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Staff COVID-19 Information

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Welcome to the MIC Covid-19 Staff Hub. Here, you will find COVID-19 related frequently asked questions, useful information and the MIC COVID-19 Safety Protocols.

On-Site and Remote Working

Updated January 2021

Level 5 means working under the enhanced restrictions we are all now familiar with. You will see these restrictions in the College’s own protocol outlined on the website here.

Clearly we are all seeing worrying rates of Covid transmission and infection within the community of late and there is heightened anxiety among staff and students. We all need to very mindful of the public health safety measures in place and abide by same.

You should continue to work from home unless on campus attendance is essential.

Numbers permitted onto MIC campus will kept to a minimal level throughout January and must have authorisation to do so. This may be extended after January. Authorisation will be for those engaged in essential services. Services provided last term on campus will be further curtailed including Library services. Where staff are to be on campus – they should abide by the protocol above and especially the wearing of face coverings, good hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing. It is also very important that Security are kept informed of any person planning to come on campus in advance. This process feeds into an office cleaning regime.

Security are contactable on email at security@mic.ul.ie, and on phone at 087 659 4341.

As outlined in the protocol – do not come on campus if you are feeling unwell, display any symptoms of Covid 19, are awaiting the results of a health test or are a close contact of a confirmed Covid case.

The College however will remain open and will continue to provide services to staff and students, including:

  • Library will operate – currently a click and collect service;
  • Main Reception and Post in/out;
  • MISU to continue providing services to students;
  • Medical Centre to continue providing appropriate services to students;
  • The campus grounds remain open (Gates will stay open);
  • Staff may come in to individual offices and work provided they abide by all protocols;
  • Staff may come in to open plan offices and work provided they abide by all protocols and that numbers remain small with full social distancing;

All work is to be facilitated provided that it is done in a safe manner and all protocols are abided by. 

Staff must take responsibility for their individual circumstances (e.g. the 5km rule) and act accordingly.

MIC will keep the situation regarding campus access and building access and use under review.

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has prepared this Staff Campus Safety Protocol to outline, in a centralised place, how MIC will operate the various protocols in place, and to inform staff about the range of measures the College has implemented to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can find the protocol here

As outlined in the protocol – do not come on campus if you are feeling unwell, display any symptoms of Covid 19, are awaiting the results of a health test or are a close contact of a confirmed Covid case.

Staff may come in to individual offices and work provided they abide by all protocols, including notifying MIC Security in advance, via e-mail (security@mic.ul.ie) or on 087 659 4341

Staff may come in to open plan offices and work provided they abide by all protocols, including notifying MIC Security in advance, and that numbers remain small with full social distancing.

The College has provided ways to work remotely without being in breach of Data Protection policies. How you share data is very important and as long as you follow the dos and don’ts below you will NOT be in breach of the College’s Data Protection Policies and Procedures:

Policies & Advice

Do

  • Continue to comply with all College related ICT and data compliance polices which are available on https://micportal.mci.ul.ie
  • Continue to adhere to previous and new advisories issued by ICT Services and the Data Compliance office.

Data Breaches

Do

  • Report ALL incidents involving loss or disclosure of personal data (e.g. emails sent to the incorrect recipient, files lost/stolen, cyber security incidents) to Dataprotection@mic.ul.ie as soon as you become aware of the incident.
  • MIC has an obligation under GDPR to report data breaches to the Data Protection Commission within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.

Devices

Do

  • Make sure that devices being used have the necessary updates, such as operating system updates (like iOS or android) and software/antivirus updates.
  • Ensure your device, is used in a safe location, for example where you can keep sight of it and minimise who else can view the screen, particularly if working with sensitive personal data.
  • Lock your device if you do have to leave it unattended for any reason.
  • Take extra care that devices, such as USBs, phones, laptops, or tablets, are not lost or misplaced. When a device is lost or stolen, email ICTHelpdesk@mic.ul.ie or Sataprotection@mic.ul.ie immediately.

Emails

Do

  • Follow the data protection policies around the use of email at https://micportal.mic.ul.ie.
  • Use work email accounts rather than personal ones for work-related emails involving personal data.
  • Before sending an email, ensure you’re sending it to the correct recipient, particularly for emails involving large amounts of personal data or sensitive personal data.
  • Only connect to secured WI-FI connections.

Don't

  • Download email attachments to personal phones or non-MIC owned machines.

