Updates about the current situation: childcare, parking, testing and more

This email was sent to all staff on 7 January 2021 with updates related to the current national lockdown situation.

Good afternoon,

This afternoon we bring you some updates on the current situation.

Government guidelines

Today, the Department for Education has issued guidance from the Government about the implications of the national lockdown for universities. We are working through this to assess the implications for us and will contact colleagues and students again once we have done this. The coronavirus website carries the latest information on the arrangements for students


We are aware that the closure of schools will add a further additional burden for many of our staff with childcare responsibilities. As with the first period of lockdown last year, we recognise that colleagues will not be able to work exactly as they would have done from campus in the past, or when their children were in school last term. Staff who have concerns as a result of childcare needs should discuss these with their line manager. HR will provide support as required.

The Department for Education has today issued guidance which clarifies that staff who are required to deliver or to support delivery of teaching or research and the provision of appropriate university facilities (including catering, cleaning and provision of study spaces including laboratories and libraries) are considered critical workers for the purposes of access to education. The guidance encourages parents and carers who are critical workers to keep their children at home if they can.

Please remember that the standard entitlement of paid carer’s leave has been increased from five days to 10 days until March 2021 (pro rata for part-time staff). This 10 days includes any carer’s leave already taken within the past 12 month period. Annual leave, unpaid leave and parental leave are also options that can be agreed to cover any additional caring responsibility requirements, or if staff would like to take some time away from work. 

Safety on campus and Asymptomatic (lateral flow) testing 

Campus is a safe environment, and no evidence has emerged to suggest transmission of the virus through work or educational (as opposed to social) activities at Leeds. Our working together to stay safe guidelines detail the measures we have in place to keep campus covid-secure and the role we can all play in ensuring it remains that way. If you are on campus please remember to wash your hands, wear a face covering and maintain 2m social distance and follow national and local guidelines in place. 

In addition to these measures, we are also encouraging all staff and students who are on campus during the national lockdown to take a weekly lateral flow test. Book a test via the booking page on the coronavirus website

Free parking on campus

In January, the University is offering staff and students free parking on campus at any time of the day.

Staff only: Before you can park on campus please ensure your car is registered for out of hours parking (From home you will need to log in via the Virtual Windows Desktop).

Students should register by emailing their vehicle registration details, from their University account, to CarParking@Leeds.ac.uk

Coursework deadlines

We will not be imposing penalties for late submission, of up to one week, on all coursework with a deadline between Friday 8 January and Friday 22 January.

This applies to coursework already set and does not apply to timed assessments that are scheduled for the examination period. The usual mechanisms for applying for extensions, or other adjustments, for mitigating circumstances will remain open to all students. We’re encouraging students to use these channels and we will continue to consider all such requests sympathetically.

Accommodation fees

We know this is a source of concern for students and a much-queried topic. We will update students and staff about this as soon as possible.

Keeping up to date

We’ll continue to update you as soon as possible via emails, weekly eNews, coronavirus website and Twitter @UniLeedsStaff

Best wishes,

Internal Communications

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