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Return to campuses for university staff who could work from home

John Thompson made this Freedom of Information request to University College London

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Dear University College London,

I am requesting the following under the Freedom of Information Act:

1a. Have any staff at the institution, who could do their work from home, been given notice that they will be required to return to your campuses for one or more days per week?

1b. If ‘yes’ to 1a, what is the date by which those members of staff have been told they must return to campus? If different staff have been told different dates, please provide the earliest date.

1c. If ‘yes’ to 1a, has the requirement to return to campus for those members of staff concerned been discussed with the elected representatives of the recognised industrial union(s) of those members of staff?

1d. If ‘yes’ to 1c, did the recognised industrial union representatives of those members of staff agree to the requirement being imposed?

2a. Over the last 12 months, please list the dates when two or more union-appointed health and safety representatives have requested in writing that you set up a health and safety committee.

2b. Over the last 12 months please list the dates when the health and safety committee met.

Yours faithfully,

John Thompson

Finance.FOI Requests, University College London

Dear Mr Thompson,

 

Apologies for the delay in responding to your request for information.

 

We have completed the compilation of information in response to your
request.

 

We can confirm that we do hold information of the description specified in
your request and this information is provided below.

 

1a. Have any staff at the institution, who could do their work from home,
been given notice that they will be required to return to your campuses
for one or more days per week?

 

Based on the Government’s roadmap, the advice of our own public health
experts and the feedback we’ve received from staff, UCL has developed and
shared our own roadmap to welcome back the remaining staff who have been
working remotely. This information has been shared through our regular
Coronavirus Update - which is shared with all staff - and via managers,
and is available on the [1]‘Working on campus’ page of our Coronavirus
Information Hub website

 

At the time of writing, we have communicated that we are planning to
welcome back remaining staff in two phases:

 

o 19 July–September 2021: Staff who have been working remotely may
return to work on campus, but we do not expect everyone back at this
stage. If they wish to work on campus, they’ve been asked to agree
this with their line manager.
o September 2021 onwards: Subject to Government guidance and Individual
Health Assessments, we expect all remaining staff to return to work on
campus as their default workplace for at least part of the time.

 

From September, reflecting the responses to the [2]Future of Work survey
(which was open to all staff), and with a view to maintaining our sense of
community on campus, we have said that we will typically expect all
colleagues to spend a minimum of 40% of their working time onsite. The
exact proportion for each individual will depend on their role and the
needs of their department (e.g. whether their role can be performed
remotely for all or part of the time), but this should provide a starting
point for conversations between staff and their line managers.

 

Managers of staff whose services or buildings are reopening have been
asked to consider whether their staff are required on site for some or all
of the time and, if so to plan for their return carefully. They have been
provided with a checklist to assist with this. Managers will also invite
staff who are returning to a team or individual induction, will speak with
them about the support available, and will review and update their local
risk assessments.

 

These resources and [3]UCL’s Interim People Management Guidance can be
found on the [4]Resources for Managers page.

 

As part of UCL’s Interim People Management Guidance, staff who ‘could work
from home’ have been categorised as:

b)  Those where a balance of on-site and remote working is appropriate

This group comprise those who are able to carry out large amounts of work
remotely and may also deliver services and activities on site, such as
events, meetings and interaction where face-to-face contact is necessary
and / or beneficial. 

 

With a view to maintaining a level of in person interaction and sense of
community, the expectation for roles in this category is normally a
minimum 40% of their working time onsite, unless agreed otherwise with
their line manager.

 

Note: These categories are guiding parameters for the purposes of this
interim guidance and are subject to review.  Exceptions to the above may
be agreed on an individual, team or departmental basis, as determined
appropriate by line managers and their leadership teams. This guidance
does not supersede any previously agreed flexible working arrangement.

 

1b. If ‘yes’ to 1a, what is the date by which those members of staff have
been told they must return to campus? If different staff have been told
different dates, please provide the earliest date.

 

See above.

 

1c. If ‘yes’ to 1a, has the requirement to return to campus for those
members of staff concerned been discussed with the elected representatives
of the recognised industrial union(s) of those members of staff?

 

Yes, proposed guidance was discussed and the recognised Unions provided
feedback which was taken into account in producing a final version of
UCL’s Interim People Management Guidance.

 

1d. If ‘yes’ to 1c, did the recognised industrial union representatives of
those members of staff agree to the requirement being imposed?

 

As part of its response to the pandemic, Government guidance has been that
everyone who can work from home should do so. That requirement is being
lifted in stages under the Government’s roadmap. UCL’s employment contract
provides that staff work on campus. Subject to government guidance, staff
will return to the default contractual position.

 

See above. The recognised Unions provided feedback which was taken into
account in producing a final version of UCL’s Interim People Management
Guidance.

 

2a. Over the last 12 months, please list the dates when two or more
union-appointed health and safety representatives have requested in
writing that you set up a health and safety committee.

 

None - fortnightly meetings were agreed in April 2020 (until November).

 

2b. Over the last 12 months please list the dates when the health and
safety committee met.

 

5 May 2020

20 May 2020

4 June 2020

17 June 2020

30 June 2020

14 July 2020

28 July 2020

11 August 2020

25 August 2020

11 September 2020

23 September 2020

9 October 2020

23 October 2020

6 November 2020

23 November 2020

26 January 2021

26 February 2021

29 March 2021

27 April 2021

28 May 2021

21 June 2021

 

You are free to use any information supplied for your own use, including
for non-commercial research purposes. The information may also be used for
the purposes of news reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for
example by publishing or issuing copies to the public, will require the
permission of the copyright owner.

 

If you are unhappy with our response to your request and wish to make a
complaint or request a review of our decision, please email
[5][email address]. Emails should include the words ‘Internal
Review’ in the subject and be marked For the Attention of the Chief
Operating Officer, alternatively you should write to:

 

Chief Operating Officer

University College London

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT 

 

Please note, complaints and requests for internal review received more
than two months after the initial decision will not be handled.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you may
apply directly to the Information Commissioner at the address given below.
You should do this within two months of our final decision.

 

If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me using the details
provided in this letter and including the request reference number.

 

Further information on the Freedom of Information Act is available from
the Information Commissioner’s Office:

 

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

SK9 5AF

 

01625 545700

[6]www.ico.org.uk

[7][email address]

 

Kind regards,

 

Mehwish Sultan

Data Protection and Freedom of Information Adviser

University College London

Legal Services

E: [8][email address]; Data Protection: [9][email address];
FOI: [10][UCL request email].

Office phone: +44 (0)203 108 7862 (internal extension: 57862); Mobile: +44
(0)7525285822

 

Working hours: Please note that my current working hours are Monday to
Friday 8am – 4pm.

 

References

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are John Thompson please sign in and let everyone know.