Recording where you work FAQ
FAQ on recording where you work.
1. Why are staff being required to provide information on where they are?
As part of our UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) sponsor licence, we must ensure that sponsored staff employed on Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas follow agreed procedures for requesting leave and reporting sickness absence. We are also required to hold accurate records of leave and sickness absence for these staff. In the event of a UKVI audit visit we would be expected to be able to locate sponsored staff who are not on approved leave or sickness absence.
2. Why is this being applied to all staff?
We are committed to treating all staff fairly and equally and believe that it is important to take an inclusive approach, applying the same requirements to all staff regardless of their nationality or their role.
Staff have always been required to follow agreed procedures for requesting leave and reporting sickness absence. Many staff already use a work diary to record where they are when working away from their normal place of work and we feel it is reasonable to extend this requirement to all staff.
3. Who decided on this approach?
The Central Management Group, responsible for managing the University’s performance and delivering University strategy made the decision to apply this requirement to all staff.
4. Were these proposals discussed with the Unions?
The Joint Unions Liaison Committee (JULC) was consulted about these proposals. A copy of the draft communication was shared with JULC members in advance of it being issued to staff. Other than expressing a strong preference for the University to encourage the use of Office 365 Outlook calendar rather than buying in or developing alternative systems JULC raised no other concerns or objections in relation to the proposals.
We are continuing to work with Union colleagues to clarify understanding and ensure that the requirement is implemented in a proportionate way across the University
5. What might happen if the University doesn’t do this?
In the event of a UKVI audit, we would be expected to be able to locate our sponsored staff. If we cannot locate them we put both our licence to sponsor international students (affecting c. 7000 students) and our licence to sponsor employees from outside the EEA (currently c. 300 employees) at risk with severe reputational and financial implications for the University.
6. Are other universities adopting the same approach?
Practice varies between Universities. Some Universities are only applying this requirement to their sponsored Tier 2 and Tier 5 staff, others are applying it to all staff.
7. What new requirements are being introduced and what does this mean for me?
The only new requirement is for staff to let managers and colleagues know where they are when working away from their normal place of work for blocks of half a day or more.
This can simply mean recording where you are in the Office 365 Outlook calendar and making sure your calendar is accessible to managers and designated administrative staff. (for help on giving others access to your calendar go into Outlook calendar and click on ? at the top right hand side of the screen).
8. Who does the requirement to let managers and colleagues know where they are apply to?
The requirement applies to all staff in the University, including those in Colleges and Schools and in the Support Groups.
9. Does this mean my terms and conditions of employment are changing?
No – there is no change to your terms and conditions of employment.
10. Will my manager need to approve all requests to be away from my normal place of work?
Arrangements for requesting approval to work away from your normal place of work (e.g. to work from home, attend a conference etc.) are not changing. If your manager currently asks you to request approval, this arrangement will continue. If not, no new requirement for you to request approval arises from the introduction of these arrangements.
Staff should continue to request approval for international travel in accordance with the Travel Policy. Available here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/finance/for-staff/staff-expenses
11. Are new systems being created for recording this information?
No – no new systems are being created. Where staff use Office 365 Outlook calendar simply recording where you are when working away from your normal place of work in your calendar and making sure your calendar is accessible to managers and designated administrative staff is all that is required.
As not all areas of the University use Office 365 Outlook calendar, there is flexibility in these areas to use alternative systems already in for staff to record where they are.
Some Schools and departments use the request and approval facility in “Who’s Off” to manage leave. ”Who’s Off” can also operate without the need for request and approval and can be used by individual staff, like a diary, to record where they are.
Most areas using “Who’s Off” use the Office 365 Outlook calendar for staff to record where they are and use “Who’s Off” only for managing the request and approval of leave.
In future, areas wishing to extend the use of “Who’s Off” (beyond what they are currently using it for) will do so in consultation with affected staff.
12. How will the information recorded be used?
Information on where staff are will be used by managers and work colleagues to locate staff if there is a need to do so. This information will not be collated, analysed, interpreted or used for other purposes.
13. What is the definition of ‘normal place of work’?
Your normal place of work is the University campus where you habitually work or other University campus where you are delivering scheduled teaching. Not being at your normal place of work includes; working at home, visiting another University, visiting a commercial collaborator, attending a conference or working at another University Campus, other than to deliver scheduled teaching.
14. Does the introduction of this new requirement mean that the University expects staff to be at their normal place of work between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday?
The new requirement to let managers and colleagues know where you are is not intended to change your current working pattern or the way that you currently work.
15. Many staff regularly work outside 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday – why aren’t we being asked to record where we are at all times when we are working?
The University recognises the commitment of all of its staff and that many staff work beyond their contracted hours and outside 9-5 Monday to Friday. You are not required to record where you are when working outside a typical Monday to Friday working week but if you wish to, you can record this information in your Office 365 Outlook calendar. Asking staff to record where they are during the typical Monday to Friday working week is to enable managers and colleagues to locate staff if they need to. It would not be reasonable, in the normal course of events, for the University to expect to locate or contact staff outside 9-5 Monday to Friday.
16. Where can I get more information about these changes?
For additional information please speak to your line manager.