Coronavirus guidance for employees - Sellafield Ltd

Guidance documents and updates for Sellafield Ltd employees.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a fast moving situation. We are responding in line with government guidance and advice from Public Health England.

We have an unprecedented amount of employees working remotely. This page is designed to provide our employees with easy access to the updates and guidance documents they need.

We are providing regular updates to our employees in the staff area of this website and on our social media channels.

This document is live and we are reviewing and updating it regularly, as appropriate.

inforgraphic to represent the coronavirus

Key worker definition for Sellafield Ltd and supply chain employees

Firstly, thank you to everyone for your continued patience, support and flexibility in this unprecedented situation. This communication is designed to provide some clarity on the different ways of working required to support our business and our approach to defining ‘key workers’.

As the Sellafield site accelerates the ramp down of operations, and the site status changes, the business will require different personnel in different areas at different times.

The time at which you are required to attend will determine upon whether or not you are a key worker at any one time. A key worker is someone required to be at their normal place of work (in line with official government guidance). Those required to attend work based upon the criteria here will be informed by line management and issued a Key Worker nomination letter.

We operate with a primary focus on maintaining nuclear safety while protecting our workforce and the wider community from the effects of COVID19.

Our initial response has been to bring operations to a controlled shutdown, minimising the number of staff who need to work in our facilities and offices and maximising those who can work from home or remotely.

As a result our workforce currently falls into 5 groups:

1, Those defined as required to be at their normal place of work (workforce distancing procedures are in place wherever possible)

  1. Those who can work from home (including employees socially distancing)

  2. Those not required at their normal place of work but are available for work

  3. Those not required at their normal place of work but unavailable for work

  4. Those who are ill

The government has issued guidance on which workers are required to be at their normal place of work during the national response – we are referring to these as ‘key workers’ and these should not be confused with the traditional Sellafield Ltd term of ‘essential workers’.

We have developed six stages of business operations to build understanding of which key workers we will require to be at the workplace, depending on our operational state. These stages range from maintaining the sustained nuclear safety of the site, all the way through to a full return to normal operations - see the attachment below for broad definitions of which key workers are required at the various stages.

Key Worker Definition Stages (PDF, 330KB, 1 page)

The decision on which stage the site should occupy at any time will be informed by latest guidance from Government and communicated from the Crisis Management Team, headed by the Director of Environment, Safety & Security, Mark Neate.

Those required to attend work based upon these criteria will be, or have been, informed by line management and issued a key worker nomination letter.

Please note that key worker nomination letters are only applicable for those periods when you are classified as a key worker. This is to help local authorities manage their available resources.

These are challenging times from a personal, local and national level and it’s important that we recognise we have to change the way we think about work during this crisis in order to protect ourselves and the community while maintaining our focus on keeping the site safe.

Arrangements we are all familiar with such as minimum manning, operational manning and the essential worker agreement were never designed to support the level and duration of impact we anticipate from COVID-19 and we have to work together to adapt our arrangements as appropriate.

We recognise the level of speculation about potentially invoking the essential workers agreement, having made an assessment we do not consider that it should invoked on the basis there has been no stand down. Employees may not be attending site, but they are still working remotely.

We are monitoring this position and considering appropriate arrangements against the range of scenarios that may occur.

Home working guidance during COVID-19


  • where possible we will enable employees to work from home, either for practical role related reasons, or because of self-isolation (not sick) or longer term social distancing due to an underlying condition (not sick)

  • staff working from home must adhere to all Sellafield Ltd policies in the same way as if in their normal workplace. The quality and quantity of work and time taken to complete it should be consistent whether working at home or at a Sellafield Ltd premises

  • staff working from home should be working in alignment with their personal and team objectives, or the current needs of COVID-19 response

  • regular catch-ups and review of work should continue to take place between teams, via an appropriate method (most likely telecon – you should make these arrangements within your own teams)

  • a member of staff who is working from home should consider their own effectiveness at home and how they manage potential sources of interruption. Issues should always be discussed with your line manager

Working from Home – what do I do?


