Return To Campus - Staff FAQs

We recognise that there are circumstances that may make it difficult for people to wear face coverings. In these cases, there are acceptable reasons for not wearing a face covering, including for medical considerations or those with hearing loss who rely on lip-reading to communicate with others.

We ask our University community to be respectful of others, and mindful that the reasons for not wearing a face covering may not always be apparent or visible.

As a Public Service employer, an essential service provider and a campus-based University a hybrid model of academic programme delivery and a hybrid model of service delivery is necessary during these times.  We cannot provide the best possible university experience for our students if we all work remotely.

To ensure that our campuses will be safe environments for staff and students, we are following the latest Government / National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) advice at all times. Comprehensive plans,that range from enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols, provision of PPE for staff (face coverings, alcohol hand gel stations, face visors if required etc) and modifications to building ventilation systems have been implemented. 200 COVID-19 co-ordinators have also been trained and each Unit/School will have a COVID-19 co-ordinator in place to advise on the operation of local safety measures.  In addition, you (and all staff) must complete the on-line COVID-19 Induction training before you set foot on campus.

Considering the above and all procedures in place to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID 19 in the workplace, if you remain fear-full of contracting the virus, you should discuss this with your line manager in the first instance. The University must consider the risks and consider whether you are a vulnerable employee.

Where there is no increased risk for you, you are required to attend work on campus as rostered. 

If you continue to be absent from work in these circumstances, it may be unauthorised absence and dealt with accordingly.

Supports for staff who may be feeling anxious or stressed during these challenging times are also available from the DCU Employee Assistance Programme. We encourage all staff to avail of these supports.

As you know, Education is required to operate as an essential service.  This is re-iterated in the most recent publication of the Resilience & Recovery 20-21 Plan for Living with COVID-19, which outlines plans for balancing the COVID 19 risks and prioritising some activities over others.

For third-level, it means being open on campus with special arrangements in place (i.e H&S Return to Work Safely protocol) to ensure the safety of the workplace for all employees.  Operating within the 'special' government guidelines, DCU has made the decision to operate a hybrid model for staff and students in order to provide the best on-campus experience for students and to continue to build Our DCU Community, within which we share experiences and support one another in challenging times.

With the hybrid model in place, all staff are expected to be on campus as scheduled on the rota put in place by their line managers. 

If you continue to be absent from work in these circumstances, it may be unauthorised absence and dealt with accordingly.

Heads/Managers who have queries in this regard should contact Gareth Yore or Norma Wilkinson in HR.

An employee must self-declare to their Manager and HR if they fall into the very high risk (extremely vulnerable) category.  For further information in relation to high/very high risk please see section on COVID 19 High Risk and Very High Risk.

Staff living with high-risk / very high-risk individuals in accordance with Government guidelines should attend the work premises and, in accordance with HSE advice, should take extra care to practice social distancing where possible and wash their hands regularly and properly.

Staff in such circumstances should self-declare to their Head/Manager where they consider attending the work premises will be a risk. Such cases will be assessed on a case-by-case basis with appropriate measures implemented accordingly.

Heads/Managers who have queries in this regard should contact Emer McMahon or Susan Healy in HR.

The DCU Safe Zone App is a free App.  As staff will be returning to work on campus during the pandemic, they are required to download the Safezone App onto their mobile phone or desktop and use the app to ‘check in’ when physically on campus.  This measure is necessary for the University to be compliant with government regulations on contact tracing. 

Please click https://www.dcu.ie/ocoo/safezone-personal-security-app to download the app.