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.
If you do need to come on campus, you will need to seek approval from a supervisor at the level of DVC, PVC, Dean, Executive Director, Director or equivalent, then complete the Access to Campus form. This form must then be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org before you come to campus. You must notify Campus Safety and Security of your arrival and departure and follow physical distancing practices at all times when on campus.
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)
- Zoom best practices
- Teaching via Zoom (Preventing and dealing with unwanted behaviour)
- Backing up your files using OneDrive
There is no longer a need for staff to attend campus monthly to update their computers.
Given the limited access to campuses, the University has paused all parking permit salary sacrifice deductions. If you have prepaid for a parking permit, you are eligible for a pro-rata refund when campus activities are back to normal.
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, and you have not been identified as an ‘essential service’ staff member, you must seek approval from a supervisor at the level of DVC, PVC, Dean, Executive Director, Director or equivalent, and complete the Access to Campus form.
The form is to be emailed to email@example.com before you come to campus. You must notify Campus Safety and Security of your arrival and departure, and follow physical distancing practices at all times when on campus.
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.
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.