  • indicate in your Outlook calendar your working location each day (and contact details if appropriate)
  • update your address book details in the K2 form so contact details are current.
  • set up an ‘out of office’ message from your email account that tells people how to contact you/what your current arrangements are if you do not have access to emails
  • inform your line manager of change of working status (i.e moving from working from home to self-isolation or sick) before 9:00am each day
  • time book weekly as normal and use appropriate time booking codes – these will be made available separately

Normal role

As far as possible employees should continue to carry out their normal role, supported where possible with appropriate technology (laptop, blackberry) and IT access. If this an issue, please raise it with your line manager.

Normal tasks may not always be possible but, as far as you can, business as usual services and activities should continue.

Working hours

Staff should give consideration as to how they manage their working day and be mindful of and work within working time regulations.

There is a risk when working from home that staff work longer hours, as there is not the same trigger to switch off if they don’t have to travel home.

Staff are responsible for managing their working hours effectively. They should record their actual working hours in line with departmental arrangements in OPMS.

Managers have a responsibility to monitor their team working hours and raise any concerns with the member of staff at the earliest opportunity.

Please note that any additional (credit) hours over normal working hours need to be pre-authorised as per terms and conditions.

Line Manager role and accountabilities

Line managers have an important role to play in making home working successful.

Regular catch-ups and review of work must continue to take place with all staff, irrespective of their place of work. This needs to be from both a health and wellbeing perspective and for work oversight, advice and guidance.

Access to the offices

If you do need to access the office for any reason, to collect additional documents or material, to do printing or for another urgent reason please be cautious, agree this with your line manager, and observe appropriate social isolation protocols.

Health and safety

Each member of staff working from home is responsible for the condition of their home-working environment. The environment must be conducive to working from home and all the necessary equipment should be fit for purpose.

The same principles apply to setting up the workstation correctly (including desk/table, chair, and the PC or laptop) and is as important when working away from their normal Sellafield Ltd workplace.

Therefore, homeworkers must complete a Risk Assessment (MS Word Document, 19.4KB).

It’s also important to be mindful of your health and wellbeing while self-isolating or working from home.


Sellafield Ltd Insurance

Sellafield Ltd Employers Liability Insurance covers staff working from home. This insurance policy is placed by the NDA.

Any incident resulting in an injury which may result in a claim should be reported to your line manager as soon as possible and a condition report raised on ATLAS.

Home insurance

Staff working from home should also check with their insurer, to ensure that working from home does not invalidate their policy(ies).


These are challenging times and we all need to work together and focus on delivering what we need to deliver across the business.

Most importantly we need to watch out for and take care of each other as things change in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you in advance for your support.

IT support and guidance FAQs

It’s recognised that our employees are keen to continue productive working while in Covid-19 related isolation.

While a significant number of our employees will have access to corporate laptops and a significant subset of these will have use of the Remote Access Service, some will not.

In recognition of this, our teams are, as a priority, looking at options to provide technology solutions to permit wider capability.

Pending any provision of further capability, the following detail is provided as guidance at all levels.

Key policies to enable home working

How do I manage information classified as OFFICIAL?

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How do I manage information marked OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE?

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Security Operating Procedures for Information Communications and Technology

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Note: The temporary advice found in this document supersedes equivalent advice found within equivalent company policies and procedures. Where discrepancies in the advice given occurs, please follow the advice within this document or contact for further advice.

Can I work at home on my Sellafield laptop/Blackberry?

Wherever practicable, remote working should be undertaken on corporate laptop with remote access capability (RSA token), or via a corporate Blackberry.

These can be used to process information up to and including OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE with descriptor, for example PERSONAL, COMMERICAL or SNL.

Corporate devices should only be connected to the RSA token over trusted personal Wi-Fi.

Corporate desktops must not be removed from Sellafield facilities – they don’t have the correct packages installed for homeworking.

If employees need to take any other IT equipment home, such as screens/keyboards/monitors for example, line manager approval is required.

To help enable effective homeworking, employees can take smaller IT equipment, such as screens, keyboards or monitors, home. Please ask your line manager for approval. They will keep a record of all IT equipment taken home.

Are ISO requests still being processed?

Due to challenges being faced as a result of Covid-19, ISO have implemented a change freeze, effective from midnight on 31st March 2020.

