What is the Trust’s approach to working from home?
The Trust is still supporting people to work from home if it is practical and effective to do so. Please discuss your working arrangements with your line manager in the first instance to agree working from home arrangements.
We know many of you who are in clinical roles are unable to work at home. As outlined in the national announcement, you should please continue to attend work so we can continue to deliver patient care.
Our guidance around workplace assessments and wearing face masks and wearing correct PPE in clinical areas is there to protect everyone and prevent the spread of the virus.
Please make sure you're familiar with it and follow it at all times. If you do see people who aren't following the guidance and who are therefore putting people at risk, please do supportively call it out.
I am in a higher risk group and am worried about coming into work in case I catch Covid-19. Do I have to come in or can I work from home?
You should ensure that you have completed a risk assessment using the Safety Assessment And Decision (SAAD) tool to understand whether you may benefit from additional support to keep you safe at work. If you scored as being high risk using the SAAD tool, the enhanced risk assessment tool should be completed.
Guidance on how to carry this out can be found in MBN 391 and the Enhanced risk assessments flowchart.
If you have an underlying health condition or are in a higher risk group, your line manager should then work with you to ensure your working arrangements are safe.
Even if you don’t have an underlying health condition you should have completed a risk assessment. This will ensure that all staff have their individual circumstances addressed when considering alternative work arrangements.
It may be that your role requires you to attend work as your duties can only be completed in the workplace. If this is the case and you do not have any underlying health conditions which are classified within Government guidelines for those at risk, you may be asked to attend work to ensure patient care isn’t compromised.
If you don’t have any health conditions or caring responsibilities but still feel strongly that you don’t want to come into work, your manager will have a discussion with you around how any period of absence could be covered, including using annual leave or unpaid leave. This will continue to be monitored through regular contact with your manager to establish if there are changes to your circumstances which would enable you to return to work.
If you have any queries, You can email our Occupational Health team at occhealth
I am currently working from home. How should I set up my workspace at home to make sure it is comfortable and supportive?
We fully appreciate many of you who are working at home are doing so in temporary, makeshift spaces which may not always be ideal.
The same as when you’re working in a desk-based role on site, it’s very important you aim to set up your workspace in a comfortable way which will support you physically.
You can, of course, take home your office chair and any additional equipment which will help with this.
Please carry out a display screen equipment assessment for your home setup and talk to your manager about any concerns you have.
Can I claim for additional household costs due to having to work from home?
You may be able to claim tax relief for additional household costs if you have had to work from home because of COVID-19.
Additional costs include things like heating, metered water bills, home contents insurance, business calls or a new broadband connection. They do not include costs that would stay the same whether you were working at home or in an office, such as mortgage interest, rent or council tax.
You’ll get tax relief based on the rate at which you pay tax. For example, if you pay the 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week you would get £1.20 per week in tax relief.
Please check if you are eligible to apply on the following link: www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home