File Storage

  • Only use MIC’s trusted networks or cloud services, and comply with MIC rules and procedures about cloud or network access, login and, data sharing.
  • Use Team Share Storage: ICT Services provide file shares for offices/teams on the central storage infrastructure managed by ICT Services. This enables staff within an office or team to share files between office/team members.
  • Use SharePoint (micportal.mic.ul.ie): SharePoint can be used as a secure place to store, organise, share, collaborate and access information between College domain users.
  • Use Dropbox: This is a secure file sharing and storage solution for College domain users and college partners that do not have a college domain account. When sharing files/folders, users are advised to share these to individuals as opposed to using the sharing a link feature. The sharing a link feature publicly shares files/folders and this is not recommended.
  • Use OneDrive: ICT Services facilities OneDrive. Microsoft OneDrive is a file hosting service and synchronization service operated by Microsoft as part of Office 365.

Sending Personal Data

Don't

  • Use email for communicating personal data. Instead, use central systems such as SharePoint.

Do

  • First password protect your attachment if you are sending personal data via attachments to an email.
  • Use HEA File Sender when sending large files containing personal data; ensure you select the ‘encrypt’ option. Instructions are available on the ICT portal page.

Paper files containing MIC data

  • Only print documents if necessary. Avoid retaining duplicate copies of data.
  • Always use a shredder/confidential shredding console when disposing of College documents.
  • Keep documents which contain MIC data secure when working at home – always lock paper files away when not in use.
  • Exercise a ‘clean desk’ ethos when using shared spaces for work purposes.

Working ‘remotely’ from an external location is possible using two methods:

The first method, which will apply to the vast majority of staff working remotely, is simply through an internet connection (e.g. home broadband). Using their normal broadband connection to the internet, staff can log in as authorised users to the applications they normally use on a day-to-day basis such as Office 365 email, SharePoint, Moodle and Agresso. Staff can also access online documents that they may have saved to Sharepoint, OneDrive (Office 365) or Dropbox.

The second method is through a Virtual Private Network or VPN and this will apply to a smaller number of staff. A VPN is necessary for external access to shared files on systems such as FileStream and SAN-Server file shares, which some offices use for secure document storage. A VPN is also necessary for staff administering College systems such the Student Records System (SI) and Agresso Client. The vast majority of staff using these systems have been provided with VPN access by ICT Services but if any staff member requires one to continue to work online they should contact ICT Services immediately.

Learn how to schedule meetings using MS Teams here.

The ICT Services Helpdesk is available to answer any queries you have relating to working from home remotely during the COVID-19 closure.

For ICT enquiries, please email ICTHelpdesk@mic.ul.ie.

The Information Compliance team, along with the ICT Services Helpdesk are available to answer any queries you have relating to working from home remotely during the COVID-19 closure.

Your line manager is usually the first point of contact for any work-related queries you may have. 

However, MIC has established a Staff Helpdesk where you address a specific question that your line manager has been unable to answer, or indeed you have been unable to find the answer to on the College’s website/portal or from the relevant Office/Service.

You can find further details on this service here.

Finance

Please be advised that Finance is available through individual finance staff emails or Finance@mic.ul.ie if staff members are unavailable.

Queries will be answered via email and redirected if necessary with follow-up calls if required.

Thank you for your all patience and we will endeavour to keep the Finance Department running as effectively as possible during this period.

Agresso is functioning as normal. Requisitions can be made but please ensure procurement guidelines for quote attachments and supplier set-up requirements are adhered to.

Agresso Web can be accessed through the MIC Staff Portal.

The Finance page in the MIC Staff Portal here has all the guidelines for Agresso requistions and expenses entry for MIC staff. Please access these first before emailing Finance as emails are being answered in rotation.

Expenditure Claims can be made through Agresso, again please attach receipts as we cannot pay without them. Please ensure that receipts/backups are not sent as emails but are saved as PDF and attached. Other formats open differently and can cause issues.

Agresso Web can be accessed through the MIC Staff Portal.

Any issues regarding accessibility to Agresso should be made to ICTHelpdesk@mic.ul.ie.

The Finance page in the MIC Staff Portal here has all the guidelines for Agresso requistions and expenses entry for MIC staff. Please access these first before emailing Finance as emails are being answered in rotation.

Payroll queries can be sent to Finance@mic.ul.ie and they will be dealt with. Contract queries should be sent to HR.

All queries regarding payments for lecturers who are hourly paid should be made to the relevant Education or Arts department or the staff members' cost centre.

Employees may claim reimbursement for business calls made on their personal mobile phones through Agresso.

The remote working allowance to cover heating and electricity costs cannot be paid by public sector employers as directed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in May 2020.

Revenue updated their guidance on tax relief for remote working expenses in March 2020.

Staff Campus Safety Protocol

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) has prepared this Staff Campus Safety Protocol to outline, in a centralised place, how MIC will operate the various protocols in place, and to inform staff about the range of measures the College has implemented to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Please make yourself familiar with the protocol. You can view it below or download it here.

