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Guidance for staff

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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all Royal College of Music buildings are currently closed until further notice. However, we remain fully operational with remote delivery of lessons, assessments and professional services. The health and wellbeing of the RCM community is our top priority and by following the lockdown policies which have been put in place around the world, we are doing our part to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The Royal College of Music is a highly creative and adaptable community of exceptional students, professors and staff. RCM students are continuing with their studies, receiving individual lessons and engaging with a variety of creative opportunities digitally. Support services such as the Creative Careers Centre, Library and Student Support remain available via our digital learning environment.

To see how the RCM community has pulled together to create music remotely and contribute to the fight against coronavirus, follow #RCMCommunity on social media.

The content below reflects operational changes brought into effect on 17 March and further changes following nationwide Government instructions on 10 May.

This page was last updated on 11 May and will be updated again in the event of further changes.

Please check your email, Asimut and Learn.rcm regularly for specific updates relevant to you and your work.

RCM buildings and services

  • All campus buildings are closed until further notice and staff are working remotely.
  • All professional services including Human Resources continue to operate and provide support remotely. 

Learning and teaching

One-to-one teaching (principal, second & related studies) and academic classes

  • We are fully prepared to deliver lessons and classes digitally for the remainder of the academic year. 
  • One-to-one teaching professors should continue to deliver lessons digitally via Zoom or similar digital means. Support is available from the RCM Digital Team. 
  • We recognise that professors are concerned about the impact of coronavirus on their students’ studies during this unprecedented time. Major efforts are being made by staff to ensure that effective teaching, learning and assessment can continue.

Performance programme

  • All performances, rehearsals and masterclasses from now until further notice have been cancelled or delayed until we can reschedule them.
  • We recently launched a new online concert series featuring weekly broadcasts of performances from our archive. This activity helps us keep in touch with the global family of RCM friends and supporters and provides a platform to showcase RCM musicianship.

Do digital lessons count as official lessons?

Yes, learning and teaching via digital means counts as official lesson time.

Impact of operational changes on your work

Professional services staff

  • All staff are now working from home. In some areas where this is not possible or there is a significant impact on normal operations, some colleagues have been placed on ‘furlough’.

Academic staff

  • We are moving to online learning so that you can continue to teach without coming into the College. Professors have received advice directly from the RCM Digital Team on how best to enable this. You will continue to receive your contractual pay.

Casual workers

  • Casual workers are engaged across the RCM in a variety of roles. We are honouring our commitment to these members of staff and paying at the normal rate of pay. 
  • Casual workers will continue to be engaged to support teaching and learning across college during the summer term as required.

New members of staff

  • Your employment with the RCM will be effective from the date specified in your contract of employment.
  • You should liaise with your line manager to ensure that your details are entered onto the RCM systems to allow you to start working remotely and ensure payment of your salary can take place.

Parents of children affected by school closures

  • Individuals affected by the closure of schools should have a discussion with their line manager and determine their home/remote working arrangements, perhaps discussing a variation in when and how they work. It may be that some work may be possible across the evenings rather than during the day, for example. You will continue to receive your contractual pay.

Pay in event of illness or caregiving

If I am diagnosed with coronavirus will I be paid?

Academic & professional services staff

If you are diagnosed with the coronavirus you will be paid in line with our normal contractual entitlements and procedure. Members of staff should refer to the Sickness Absence Policy on the HR pages of Muse to clarify their entitlement to occupational sick pay.

In the event that you do not qualify for the occupation sick pay scheme, you will receive Statutory Sick Pay which is paid at the rate of £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks, and will be paid from the first day of sickness.

Casual workers

If we have already confirmed your engagement we will honour our commitment and you will receive payment for that engagement at your normal rate of pay. The person who engaged you will process the payment in the usual way.

If I must care for a dependent or loved one unexpectedly will I be paid?

Academic & professional services staff

We ask that you use your best judgement and put the safety and wellbeing of you and your family first. We recognise that you might find it difficult to work while caring for dependents and ask you to do whatever you can.

Please ensure that you keep in close contact with your manager during this period so that they’re able to plan and monitor workloads. You will continue to receive your contractual pay.

Casual workers

If we have already confirmed your engagement we will honour our commitment and you will receive payment for that engagement at your normal rate of pay. The person who engaged you will process the payment in the usual way.

Travel

  • All staff are advised to consult the latest advice from the UK authorities before planning or undertaking any travel.

Can I cancel my annual leave?

In most cases the RCM will be flexible and may allow cancellation at shorter notice than normal. However, we would encourage individuals to use their annual leave entitlement during the lockdown period in order to ensure that they have a proper break from their work and remote workstations. Whilst any period of annual leave will be very different to normal, it is vital that we all take proper rest to maintain a positive sense of physical and mental wellbeing.

Periods of leave can be requested through your line manager and passed onto HR who will update leave records accordingly.

Support

Supporting students who are worried about coronavirus

  • We know that many staff will be approached by students with concerns about coronavirus. If a student raises a concern, please ask them to follow the advice on this page.
  • If they have any questions, they should contact Student Services at studentservices@rcm.ac.uk.

Supporting colleagues who are worried about coronavirus or working remotely

  • If a team member or colleague raises a concern please ask them to follow the advice on this page or speak to Human Resources at humanresources@rcm.ac.uk.
  • Whilst working remotely, it is a good idea to keep in contact with team members as much as possible through phone calls and conference calling on platforms such as Microsoft Teams.
  • We would encourage staff to interact regularly with their colleagues and speak to their line manager if they are concerned about their mental or physical wellbeing.

Support for you

  • If you are concerned about coronavirus or worried about friends and family, please do not hesitate to contact Human Resources for advice and support at humanresources@rcm.ac.uk.
  • Staff can access mental health support via Confidential Care.

Prejudice connected with coronavirus

  • The Royal College of Music has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism. If you witness or experience bullying or harassment, your voice will be heard and taken seriously.
  • Staff can contact Human Resources for advice and support at humanresources@rcm.ac.uk.

Further questions

If we have not answered your question please email coronavirus@rcm.ac.uk.

 

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Guidance for students

Our latest information on how the current situation affects studies and exams, as well as guidance on how to keep safe and where to find support.

Read our guidance for students

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RCM singers mid-performance with an RCM orchestra accompanying them behind

Guidance for visitors

Our latest information on how the current situation affects public activities at the RCM, including performances and our Open Day.

Read our guidance for visitors

RCM singers mid-performance with an RCM orchestra accompanying them behind