This means that requests from the business that involve system outages, or changes/enhancements to IT applications as part of upgrades or ongoing projects will no longer be actioned.

With effect from 1 April 2020 emergency changes only, that are of critical importance to the mission or integral to site security will be approved by ISO, all other requests will be paused.

We apologise for any impact this may have but we are all working in very challenging times and need to make this decision to ensure we can support our colleagues.

How do I access the network remotely?

If you have an RSA token (SecurID), please log in as normal using Pulse Secure, connect to the network and allow it to synchronise automatically. Once connected, your Outlook folders will update (e.g. emails). You will also be able to access your file shares, folders and documents.

Pulse Secure and Remote Access Service (RAS) instructions:

Pulse Secure instructions

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If you have difficulty establishing a connection, you will need to run a batch file which is located on your C drive (C:\AnyConnectReset\RSA.bat).

Instruction on running the RSA.bat fix

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Please note: The batch file must only be run when connected via Wi-Fi. Do not run this batch file when you are on site and plugged into the network. This batch file will not resolve password issues.

If you continue to experience issues, please contact the IT Service Desk on 019467 71180.

You should download any documents that you wish to read/update, save them to your P drive then disconnect from the network. Please do not stay connected all day as there are a large number of people utilising the network and we need to give everyone the opportunity to connect

When you have finished your work for the day, you should reconnect to the network and move the documents from your P drive to the appropriate file shares and folders.

You can send emails whilst disconnected, they will be stored in your Outbox and will be automatically sent when you reconnect to the network.

Why am I seeing a work offline pop-up on my laptop?

From Monday 30th March we introduced a new procedure whereby after 2 hours of continuous log-in time the system will ask if you wish to extend your session, if you do wish to do this you will need to re-enter your RAS log-on details. Failure to respond will result in your session ending.

it’s important that you disconnect your RAS session when it’s not essential for you to be online.

The message will say ‘’You have now been logged on continuously for 2 hours, please consider working off-line for a period of time’ Please select ‘Extend’ to extend this session then enter your user-ID or email address.

I get a message saying no internet access on my laptop - What does this mean?

Hover over the alert against the Wi-Fi icon and the status displayed is ‘Wi-Fi device No Internet Access and No Internet Access’. This is a security feature and does not prevent access to the network.

My laptop is asking for my Windows password to be reset what is the best way to do this?

  1. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del
  2. Select ‘Change Password’
  3. Enter your current password
  4. Enter your new password twice as instructed
  5. Confirm new password by clicking ‘Submit’
  6. BlackBerry password must also be updated

I cannot remember my Windows Password how do I get it reset?

FastPass – How to Reset your Windows Password

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Can more than 1 person use a Sellafield Laptop?

Up to 4 Sellafield employees in 1 household can use a Sellafield Laptop, however each employee must have a Remote Access (RSA token) of their own. To activate this all users must have logged into the laptop using their token from a Sellafield location, not over remote access. Albion Square 1 and Hinton House will remain open over the coming weeks to be able to do this.

Who do I contact if I want to speak to somebody about my IT query/update or report an IT issue?

You can log a new incident yourself using ServiceNow via the IT Portal, and the IT Service Desk will contact you. Alternatively, you can call 019467 71180 between the hours of 7:00am to 5:30pm.

If you have an IT query please send an email to and the team will contact you.

Please Note: P1 and P2 calls cannot be reported via the IT Portal.

Please do not call for a status update on a request – particularly one for a new remote access token, as these requests are slowing down this work.

Can I use my printer at home?

No – users can’t connect Sellafield Ltd assets to personal assets; this increases the risk of introducing malware and viruses to our network.

Can I print information and take it home? If so, what is the maximum classification?

Sellafield Ltd employees working on OFFICIAL and OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE: Allowed - Please follow additional advice within documents ‘How do I manage information classified as OFFICIAL?’ and ‘How do I manage information marked OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE? which are referenced in the ‘Key policies to enable home working’ section above.

Supply Chain working on OFFICIAL: Allowed – Please follow additional advice within this document ‘How do I manage information classified as OFFICIAL?’ which is referenced in the ‘Key policies to enable home working’ section above.

