and 15 January 2022.
  • extension is the final one and applies to people with permissions extended under previous notices.
  • for permissions registered by the Immigration Service in Dublin and An Garda Síochána nationwide.

Full details of the announcement are available from here

Further information on coming to work in Ireland is available here.

Additional Supports
While HR is not normally directly involved with immigration and/or visa queries/issues we will as much as possible try and assist staff with any issues they might have in relation to this matter during this period of crisis. For further support please contact our colleagues Anne Hennessy (anne.hennessy@dcu.ie 01-7005934) or Gemma Boyne (gemma.boyne@dcu.ie 01-7005277) who will try and assist with you with your particular query.