What do I do if I, or someone in my vicinity, develops symptoms on campus?

If you, or someone in your office or lecture room, develop any of the symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus contact:

Limerick Campus:
T: 086 0664917
E: CovidManagerLimerick@mic.ul.ie

Thurles Campus:
T: 086 0664920
E: CovidManagerThurles@mic.ul.ie

Please remain in place until otherwise instructed.

Face Masks are required to be worn in all classrooms on campus. Face Masks are also required to be worn in public offices and spaces in academic buildings throughout campus. This includes areas like hallways, elevators, stairwells, toilets, college and department offices, and study areas. Please bring and carry a Face Mask with you throughout the day. Carry spare Face Masks.

MIC also requires masks to be worn in many other places on campus. Additionally, each faculty or staff member with a personal office may decide whether to require a mask in his or her private office.

The Staff Lounge will reopen shortly.

Kettles are not permitted in offices. For Health and Safety we cannot allow people to bring appliances as all portable appliances need to be PAT tested.

Please remember you are expected to act responsibly and to encourage others to do so in order to reduce risks associated with virus transmission. Social distancing must be adhered to at all times. We all have a role to play to ensure that we safeguard our community from the virus and every one of us must take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of those around us. To assist staff we have developed a Staff Campus Safety Protocol with a view to reduce the risk of transmitting or catching the virus. This Protocol is available to download above.

Each Office/Line Manager will be responsible for managing this as appropriate to the services offered by their Office. Students are being advised to pre-book appointments and/or contact staff via MSTeams as drop-in’s cannot be facilitated during this time.

Facilities

MIC has adopted a one-way traffic system on some corridors in the Limerick campus due to the traffic flow. Yellow directional floor signs have been installed in every building and you are encouraged to adhere to these directions. As a general rule of thumb, keep to the left side of the corridor. However, in some areas MIC has installed a one-way system, which will be clearly signposted. 

Some other services such as the dining areas and An Siopa have been altered due to safety protocols so please follow signage and the direction of staff when visiting these areas.

You can find more details on specific services and facilities below:

An Siopa

Due to government public health advice, MIC is operating remotely and learning online where possible. Until such time as restrictions are relaxed and students can return to on-campus learning, An Siopa will remain closed. 

Please keep an eye on this page and the MIC social media channels for all the latest information.

If you have a query regarding commercial services, please contact Eadaoin.Shanahan@mic.ul.ie.

Canteen

Due to government public health advice, MIC is operating remotely and learning online where possible. Until such time as restrictions are relaxed and students can return to on-campus learning, the canteen on the MIC Limerick campus will temporarily close from Wednesday, 7 October.

For further information please keep an eye on this page and on MIC's social media channels.

Staff Helpdesk

We have launched a Staff Help Desk, to be operational as of Monday 21 September 2020, in order to deal with any additional work related queries staff you may have with regard to living and working with COVID-19 as we embark upon the new academic year.

If you have a specific question that your Line Manager has been unable to answer, or indeed you have been unable to find the answer to on the College’s website/portal or from the relevant Office/Service  please submit it to this email address. In order to provide an accurate reference we ask that you submit one question per email.

We may not have all the answers immediately but we will endeavour to address your queries in a timely fashion.

The e-mail address is: StaffQueries@mic.ul.ie

Useful Information

Please click here to find the latest working arrangements for Civil and Public Service during COVID-19 as issued by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on 23 December 2020.

The key points to note are:

  • If you have had a positive test for COVID-19, are awaiting a test, or have been advised to self-isolate, then you should self-isolate per HSE/medical advice.
  • If you are well you should continue to work from home or be available for work.  If you have had a positive test for COVID-19 and are well you may continue to work from home.
  • If you are unwell you are not required to work from home or to be available for work.  If you have had a positive test for COVID-19, or are awaiting a test or test results and you are unwell you may be eligible for special leave with pay (rather than sick pay).  If you are still unwell with COVID-19 after 28 days, or you remain unwell after receipt of a negative COVID-19 result, or are otherwise unwell with a non COVID illness, you may be eligible for sick pay subject to the terms of the sick pay scheme and your contract.  You must inform your line manager and HR if you are unwell and unfit for work.
  • If you have had a positive test for COVID-19 and have been in the workplace in the 14 days before onset of symptoms (if any) you should inform your line manager and HR of this.

If you have any queries please contact the HR office.

Please click here to find the Working from Home Guidelines recently published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

If you have any queries please contact the HR office.

Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris TD has today confirmed further restriction of onsite third level activity in response to the deteriorating COVID-19 situation.