Supply Chain working on OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE: Not allowed - Information released to the supply chain requires assurances that the information is held securely. We cannot provide this assessment to every employee within a supply chain company.

Can I share a device with a partner or family member, to work remotely?

Yes – current Sellafeld Windows 7 and 10 devices can be shared.

  • Windows 10 users will have to share their Bit-Locker password (the 1st password login) for the device to allowed shared use of 1 device, this has temporarily been accepted by the company.
  • Users will need their own individual RSA token
  • Users will need to log on to the shared device at work before using the RAS token to download a profile

How do I get a conference call number?

You can submit a request using ServiceNow self-service links via the IT Portal. From the IT Request Guide - Go to Telephony & Collaboration Services: Create Audio Conferencing Account.

Note: Only 40 people plus 1 chairperson can use a conference call. If you have an issue while you are in a conference call, dial *0 and an agent will help you.

What do I do if I wipe the data from my Blackberry by forgetting my password?

Please refer to the intranet IT Portal, there is a self-help article for BlackBerry Device Rebuild or call the IT helpdesk on 019467 71180.

Can I email information to my personal account? If so, what is the maximum classification?

Processing of OFFICIAL information (marked or unmarked) on personal devices should be avoided wherever possible. If this is not possible, employees are to adhere to the following:

  • Ensure the device is running current and up to date anti-virus/security solutions, such as Windows Defender
  • Sellafield data is not to be stored on any cloud service for example: Dropbox, GoogleDrive or Microsoft Office365
  • Sellafield data is to be deleted from the machine as soon as practicable
  • Where Sellafield data is emailed back into Sellafield, it should be deleted from email accounts as soon as practicable but not later than 48 hours after transmission.

Processing of personal data (e,g data about other members of employees) is not permitted on personal devices. Personal data of the user may be processed on the user’s machine at the user’s risk.

Can I send emails on behalf of the company from my personal account?

No – Sellafield Ltd and its employees must be transparent and accountable for their decisions, actions and communications; using personal email accounts runs counter to this intent and regulatory expectation. Its also likely that any recipient of such an email would query its validity.

Can I download information onto a USB and take it home to use on my personal laptop/PC? If so, what is the maximum classification?

Yes – The USB device must be provided by ISO and encrypted, the device must also be checked for malware and viruses (Sheep-Dipped) before plugging back into any Sellafield Ltd device.

All files must be deleted from the personal device once work has been completed. The maximum classification that can be taken home and stored on a personal device is OFFICIAL.

What about collaborative working (Microsoft teams, Slack, WhatsApp etc.)?

This is currently under development – Sellafield Ltd ISO Department has commissioned the delivery of a system which will enable collaboration on personal devices.

Until the deployment of this service, please do not use any unapproved 3rd party applications or devices to file share or collaborate.

Can I use Social Media channels and messages?

All staff are reminded that the processing of OFFICIAL (Marked or Unmarked) and above information is not permitted on any social media platform (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack etc.).

The use of SMS/Text service (even on corporate mobiles) is insecure, information of a sensitive or personal nature should not be transmitted by this means.

The use of internet messaging services (e.g. Hangouts, Viber, WhatsApp etc) for processing or discussing OFFICIAL (Marked or Unmarked), OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE or personal data is not permitted.

Can I post work home?

Follow guidance found in these 2 documents for use of UK Post.

  1. How do I manage information classified as OFFICIAL?
  2. How do I manage information marked OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE?

These documents are both referenced in the ‘Key policies to enable home working’ section above.

Can I physically post work through a colleague’s door?

OFFICIAL marked documents can be posted through a Sellafield Ltd’s colleague’s door so long as it is within a sealed envelope and the name of recipient is clearly marked there upon.

The individual should also be given advance warning that the document is to be posted and should either be in the house at the time of posting or at least will be back at the house that day.

OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE information should be enveloped, clearly marked (named individual) and can be posted. The recipient should be present and give confirmation of receipt at the time of posting, i.e. post the documents, knock on the door, stand back to maintain social distancing and confirm that the individual has received the document(s).

Cyber security awareness

During the pandemic, individuals and organisations may seek to exploit this opportunity for cyber security attacks.

