Frequently Asked Questions
Working Flexibly at Western
Staff have access to a range of flexible working arrangements. For those whose work is not essential to be carried out on campus, there is the option of working from home. Please speak to your supervisor if working flexibly is something you are considering. You can also refer to the below for more information:
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:
• Cyber Security information for staff (login required)
• Teaching via Zoom (Preventing and dealing with unwanted behaviour)
Additional expense incurred by staff as part 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.
While you are on campus, it’s important that you are prepared by carrying a clean face mask with you at all times and wear it when it is mandatory or when it’s hard to maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance from others. Should you prefer to wear a mask at any time while on campus, you are of course welcome to do so.
The University continues to mandate the use of masks in some circumstances, such as in clinics on campus; and in medical, clinical practice and other classes.
Public health directives also apply in some circumstances, including while travelling on public transport and in public transport waiting areas. Please check the latest requirements on the NSW Government website.
A number of new processes and guidelines are in place to ensure our campuses remain safe places to work, teach and learn.
• Before returning to campus, you must 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.
• When arriving on campus, you will need to check in to each building you visit on campus by scanning the QR code posted on the building entrance. This is required on all campuses.
• Face masks are strongly recommended where it is not possible to maintain 1.5 metre physical distancing. Be prepared by carrying a clean face mask with you at all times and wear it when it is mandatory or when it’s hard to maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance from others. Public health directives also apply in some circumstances, including while travelling on public transport and in public transport waiting bays. Please check the latest requirements on the NSW Government website.
• Please refer to the Return to Campus factsheet for more information on your responsibilities when attending any University campuses.
It is great to see many of our students returning to our campuses for activities such as tutorials, workshops and practicals in Autumn, 1H and Term 1 sessions.
For staff who undertake teaching activities, a reminder that the Teaching Activity WHS Guidelines should be reviewed before any teaching activities commence. These have been updated and provide detailed information about requirements for all teaching activities held on campus, as well as additional mandatory protocols for circumstances where physical distancing requirements cannot be maintained.
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 email@example.com.
If you are considering holding an event on campus, you must firstly review the COVID-safe measures for events guidelines and ensure you complete the relevant checklist (for indoor/outdoor activities). The guidelines and checklists can be found on the Organising COVID Safe event or Activity webpage.
The completed checklist must then be forwarded to the Work Health, Safety and Wellbeing team at firstname.lastname@example.org for approval.
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 +61 (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm AEST, or via email at email@example.com.
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.
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 Support Hotline, either by calling +61 (02) 9852 5399, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm AEST, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NSW Government has advised that COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors and in settings where you can’t physically distance, so it is important you carry a face mask with you at all times.
Wearing a mask helps to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the community. If you are unknowingly infected, wearing a mask will reduce the chance that you pass COVID-19 on to others. Visit the NSW Government website for answers to common questions about face masks.
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 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.
Single-use masks (commonly called surgical masks) and reusable cloth masks both help to prevent the spread of COVID-19, if used correctly.
Health care workers who are caring for patients with suspected COVID-19 should use appropriate personal protective equipment to protect themselves against COVID-19. Visit the NSW Government website for answers to common questions about 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 Student Assistance Fund, providing vital support such as grocery vouchers, loan laptops and some financial support.
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 email@example.com 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.
All international students are offered payment plan options to manage the repayments of their fees, alongside the many support services available, including the Student Assistance Fund, Western Success program, counselling, welfare and disability support.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.