Frequently Asked Questions
Working from home
The majority of staff should be continuing to work from home, unless you are identified as providing an essential service.
It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure we are staying safe online. Please take some time to review the guides and resources available on the IT Coronavirus webpage, including:
ITDS highly recommended that you regularly attend a University campus (every one to two months) to connect your laptop to the wired network. This will ensure your laptop remains up to date and protected against malicious software.
Please note, before bringing your laptop to campus you must ensure you have completed the mandatory training and that you submit your request via the online Access to Campus form.
If you are not able to attend campus, you are advised to regularly copy your important files to OneDrive Cloud or to a USB drive, and practise good device hygiene.
For more information, please refer to the many resources available to support you on the IT Coronavirus web page.
The University paused all parking permit salary sacrifice deductions in mid-April. Parking on campus continues to be free of charge. Staff members who have prepaid for their parking will be eligible for a refund (at a pro-rata rate) when campus operations return to normal.
Given the limited access to campuses, parking on campus continues to be free of charge until further notice.
Additional expense incurred by staff as art of working from home may be able to be claimed in the next tax return. Please check the Australian Tax Office website for more information on what you are able to claim.
If you need to visit campus for work purposes, the following steps must be completed:
- Ensure you have completed the mandatory training module ‘Reducing the Transmission of COVID-19 at Work’ (available through MyCareer Online). This is mandatory for all staff.
- Complete the Access to Campus form and email this to email@example.com.
- Please keep a paper copy or electronic copy of the form with you at all times.
- Protect yourself and others by observing physical distancing measures and practicing good hygiene at all times while on campus.
Please review the latest advice from NSW Health. If you have attended any locations listed as a hotspot within the advised timeframes, please follow the directives from NSW Health.
If you are currently working on campus and you have attended an identified hotspot in the timeframe listed, please note you will only be able to return to campus once your isolation period concludes with a negative test result and no symptoms.
If you have been directed to self-isolate or are being tested please contact the University’s Coronavirus Support Hotline, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm by phone +61 (02) 9852 5399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have been to Victoria in the last 14 days, you must follow the border restrictions and advice from the NSW Government, which includes self-isolating for 14 days after entering NSW.
Before you can return to campus the following steps will need to be taken:
- Identify your date of arrival into NSW.
- Contact the University’s Coronavirus Support Hotline on (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or via email to email@example.com.
- Arrange for a COVID-19 test to take place on or after your tenth day in isolation.
- You will be required to obtain a negative result before being permitted to leave isolation after 14 days and before returning to campus.
- If you return to Victoria for any reason, you must commence the 14-day isolation period again following your return to NSW.
Unwell staff and student protocol
The staff illness protocol is a step-by-step guide outlining what to do if a staff member feels unwell with symptoms that may be a possible COVID-19 infection (staff login required). This applies to a staff member who may be at home or at work.
You can contact the University’s Coronavirus Support Hotline by phoning (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm AEST, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The student illness protocol is a step-by-step guide outlining what to do if a student feels unwell with symptoms that may be a possible COVID-19 infection (staff login required). This applies to a student who may be at home or on campus.
In additional to the protocols for students and staff who are unwell, the University has prepared an isolation protocol (staff login required). This details what will happen if a student or staff member is unwell and unable to safely leave the campus.
Student and staff wellbeing
The Department of Health has advised that individuals who fall into one of the below categories are at a greater risk of serious infection from COVID-19:
- People aged 65 years and over.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- Chronic medical conditions, including lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, neurological conditions and diabetes.
- Impaired immune systems, such as people who have cancer or HIV, or who take high dose corticosteroids.
If you are considered a ‘vulnerable individual,’ either by way of your age, background, or due to a medical condition, contact the University’s Office of Work Health Safety and Wellbeing for advice.
Feelings of anxiety and stress are normal reactions to this unprecedented situation. The University is committed to ensuring staff and students are safe and healthy, and this includes providing mental health and wellbeing support.
Staff are encouraged to seek support via the details on the Staff Support page. The Staff Support page includes up-to-date information and contact details for services accessible by phone and online, including counselling, wellbeing resources and webinars. University staff are entitled to free, confidential counselling services through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), contactable on 1800 818 728.
Please direct students to the Student Support page where they can find up-to-date information and contact details for services accessible by phone and online, including counselling, welfare, wellbeing and chaplaincy.
Any affected staff members are encouraged to seek assistance by contacting the Coronavirus advice team by calling +61 02 9852 5399, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm AEST, or emailing email@example.com.
The main value of wearing a mask is to protect other people. Masks prevent sick people from infecting others.
If you are unknowingly infected, wearing a mask will reduce the chance that you pass the COVID-19 on to others.
NSW Health recommends wearing a face mask where it is hard to maintain physical distancing, such as on public transport, in supermarkets and shops, in places of worship, in indoor venues with a higher risk of transmission, and if working in cafes, restaurants pubs and clubs and other venues with a higher risk of transmission. For more information, visit the NSW Health FAQs.
Wearing a mask in any of these settings is not mandatory but is highly recommended, especially in areas where there has been community transmission.
NSW Health advises that people who have symptoms and might be infected with COVID-19 are required to stay in isolation at home and should wear a surgical face mask when in the same room as another person and when seeking medical advice to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to anyone else.
Health care workers who are caring for patients with suspected COVID-19 should use appropriate personal protective equipment to protect themselves against COVID-19. For more information on these, visit the NSW Health FAQs.
Single-use masks (commonly called surgical masks) and reusable cloth masks both help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, if used correctly. For further information, visit the NSW Government’s advice on face masks.
University communication and webinars
Help our students
Alongside the many support services available, including counselling, welfare and disability support, the University has established a new Student Assistance Fund which provides support such as grocery vouchers, loan laptops and some financial support.
Senior staff are donating up to 20% of their salaries to the fund, and the University’s Board of Trustees are contributing their stipends this year to the initiative.
Academic or professional staff who are employed on a continuing (full time or part time) or fixed term (full time or part time) basis, are able to contribute to the fund, if they wish, through a pre-tax contribution via salary sacrifice.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute.
After interest from staff, the University has established a Staff Support Register for those who wish to help our students; in addition to normal work and home responsibilities. Involvement is voluntary and you can register your interest to assist, including with temporary short-term accommodation, marking or mentorship.
Alongside the many support services available, including the Student Assistance Fund, Western Success program, counselling, welfare and disability support, the University provided a 10% tuition fee reduction for all onshore, fee-paying international students for Session 1 (Autumn, 1H, R1 and R1a or Quarter 2) and is doing the same for international students studying in Spring, 2H, Term 2, Quarter 3 and July English Academic Programs, to enable as many students as possible to continue with or commence their studies.
This includes students undertaking Undergraduate or Postgraduate Coursework degrees, Master of Research, as well as self-funded Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy candidates.
As one of the most culturally diverse universities in Australia, Western Sydney University is committed to a positive and supportive learning and working environment for all staff and students regardless of background. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact +61 02 9852 5399, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm AEST, or email email@example.com.