In light of this, all Sellafield IT network users should be particularly vigilant and not click on any suspicious links or open unexpected attachments. The following advice applies equally to private emails on personal accounts.

By playing on peoples’ fears of the corona virus spreading and it potentially affecting them and their families, cyber-attacks seek to exploit this by running malicious campaigns to steal money and/or infect computers with malicious software. Beware of:

  1. Subject lines which are offering to give updates
  2. Emails which report an outbreak in your town/city
  3. Advice on how best to protect against COVID-19
  4. Email which contains attachments such as zip files and Microsoft Word (doc/docx) files, which ask users to enable macros in Word

Users are reminded not to open unexpected attachments or click on forwarding links. Instead users should:

  1. Forward the email to Spam Helpdesk (typing spam followed by pressing Control + K) will automatically populate Outlook’s to: line. Alternatively, the full address is
  2. Delete the email

If you have accidentally clicked on what you believe to be a suspicious link and/or opened a suspicious attachment, it is important that you report it to the Cyber Security Team on 019467 77007 or email

Further information and advice on cyber security is available at these 2 recommended websites:



Pay issues and policy/procedure changes


  • arrangements must be simple to understand and implement
  • intent is to minimise the risk of people attending work when unwell and to support efforts in social distancing
  • the business will not put vulnerable employees at risk
  • where will be additional costs involved; this is accepted and will be offset by applying arrangements which will optimise productivity and minimise the numbers of employees who become too unwell to work
  • arrangements will need to be discussed and agreed with the unions. The arrangements in this update have been agreed
  • these arrangements are temporary. They will apply for an initial period beginning on Wednesday 18 March, for one month. They will then be reviewed and may be extended or revised, with union discussion and agreement as necessary

Pay Proposals

Attending work (key workers)

  • under the government guidelines, key workers are required to attend work
  • these workers are defined by the business and notified by their line management
  • pay and time-booking arrangements are unaffected and continue as normal

“Key worker” is a governmental term and should not be confused with the Sellafield term “essential worker” which pertains to a pay agreement and is reflected later in this guidance. Key workers will be / are defined by the business in line with government guidelines and notified by line management with a letter.

The key worker nomination is not intended to override the government advice on response to the pandemic. If you receive a ‘key worker letter’ that conflicts with the government advice specific to your status then you should notify your line manager of your circumstances.

Working from home

  • under the government guidelines, some employees cannot attend work (not key workers, self-isolating or parents/carers), but are able to work from home
  • these employees are notified by their line management
  • pay and time-booking arrangements are unaffected and continue as normal. The practicalities of time-booking remotely should be discussed with line management. The time-booking attendance code “self-Isolation (WFH)” should be used for those employees self-isolating
  • note that individual line managers and team leaders will act in accordance with the direction of their Band 2 Manager who is accountable for oversight
  • note that working from home may not necessarily require provision of a laptop; other work packages may also be provided

Unable to work from home

Employees who are self-isolating in line with government guidance, but who cannot work from home will be paid as normal and asked to book to a new time-booking code. The title of the code is “self-isolation (unable to WFH)”.

Vulnerable people affected by Public Health England guidance (e.g. aged over 70, or those with underlying health issues), who are prevented from attending work will have the same arrangements applied as those deemed to be self-isolating and should book to “self-isolation” (not WFH).

Parents or carers affected by school and nursery closures who are unable to attend work and are unable to work from home will time-book, as stated in below and be paid as normal. Any pre booked annual leave should be honoured.

Employees in the above category on pre-2016 terms should time-book to ‘domestic/family’, employees on post-2016 terms should book to ‘urgent domestic’.

Employees who cannot attend work and are available to work from home - but for whom alternative work packages are not yet available – pay and time-booking are unaffected. When work packages are provided by the business employees become covered by the home working section of this guidance.

Please note that these arrangements are temporary. They will apply for an initial period beginning on Wednesday 18th March, for one month. They will then be reviewed and may be extended or revised, with union discussion and agreement as necessary.

