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Remote Working - Manager Key Considerations
(during COVID-19 outbreak)

1. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for Managers to follow whilst their teams are working remotely / from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

2. Scope

This applies to all managers who have team members working remotely / from home during the COVID-19 outbreak

Managers should consider the following;

3. Nature of Arrangements

The following should be agreed whilst team members are following a remote working arrangement:

  • Work to be completed by the staff member while working remotely.
  • Ensuring contact is maintained as normal. Ideally, staff would work a normal routine in the home environment. However, this would not preclude routine work being carried out outside normal University working hours.
  • Be aware that some staff members may suddenly be without childcare arrangements and may need to adjust their normal working hours.

The temporary Remote Working arrangement does not adjust the original terms and conditions of employment. This needs to be communicated to Staff where appropriate. 

The arrangements should be agreed with staff members as early and as clearly as possible.

4. Communication

Ensure that all your staff are aware of who to contact to report a COVID-19 related absence, and have the necessary contact details to do so

Ensure that you have up to date contact details to enable communication with every Staff Member (e.g. phone number or email address)

Maintain ongoing communication with your team members. Be transparent about your availability and be ready for questions that may come up.  Keep up to date on the latest guidelines and plans. Communicate important updates in a timely manner.   Ensure all College communications are made available to any employee in your area who does not normally have access to emails.

One to One meetings, Team meetings and Performance discussions should continue over phone or using tools like Skype for Business or Microsoft Teams that you are able to set up on your Laptop.

Stay focused on results. Ensure that you are clearly communicating the expected outcomes and timeframes and that each person knows how to deliver and address any roadblocks they may encounter. Schedules are essential to keep everyone on track but don’t micromanage them.

Establish a set of behaviours and expectations for all team members, stay connected and engaged to keep morale high. Keep your One to One meetings going albeit virtually through the available tools such as Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams.

5. Recording leave

It is the responsibility of all Managers to notify hr@tcd.ie of all staff approved for remote working and provide their Staff ID, Full Name, Start Date and End Date of arrangement.

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 requires employers to hold records of all forms of leave. It is important that you keep records of all leave (annual leave, sick leave, unpaid leave, maternity leave) locally in each area as is the standard procedure.

There may be delays in processing the paperwork of parental leave and other forms of leave. The manager may go ahead and grant the parental leave and unpaid leave.

Applications should be forwarded to Human Resources at hr@tcd.ie for processing.  These will be processed retrospectively.

Please note that where staff have already taken their full complement of parental leave no further parental leave can be granted.

In relation to Force Majeure leave the normal processes will apply.  Applications should be forwarded to Human Resources at hr@tcd.ie for processing.

As a Manager, what are my responsibilities when a staff member contacts me about potential COVID 19 infection?

You need to establish specifically:

  • Whether the staff member has consulted a doctor or the HSE (if not, the staff member should be advised to phone their Doctor immediately)
  • Whether the staff member has been diagnosed as an actual or probable case. If the staff member is medically diagnosed with COVID 19 then special leave with pay applies.
  • Establish if the staff member has called the designated TCD phone numbers (087 626 7323 or 0861731874) to report diagnosis, if they have not then you should do so
  • Ensure staff submit the appropriate medical confirmation retrospectively
  • Record the absence as CV19 special leave with pay on the staff members attendance records

6. IT 

Ensure that Staff are sufficiently equipped with necessary IT Equipment and resources to enable them to carry out work from home. Ensure that IT Equipment is tested by your team members, including access to Internet / Wifi/ VPN. If they are having any IT related issues, they will need to contact IT services.

7. Security of Information and Data

Staff must ensure that University controlled data is processed securely and measures should be taken to ensure that no unauthorised person can access such information.  To ensure this, the Trinity Data Protection and Information Security Offices have drafted guidance for secure remote and mobile working.  This guidance is available at https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/working-remotely/  and staff must comply with them at all times.

8. Health and Safety

It is the individual staff member's responsibility to ensure that they do not place themselves or others at risk whilst working remotely for the duration of this arrangement, however, as managers,  it is important to check in with staff members to ensure they are doing ok and taking regular breaks to ensure compliance with Working Time Act.

Managers should inform staff of the Employee Assistance Programme which is available to them should they require it: https://www.tcd.ie/hr/staff-wellbeing/employee-assistance.php

Please see the Staying Healthy while Working at Home page, which has some very useful tips and guidance regarding employee wellbeing during this period.

Further assistance

Further assistance can be found by contacting one of the following:

HR Service Centre: hr@tcd.ie

Faculty/Division HR Partners:

Employee Relations team: Employee.relations@tcd.ie