Here are some updates and information from us which may be of interest. As always, if you have a problem or concern, you can contact us at unison@leeds.ac.uk:

Annual leave and ‘carry over‘ – as you will know, the three campus trade unions submitted a collective grievance to the University related to the perceived change of University policy around ‘carry over’ of leave. The policy states support staff can request carry over of up to 5 days, but we had a huge number of members contacting us to say managers were denying requests, citing that reasons for carry over had to be “extraordinary”, when in previous years this has not been the case. We have now met with the University to discuss. The University has confirmed that there is no change to current policy and that staff should be allowed to carry over leave as they have in previous years. As such, if you feel you have been forced to book annual leave for the coming two weeks, so as not to lose it, but that you have enough work to justify cancelling this leave and would like the opportunity to carry it over instead, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Tax Relief (WFH) – you may have seen this information in an email from Roger Gair, but anyone working from home at any point over the last 6 months, and moving forward up to January 2021, can apply for tax relief through HMRC. You can find further details of how to apply here. We are also still in discussion with the University about what they will be doing for all staff for their dedication and hard work over the last 6 months and we’ll keep you posted.

Return to campus – if you are asked to return to campus, please complete the ‘Return to Work Questionnaire’ in detail, to ensure you’re not asked to return when it is not safe for you to do so. If you would like any advice on completing the questionnaire, you can contact us at unison@leeds.ac.uk.

Flexi-time – the University flexi-time policy is still in place, even if you are working from home. If you accrue flexi-time, you need to inform your manager in the usual way to take this time back. If you have any problems taking your flexi-time, please let us know.

Online meetings – We are looking to start holding online members’ meetings over the coming months. We are currently discussing how best to hold these and in what format, but we will let you know of upcoming dates shortly.

General Secretary Hustings – you should have received our email with details and a pre-registration link for the Regional HE hustings event that will be held online next Tuesday, 15 September, 12:30-1:45pm. This is a great opportunity for you to hear from the candidates about their views on HE, so please come along if you can. When you pre-register, your membership will be checked and you will be sent a link to the hustings event.

M-Card – many of you have been in touch about the 3-month extension for your M-Card and what this means if you have been asked to continue working from home until the end of the year. Metro has confirmed that if you apply for your card before the end of the year, the 3-month extension will be added on. The University has informed us that they will be able to inform staff if they will be expected back in January, so you will be able to make an informed decision regarding your application for an M-Card. If you have any further queries about this, you can of course contact Metro direct.

If you have any questions or concerns you’d like to raise with us, you can do so by contacting one of our Branch Officers and reps, or by emailing unison@leeds.ac.uk.