Staff

In line with the NSW Governments temporarily imposed border restrictions with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19, the University is only accepting visitations from individuals travelling from Victoria who are authorised under the public health order to enter NSW and who have completed the mandatory 14 day isolation period accompanied by the written permission of the COVID-19 Return to Campus Plan Steering Committee. To apply for access please email returntocampus@une.edu.au. All travel to Victoria for University related business has also been restricted in line with this regulation.

Students travelling from Victoria, who wish to reside in a University college must immediately go into isolation and undertake a COVID-19 PCR test on or after day 10 of isolation and obtain a negative COVID-19 swab result before being permitted to leave isolation after 14 days to enter the Campus unrestricted. Students will be supported by Residential services throughout their isolation.

The information that you previously accessed on UNE’s COVID Information site is now a part of the Return to Campus site and can be found here.

Previous information for Researchers can be found here.

Previous information for HDR students can be found here.

In line with the national framework and state guidelines for COVID 19 restrictions, the University has implemented a structured plan to support the return of our staff, teaching and research activities to campuses and designated study centres in a controlled and COVID safe manner.

This plan has been oversighted by the Special Incident Group (SIG) and the Return to Campus Steering Committee (RtCSC) comprising members from a cross section of all University stakeholders.

The multi-phased plan to return staff to all campuses begun on the 1st of July and was completed on the 2nd of September. All faculty’s and directorates are now working on campus in line with the University COVID Safe Plan and individual work group risk assessments.

The University will continue to monitor COVID 19 restrictions closely as well as working with government emergency response organisations to develop response plans to any changes to government regulations. Response actions to changes in restrictions will be communicated to all effected staff.

Whilst working on campus all staff are reminded that it is important to:

  • Maintain appropriate physical distancing guidelines are implemented or at all times;
  • Ensure high levels of personal hygiene are maintained;
  • Ensure people do not attend campus if:
    • they are unwell;
    • waiting on test results for COVID-19; or
    • have been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine;
  • Ensure that vulnerable staff and students are protected; and
  • Ensure that only staff who have completed the COVIDSafe induction and have received approval to return to campus, work from campus. Staff who attend campus without approval or completing the induction will be in breach of the University’s Code of Conduct.

Online induction

To ensure staff who have remained on campus, as well as those that are returning to campus are aware of the risk controls in place and the key role they play in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of themselves and their fellow workers, an online COVID-19 induction must be completed before accessing, or continuing to work on campus. This induction module can be completed here.

Please send any feedback on the return the campus plan to the Return to Campus Team on returntocampus@une.edu.au.

The University’s COVIDSafe staff and student’s induction can be accessed by contacting the Work Health and Safety Team on – whs@une.edu.au.

Staff Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
What is the current COVID-19 situation at UNE?

UNE is operating under a COVID Safe campus model.

Has UNE increased their cleaning roster?

Yes, FMS have increased targeted cleaning on high-touch areas, such as door knobs and locks, door push bars, stair and ramp railings, light switches, table and bench tops etc, of the open buildings and common areas across campus.

What can I do to help keep myself & my colleagues safe at work when we return to campus?
  1. We’ll be asking staff to work in two teams, one team working from the office and one team working from home.
  2. When on campus minimise your movement between buildings and floors of buildings (with the exception of the UNE Life Café for those wishing to access food and beverages).
  3. Maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres distance to others (two arms length). Available workstations will be 1.5m apart or have a standing height partition separating them.
  4. Kitchen areas may be closed or have visual signs to help you to socially distance. Please respect the social distancing rules.
  5. Only accessing lifts one person at a time to comply with social distancing rules.
  6. Still use Zoom or Skype for meetings unless you can comply with social distancing requirements.
  7. Clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water, or alcohol based hand rub. We’ll have lots of hand sanitiser available.
  8. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed (or gloved) hands.
  9. Avoid shaking hands.
  10. Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  11. Stay home if you are sick.
  12. If use tissues, please dispose of them promptly in a bin.
  13. Raise any concerns about the risk of contracting COVID-19 immediately with your supervisor or Health and Safety Representative and work with them to identify solutions.
  14. Contact wellbeing@une.edu.au if you have concerns about your wellbeing
    returning to Campus.
  15. Monitor the extent of COVID-19 in your community. We’ll be sharing advice from state and federal authorities regularly so you can keep up to date.
I have young children staying at home and I have been asked to return to work on campus, what options do I have?

