Created on: 11 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to impact us all for some considerable time and home working has been at the front of the big changes staff have seen since lockdown began.
Most EIS members will now be working from home and we have no confirmation of when this will end.
The normal rules about ensuring you have a safe working environment should be applied. Make sure you have a comfortable space, take regular breaks and that the equipment you are using is in good repair and safe to use.
You should expect to maintain contact with your line manager just as you would do if you were on campus. Make sure you have a clear understanding of their expectations and that you communicate any issues you are having about working from home.
Where possible, you should try to reach agreement in writing about what you will be undertaking. This should simply outline key areas of work that you will be covering, it should not be a minute by minute account of your time.
For those with caring responsibilities (for example if you have young children and are home schooling) you must highlight the impact of this with your employer and reach agreement on what you can reasonably do and when. The rule of thumb is that members should do what they can, when they can and if they can.
We expect employers and managers to be as flexible as they have required staff to be in this pandemic and to recognise that normal levels of workload may not be achievable for those working at home at this time. If you experience any issues around home working, please contact your branch secretary who can assist.
It is recognised that some teaching has moved online and will remain so for the foreseeable future as the pandemic persists. For staff engaged in online teaching, you should be paid as normal. This includes hourly paid staff.
Online teaching has its place and may be something which is more frequent post lockdown. However, the impact of this remains to be properly analysed and assessed. We need to think through and discuss the impacts of this change with employers and in consultation with our members as the lockdown eases and the new normal emerges.
It should not, however, be assumed that online teaching is always a desirable or acceptable alternative to face to face contact post lockdown, nor should the assumption be that a move to vast amounts of online teaching and assessment will be normal post pandemic.
If you have issues with your online teaching work, please bring them to the attention of your local branch secretary who can assist and feed the information back to inform our discussions as things develop.