Students Staff
University of Essex

July 2, 2020

Armed Forces Week

Filed under: Developing Excellence — Tags: — Mohammed Alam @ 12:56 pm

My job as the Financial Reporting Accountant in Financial Planning and Data Insight involves compiling annual financial statements, generating financial reports, and providing advice on the finance system.

In the Army Reserve, my role is Communications Systems Operator with 36 (Essex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron Royal Signals. Since joining in February 2019, I have been developing the skills to fulfill this role, these include setting up radio detachments and using the Bowman radios, as well as basic soldiering skills.

I have really enjoyed my time building up these skills, with every course being different and allowing me to meet plenty of fantastic people from a wide variety of backgrounds, all of who have the same drive and determination to succeed in common.

The skills that I have learned in both of my careers have been able to complement each other, including time management, teamwork, and communication. Also, specific skills such as using IT systems and coding have been transferable.

One of my highlights with the Reserves so far has been completing my Phase 1 course, which was spread out over four weekends and two weeks and involved learning all the basic soldiering skills, such as fieldcraft, using a rifle and navigation. Another highlight was being able to march through London in January as part of the Privilege Parade. This celebrated my Regiment earning privileged status, allowing them to march into the city “with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed”.

Last month, I took part in part in the 100 for 100 challenge to raise money for the Royal Signals Charity. This involves running 100kms in the month of June to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the Royal Signals. I took this on as a personal challenge and managed to run 476kms, coming first in terms of distance in the regiment, although definitely not first nationally. This is also assisting in my training for the London Marathon, which has now been delayed to October, which I am running to raise money for Help for Heroes), so far, I have raised just over £400 of my £1,000 target.

The University has been brilliant in supporting me in taking part in the Reserves, by allowing me to have additional paid leave to attend my courses and being flexible with fitting my work around any of my obligations.

If you are a Reservist, veteran or part of a military family, we’d love to hear from you.

Ian Haw, Financial Reporting Accountant in Financial Planning and Data Insight



Recording COVID19 related absences

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 12:54 pm

As you are aware, the University is preparing for a number of different scenarios in relation to the current COVID19 situation. This means that we are changing the way any absences related to COVID19 are recorded through iTrent sickness recording.  We are also reminding staff of the need to ensure that their preferred contact number and emergency contact details information is updated on HR Organiser.  Holding this information is a reasonable request and the data will only be visible to line managers and People and Culture (HR) members of staff.  We would be grateful if you could also encourage your team member(s) to do the same.

Preferred contact number and emergency contact details

HR Organiser has the provision for members of staff to record their preferred contact information as well as adding a named individual and contact information as an emergency contact.  This information is only visible to staff within People and Culture and the individual’s Line Manager.  The information is held securely on the University HR system, please can we take this opportunity to remind you to complete the form on HR Organiser and ensure your record is up to date.

To access the page please choose the personal tab at the top of the home page on HR Organiser.

Recording instances of COVID19 related absence

The University is clear in its policy of how staff will be paid when absent from work in a COVID19 related absence.  However, in addition to paying staff we do need to understand how many of our staff may be affected and what we can further do to support affected staff or areas. We have therefore created a separate absence reporting options within iTrent and via People Manager.  COVID19 related absences will be treated as sickness absence but will not impact an individual’s entitlement to sick pay, the entitlement will not be impacted by length of service or any other current term and conditions around entitlement to pay.  Further support for staff is now available on our webpages which we will be working on keeping updated as more news is available.

The categories for recording are:

  • Dependant in self-isolation or school closure
  • Self-isolation on medical advice – contact with confirmed case – no symptoms
  • Self-isolation- return from Category 1 Country
  • Self-isolation- return from Category 2 Country – with symptoms
  • Self-isolation on medical advice with symptoms
  • Covid-19 diagnosed

These can be accessed via People   and recording of ‘Other absence’, attached is a guide to help you when processing this information.

If you currently do not record your sickness through People Manager (UECS or WHH) or are unable to access People Manager please can you email sickness@essex.ac.uk with the details and we will record this on your behalf.

Should you need any further help on how this is done please contact staffing@essex.ac.uk