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FAQs COVID-19: staff members - partial and alternating resumption of on-site activities

As the National Security Council points out, while telework is still recommended, it is no longer the ground rule. As such, as of June 29th, on-site activities will resume, following the procedures designed to ensure the safety of all of us.

1. Rules for staff members until September 13


In view of the favourable evolution of the situation and the gradual return to normal life, ULB has decided to reassess the arrangements for telework and face-to-face meetings. The aim is to take advantage of the summer holidays and the reduced flow of people at work and on public transport to propose a transitional period.

These new measures are aimed at staff members who, until now, work exclusively from home. Staff members who had already been authorized to resume work on campus during the first phase of ending the lockdown can continue work in accordance with the rules laid out on April 30.

As put forward by the National Security Council, teleworking is not the ground rule anymore, yet teleworking is still recommended. Starting on June 29 for members of the academic staff, as well as for supervisors of PATGS staff (administrative, technical, managerial and specialized staff).
Starting on July 6 for all members of PATGS staff.

All staff members will be invited to resume work on campus between one and three days per week, subject to organizational possibilities. This limit is necessary in order to ensure the safety of all staff members and comply with current health regulations. During the rest of the week, work will continue from home.

Regarding PATGS staff, in order to organize this partial resumption of on-site work while continuing to ensure the flexibility required—especially in terms of schedules—, supervisors (SH-RO) will be present on campus starting on June 29. This will enable us, as we have already done for research laboratories in early May, to take all necessary measures to enable your safe return to the workplace as of July 6.

The protocol below provides instructions related to the partial resumption of on-site work, for all categories of staff, in accordance with health guidelines.
In addition to explicit instructions, we also call upon all staff members’ sense of responsibility and remind you that safety remains everyone’s concern. We are counting on you to follow basic sanitary rules. All prevention measures to be followed are available on our website (‘Coronavirus’ pages); we invite you to read them.
If you experience difficulties related to the resumption of work, please contact your faculty administration or the University’s central administration.

Should members of your team have family or organisational difficulties in resuming part of their activities on-site, we urge you to ask them to take advantage of the coronavirus parental leave or to take leave during this summer period.

 

2. Protocol

 

Physical distancing in common areas (lobby, corridor, lift, etc.)

The main prevention measure is to maintain a safe distance of 1.5 m (5 feet) between you and your colleagues.
While using the stairs remains preferable, this distance must also be maintained in lifts, which are to be occupied alone if possible or, at most, by two people with their backs turned.
This physical distancing must be maintained not only between staff members working on campus but also between them and any person coming to the workplace for repairs, maintenance, cleaning, etc.



Hand-washing

We ask that you wash your hands as soon as you get to your workplace, and multiple times throughout the day.
Hand-washing should be preferred to hand sanitizer, which can be harsher on the skin. We advise you dry your hands using paper.
ULB will provide hand sanitizer—either as 5-litre dispensers at the entrance of each building, either 700 ml dispensers at each floor—in places where no hand-washing facilities are available.
Hand-washing tutorial

 

Face masks

When physical distancing cannot be maintained, face masks are recommended.
ULB will provide two face masks for each staff member; distribution will be under the responsibility of each faculty and department.
Proper use of a face mask tutorial
 

Ventilation

We ask that you ventilate your workspace as much as possible. Do not use individual fans, which could spread the virus.

 

Arrangements for rooms with multiple workspaces

If necessary, rooms must be rearranged in order to meet the 1.5 m distancing rule between workspaces.
If this is impossible, workspaces must be ‘isolated’ using sheets of plexiglass or turned so that colleagues are sitting back to back or, at least, not face to face.

To this extent possible, use of these rooms must be staggered.
You may also use a workspace other than your own, provided that it has not been occupied earlier in the day and that you personally sanitize surfaces and equipment with the designated supplies.
If none of these measures are possible, you are required to wear a face mask.



Schedules

Supervisors (SH-RO) will encourage a certain working hours flexibility so as to avoid, inter alia, the overcrowding of public transports.



Meetings

Considering the rules of alternation and physical distance in force, meetings involving a large number of people will still mainly be held via videoconference.
For meetings held on campus, meeting rooms must be used in accordance with the physical distancing rules laid out above. If needed, the size of the room should be adapted or some of the participants should be invited to join the meeting through a digital platform.



Cleared work surfaces, doorknobs, light switches, rubbish bins, etc.

In offices, meeting rooms, corridors, lobbies and other common areas, the frequency of floor cleaning is increased to once per week.
In offices, meeting rooms and common areas, cleared work surfaces, doorknobs, light switches, rubbish bins, etc. are cleaned and sanitized once per day.
This does not apply to small office supplies, files left on work surfaces or any supplies inside cabinets.
Additional measure:
Cleaning supplies (masks, hand sanitizer, surface cleaner) will be provided to faculties and departments during the week of June 29. Afterwards, they can be ordered from the University’s supplies department (magasins généraux).



Car parks

For staff members who will resume work on campus, below are a few rules related to accessing the University.
Anyone who frequents the campuses and has a student or staff card must carry it with them at all times in order to access the buildings and car parks. Please make sure you do not forget it, in order to avoid excessive calls to the Facilities unit.
During this additional step of ending the lockdown and gradually returning to normal:
The restrictions on access to the car parks, which usually apply to commuters who have their public transportation pass reimbursed, do not apply during this period.
If you do not yet have a staff card, you may request one by e-mailing Marianne Descheemaeker at the Human Resources Department. You will be issued a badge as quickly as possible. For technical reasons, production is currently slower, but temporary badges without photographs can be delivered, in collaboration with the Protection and Safety unit (Infrastructure Department).



Meals

Meals and drinks should be consumed, whenever possible, at your workstation or outdoors. Cups, glasses, plates and utensils must not be shared. Please clean all surfaces and wash your hands before sitting down to eat.



Supplies

Office supplies (telephones, keyboards, pens or pencils, safety glasses, glassware, books, etc.) absolutely must not be shared. If the same piece of equipment must be used by several people, it must be sanitized between each user.



Lavatories

In larger lavatories, the Infrastructure Department will ensure—using barrier tape or other means—that distancing rules are followed, blocking off every other urinal and sink.
For smaller lavatories, even designed for several people, it is strongly recommended that access be limited to one person at a time



Buildings and restaurants

Buildings will be accessible using electronic badges.
Restaurants will remain closed until further notice.



In case of symptoms

If you show COVID-related symptoms, you must follow the confinement guidelines and protocol.



Do you have a question?

Get in touch with your line manager

3. Rules related to absence and confinement

If you show flu-like symptoms:

  • Contact a doctor, who will decide whether you should stay confined;

  • Notify the University immediately by means of an email to Dr Alain Levêque, the coordinator of ULB's coronavirus response, and include your surname, name, date of birth and/or ULB ID. Briefly explain why you are contacting him, and provide a telephone number. Alain Levêque will get in touch with you.

  • If you are at your workplace when the symptoms appear, inform your supervisor, go home and contact a doctor;

  • Your supervisor may also decide to ask that you not come to work;

  • Certain flexibility will be allowed regarding deadlines for presenting a medical certificate;

  • You may only resume work with approval from your doctor.

Updated on June 25, 2020