Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates for staff and students

Recruitment and Induction

Information for managers on right to work checks, sponsoring international workers and managing remote induction.

Right to Work Checks

(Updated 20 September 2021)

The UK Home Office has put in place temporary Covid-19 adjusted measures for checking and verifying an individual’s right to work in the UK.  In light of this, only successful applicants need to be checked. 

Further information on the revised process to be followed can be found on the How to undertake right to work checks webpage.

Sponsored workers

(Updated 20 September 2021) 

During the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, there may be restrictions on a new sponsored worker’s ability to travel to the UK to take up their post.

It is therefore critical to consider and discuss the following with the HR Operations Team Leader team for your College or Professional Service:

  • When best to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship as the visa the individual then secures could expire before they travel to the UK. 
  • Whether the individual can start work on the planned start date, and if this needs to be changed.

Further information on how the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation impacts the University’s reporting duties is available on the Information for Managers of Sponsored staff webpages.

Note: managers must not assume that a new international recruit - unable to travel to the UK to take up their post - can work remotely, i.e. from their home country, or country in which they are currently located. Working overseas for a UK employer – even for a short period of time - can have immigration/work-permit, employment law, tax and social security implications (for both the individual and the University) in that third-country so must be fully explored and risk assessed before any agreement is put in place.

Managers must therefore seek early advice from their HR Partner to ensure appropriate specialist advice is obtained from the Working Abroad team regarding the appointment of any non-UK resident. More information can be found on our Working Abroad webpages.

Hiring managers are also advised to familiarise themselves with revised changes to the UK immigration rules which impact all international workers  - including those from the EEA and Switzerland who came to the UK on/after 1 January 2021. 

Managers should note that their new recruit will need to comply with prevailing government travel instructions, including self-isolation and managed quarantine. Please refer to the section on Entering and Returning to the UK.

You may therefore need to manage their induction remotely and decide if they can undertake any work from home/other accommodation. If they cannot work from home they will need to cover the 10-day isolation period through an agreed combination of annual leave and unpaid leave.  Advice must be sought from your HR Partner in advance of agreeing this if the employee requires sponsorship to work in the UK.

Managing induction

With traditional working arrangements rapidly changing due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus, here is some guidance on how to support the induction of new staff when working remotely:

  • Speak to the member of staff as soon as possible before their start date to update them on the University’s guidance regarding Covid-19 and to answer any questions and concerns they may have. Discuss and agree how you will communicate with each other and the team.
  • Review the Induction Guidance for Managers to plan a successful induction considering how to adapt best practice for a remote working environment based on their role.
  • If it is possible for the staff member to work from home, review and discuss with them the Guidance for working from home on the Covid-19 webpages  
  • Support them to set up and work remotely. They may not be familiar with the tools the University has for keeping in touch, give them plenty of time to get themselves set up and test connectivity.
  • Make them aware of the Digital Skills and Training support available
  • Discuss the set-up of their work environment, following the health and safety guidance
  • Share the link to the University’s induction pages and ask them to review and complete the Making the most of your induction.
  • Work with your member of staff to plan the first couple of weeks of their working life at the University: what tasks do you expect them to complete and how will this work remotely? Who do you want them to speak to or meet with virtually? Be clear about your expectations of them in terms of objectives, outputs and check-in points.
  • Over communicate – people are used to starting companies, meeting lots of people and being immersed into a social environment. Schedule regular and frequent check-ins with them and make sure that they know how/when to get in touch with you. It’s important for new employees to become a functional part of the team; think about ways to remotely connect your new staff member with the rest of the team –this could be through virtual meetings, telephone conversations, shared projects.
  • Support them as they manage their wellbeing: starting a new role can be an exciting and daunting experience especially if they are not going to be based in their expected work environment. As with the rest of your team, follow the guidance for working from home and ensure that wellbeing is discussed in your regular check-ins.
  • Match them with a buddy who can check in with them every day and answer any informal questions. If you have a team member who has experience of working remotely this is ideal.