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Unwell? Stay home

What to do if you have symptoms of an infection or test positive.

Guidance on different scenarios

1. What to do if you do not have symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19 and you feel well enough to work.

(This is for those who have access to free test kits due to a health condition, job requirement or other reason.  We do not expect staff to pay for tests to test whether they have COVID-19). 

Stay at home.

Inform your line manager and work from home, if your job can be undertaken remotely.

If you are due to deliver teaching sessions with students in person, please deliver these remotely, online, at the usual time, if it does not require face to face tuition.

If your job cannot be undertaken remotely, you should report your absence to your line manager and record your absence as Sickness Absence – Coronavirus. See section below on: What will happen if you reach the Sickness Absence triggers earlier than expected because your job does not lend itself to remote working?

Stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day you took your test. You may then return to campus if you are still feeling well and are symptom free.

You should follow the Government guidance on “Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19."

2. What to do if you are not feeling well and are unable to work.

Stay at home.

You should inform your line manager you are unwell, in accordance with UCL’s Sickness Absence Policy

If you have respiratory infection symptoms and you have access to free COVID-19 tests because of your personal situation, take a test. 

If you test positive, stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day you took the test.  You may then return to campus if you feel well enough.

If you test negative or you do not have a test kit, stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until you no longer feel unwell.  

If the symptoms are related to a potential respiratory infection, you should follow the Government guidance on “Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

If you have symptoms that include vomiting and/or diarrhoea, stay off work until you have not been vomiting or had diarrhoea for at least two days.

Please ensure you or your line manager records the sickness absence on MyHR selecting the appropriate sickness reason.

3. What to do if you have mild symptoms of a potentially transmissible infection but you feel well enough to work.

Stay at home.

Inform your line manager, and work from home if your job can be undertaken remotely.

If you are due to deliver teaching sessions with students in person, please deliver these remotely, online, at the usual time, if it does not require face to face tuition.

If you have respiratory infection symptoms and you have access to free COVID-19 tests because of your personal situation, take a test. 

If you test positive, stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days after the day you took the test.  You may then return to campus if you feel well enough. 

If you test negative or you do not have a test kit, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until you no longer have symptoms, or you are no longer infectious.

You should follow the Government guidance on “Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

If you have vomiting and/or diarrhoea, stay off work until you have not been vomiting or had diarrhoea for at least two days.

For all other symptoms you should consider consulting the NHS on 111 or your GP.  You should return to work if a medical professional has confirmed it is not transmissible.

If you are unable to work remotely, and your mild symptoms could be transmissible please call in sick and ensure you or your line manager records the sickness absence on MyHR, selecting the appropriate sickness reason. See section below on: What will happen if you reach the Sickness Absence triggers earlier than expected because your job does not lend itself to remote working? 

4. What to do if someone you live with has had a positive test result for COVID-19.

Discuss with your line manager, and work from home if you wish and if your job can be undertaken remotely.  

If the person that you live with, who has COVID-19 is self-isolating, or your job cannot be undertaken remotely or you are required to be on campus, you may attend campus. 

You can reduce the risk of passing any asymptomatic infection to others by following the Government guidance, on “Living safely with respiratory infections, including COVID-19"  and take extra precautions such as:

  • avoiding contact with anyone you know who is at higher risk of becoming severely unwell if they are infected with COVID-19.
  • limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces.
  • wearing a well-fitting face covering made with multiple layers or a surgical face mask if you do need to have close contact with other people, or you are in a crowded place.
  • washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitiser.

If you need to look after a dependent due to their illness, you may be eligible to take carers leave.

5. What to do if you have symptoms that are attributed to a known, non-transmissible condition e.g., localised muscle sprain, hay fever, or any non-infectious condition you have but you are well enough to work.

You can attend campus as usual. 

If you are unable to attend campus because of the symptoms but are otherwise well enough to work, you may discuss with your line manager the possibility of working from home, if your role can be carried out remotely.

6. What will happen if you reach the Sickness Absence triggers earlier than expected because your job does not lend itself to remote working?

UCL is asking staff to stay at home:

  • if they test positive but have no symptoms
  • if they have mild symptoms of an infection but otherwise feel well enough to work

If your job does not lend itself to remote working in this situation, you will need to report in sick. To ensure that you are not at a disadvantage, the usual sickness absence triggers of 12 or more working days (pro rata) or 6 or more episodes in any rolling 12 month period will be extended for you to 18 or more working days (pro-rata), or 9 or more episodes in any rolling 12 month period. This temporary measure will be reviewed on or before 30th September. 

For further advice on all of the above, please see the government guidance.