Discussion with supervisor about flexible work options. There may be available space for young children to be cared for at Yarm Gwanga – UNE's on campus childcare facility.

If you wish to continue working from home you may need to complete an application form and seek approval from your supervisor for approval.

I’m feeling anxious or worried about returning to campus, what should I do?

If you feel comfortable, convey your concerns to your supervisor as they may be able to provide additional information to ease your mind. Be assured that UNE is doing everything possible to protect staff and students and is following the advice of the national and state government as well as the WHO.

There are lots of helpful resources from Beyond Blue. You can access them here: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/ or via phone 1300 224 636. There is also an online chat option on the website. You can also contact UNE’s Employee Assistance Program provider Centacare: 02 6738 7200 (8am–5pm Mon-Fri).

When back on Campus, will anywhere be open to purchase coffee and/or lunch?

Café Life will be open for takeaway coffee and meals from 8am – 2pm.

What if I want or need to keep working from home?

If you are identified as a person at greater risk of more serious illness with COVID-19 (https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-healthalert/
advice-for-people-at-risk-of-coronavirus-covid-19
), please provide your supervisor and the Return to Work Coordinator (wellbeing@une.edu.au) with a medical certificate to confirm your ongoing working from home arrangement. See below for further information.

If you wish to continue working from home on a permanent or longer term basis please review the standard application to work remotely. You can access the application form here.

Hygiene and Medical Questions
Do I need to wear a surgical mask to protect myself at work?

General COVID-19 information on surgical masks and who should use surgical mask has been published by the Australian Government Department of Health. Current advice from Department of Health is that surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others.

Surgical masks are not currently recommended for healthy members of the public to prevent COVID-19. Social distancing is more effective. Where social distancing cannot be maintained, UNE recommends wearing a mask as a precaution. Periods of close contact that cannot be otherwise eliminated should be brief.

Will I have my temperature scanned before I start work?

SafeWork NSW is currently advising against employers undertaking body temperature scanning because it can be unreliable and will often require the scanner to be within 1.5 metres of the person being scanned.

Do I need a medical certificate clearing me to go to work?

If you have not travelled overseas in the last 14 days, have not been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and are not experiencing any flu like symptoms (https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-
ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19#symptoms
) then you are fit to attend work if required.

What information should I ask my doctor to provide if I need to supply a medical certificate?

If you need to provide the University with a medical certificate, to make your return to work plan as safe as possible please ask your doctor to provide the following information in addition to a standard medical certificate:

  1. Time frame of return to work
  2. Recommendations of a return to work schedule

This information is kept confidential. The medical certificate does not need to name or outline your medical illness or injury.

Does UNE have enough soap, sanitiser and cleaning products to keep staff safe on campus?

Yes, hand sanitiser stations will be installed at all main entrances of open buildings on Campus. For additional hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes, soap dispenser refills, or cleaning requests in common areas, teaching spaces and kitchenettes, please contact FMS.

Why is some of the available hand sanitiser a runnier consistency than normal?

In an attempt to ensure a constant available supply, UNE is producing its own sanitiser to supplement commercially available stocks. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitiser formulations comprising precise ingredients based on the WHO formulation are excluded from TGA regulation. This means UNE is unable to add other active ingredients such as colours, emollients or fragrances that may be present in commercially available TGA compliant sanitiser.

Is the UNE hand sanitiser effective?

UNE’s hand sanitiser complies with the WHO formulation and recommendations. To be effective against COVID-19, current recommendations specify at least 60% alcohol content. UNE’s formulation exceeds this containing, 75% or 80% alcohol.