Further and higher education are operating primarily online with most activities delivered remotely during this academic year.

Institutions have used some limited discretion to identify and schedule essential onsite activities, including during the last period of Level 5 restrictions up to the start of December. Onsite scheduling has included teaching and research in laboratories, practical tuition and skills-based workshops with a focus on activities that cannot be replicated online. Institutions have also provided direct onsite engagement to meet the needs of learners who are vulnerable or lack supports.

Institutions have been very careful and adaptable in using this discretion in planning onsite activities, taking account of the public health situation nationally and locally including the most recent deterioration.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: "The COVID-19 situation is continuing to deteriorate significantly and we must all play our part.

"During the immediate period ahead, third level institutions and providers will again adapt and use their existing discretion to restrict onsite attendance further, only allowing the most essential work to take place onsite. Local assessment will focus on activities that are not capable of being delivered through alternative means and are time-critical for students and learners during this period.

"In addition, Youthreach services can resume as scheduled with provision primarily online but with additional support onsite where essential.

"This has been an incredibly challenging year for our colleges, students, our community educators but we all must restrict our movements to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"I know this is a particularly stressful time for students, many of whom are doing assessments and assignments at the minute. I want them to know this will not be forever. The college experience will not always be like this.

"If you are finding it difficult, please reach out and seek assistance. There are supports available."

What Level 5 means for Further and Higher Education – Minister Harris

The Government has decided that as of midnight on Wednesday 21st October all of Ireland will be placed on Level 5 of the Plan for Living with COVID.

Level 5 of the Plan is available here.

Speaking today (Tuesday), Minister Harris said: “Our further and higher education institutions have already moved classes primarily online, with student and staff welfare being of paramount importance. I want to pay tribute to the collective efforts of staff and students in continuing educational programmes in this way.

“We are now in a scenario where Ireland as a whole must move to Level 5 of the Government’s plan for living with COVID, and that means that all further and higher education institutions should continue to deliver the vast majority of classes online.

“The Level 5 measures announced last night designate higher and further education as essential insofar as onsite presence is required and such education activities cannot be held remotely.  Institutions and providers are best placed to determine where onsite presence is required but essential activities at Level 5 in further and higher education may include:

  • Teaching and research in laboratories, practical and skills-based tuition, workshops (including training of apprentices)
  • Engagement, including small group learning, with learners whose particular needs require additional support over and above that which can be provided online.
  • Scheduled access to libraries and other onsite study space for those students who do not otherwise have suitable facilities or home environment to access learning remotely.
  • Small group activity to mitigate disadvantage in literacy, numeracy and basic skills provision including the National Youthreach Programme and community and adult education and literacy programmes. 
  • Skills and experiential learning for disciplines related to essential services such as clinical placements and regulated safety training in the construction sector
  • On-campus research activities which cannot be undertaken remotely.
  • Provision of necessary onsite support to meet the mental health and welfare needs of students.

"Campus accommodation will remain open to students and staff but with no visitors permitted. In line with Level 5, from Wednesday midnight students are asked to exercise within 5 kilometres of their accommodation and not visit other households.

“All appropriate protective measures will be maintained to support these onsite activities and to avoid congregation.  For transport to and from campuses for the above essential purposes walking and cycling is encouraged but public transport can be used where necessary.

“This has been a very difficult time for students and for those working in further and higher education, and I want to acknowledge that.  It is clear that programmes will continue to operate primarily online for the remainder of this semester. We will review the position with relevant institutions and stakeholders in the light of experience and the progress of the disease and communicate the position for next semester before the end of the year.”

If you have not found an answer for your query on this page you can contact the relevant office/support service through the email addresses given below.

In line with current public health guidance, MIC has adapted both campuses at Limerick and Thurles to best protect staff and students. 

PPE:

While on campus, you'll be expected to wear a face mask at all times while indoors. Please note that the College will not be providing face masks. As such, you are asked to bring your own reusable face mask to College.

Regular automatic hand sanitising stations have been installed at regular intervals in every College building which you are encouraged to make full use of. 

What do I do if I, or someone in my vicinity, develops symptoms on campus?

If you, or someone in your office or lecture room, develop any of the symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus contact:

Limerick Campus:
T: 086 0664917
E: CovidManagerLimerick@mic.ul.ie

Thurles Campus:
T: 086 0664920
E: CovidManagerThurles@mic.ul.ie

Please remain in place until otherwise instructed.

Details of MIC's Return to Campus Induction
Return to College Induction and Advice
Watch MIC's Health and Safety Manager, Caroline Duffy give this COVID-19 Return to College induction
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