Employees who are ill

  • standard company sick leave and pay arrangements apply (read in conjunction with sickness absence processes)
  • for those employees confirmed as having Covid-19, the absence code “Sickness» Pandemic” should be used
  • for those with Covid-19 symptoms, but not confirmed, the absence code “Sickness»SelfIsolation” should be used
  • or all other illnesses, an appropriate sickness absence code should be used

Working to cover other staff absences (same grade)

  • employees may be asked to work additional hours or attendances to cover the absence of colleagues
  • this should be limited to covering essential, business critical or safety critical work, as defined by a senior (suggest Band 2) manager
  • exception arrangements should be used to cover additional attendances

The Essential Workers Agreement (EWA) may be invoked if the terms of the agreement are triggered. The EWA is a pay agreement triggered when the business is formally stood down via the site release plan - to compensate those who are required to carry on working

Working to cover other staff absences (different grade)

  • employees may be asked to cover other roles to cover the absence of colleagues
  • this should be limited to covering essential, business critical or safety critical work, as defined by a senior (Band 2) manager
  • employees asked to work at a higher grade will be paid using the temporary promotion or substitution arrangements, depending on duration (substitution up to one month, temp promotion more than one month)
  • employees asked to work at a lower grade will retain their normal pay
  • this work would be in exceptional circumstances, and is subject to satisfying the necessary SQEP requirements, and will be done in consultation with the relevant unions

ASW’s, CSW’s and contractors

Given the exceptional circumstances, the following arrangements will apply to ASWs;

  1. self -isolating but able to work from home (with line manager approval): time-book to new code “ASW-Self Isolation (WFH)”. No pay effect, normal hourly rate applies
  2. self-isolating at the line management request but unable to work from home: time-book to new code “ASW – Self Isolation Unable to WFH” until further instruction
  3. Self-isolating/Sick with possible symptoms of Covid-19 but not confirmed and able to work from home (with line manager approval) or unable to work from home (not due to illness): use absence code “ASW Sickness» Self-Isolation”. This code may be used until further instruction, during which time the normal hourly rate applies.
  4. sick/unwell, and confirmed by a medical professional as having Covid-19: use absence code: “ASW Sickness»Pandemic”. This code may be used until further instruction during which time the normal hourly rate applies.
  5. Line managers are asked to be vigilant when approving timesheets and to ensure that these time booking codes are accurately reflective of the ASW working or non-working status. ASWs who are able to work from home should be provided with meaningful work scope to deliver. All ASWs have a mandatory requirement to notify Capita of their working or non-working arrangements through the Capita inbox
  6. regarding CSWs and contractors, we expect all our suppliers throughout all tiers of our supply chain to pay their staff basic wages during the 7-14 day period of self-isolation. This will be an allowable cost in these circumstances

Policy and Procedure Proposals:

  • people joining the organisation and employees currently in their probation period.

Any new recruits who self-isolate before starting or who are asked by the company not to physically begin work on the original timescale will have their contractual start dates honoured and will be paid from that date.

Line managers should complete timesheets on their behalf using the time-booking code “Self-isolation (unable to WFH)“.

Probation periods will be extended for new starters (not able to physically begin work as planned) by the duration of the delay in beginning physical employment.

Employees currently in their probationary period who self-isolate will have their probationary period extended by the duration of the self-isolation

Maternity cases

Normally, an employee who goes off sick for a pregnancy related reason during the last 4 weeks prior to the due date will trigger the start of their maternity leave period. This requirement will be suspended for sickness absence or self-isolation related to corona virus.

Sickness absence processes

Standard self-certification processes will be suspended, with employees able to self- certify for the complete period of self-isolation (currently 14 days).

Employees who are absent on sick due to self-isolation or sickness related to coronavirus Covid-19 will not be managed via the standard escalating process (trigger level reviews).

Any episodes of sickness that are as a direct result of Covid-19 absences trigger a guaranteed extension of up to 6 calendar weeks (or up to 2 weeks if the standard 4 week extension has already been used) on the exhaustion of company sick pay.

Line managers are expected to continue to exercise their duty of care and to manage to the trigger level process in terms of reviewing and considering any support arrangements necessary.

Conduct whilst self-isolating

  • employees who are self-isolating, whether working from home or not, are expected to comply with government/NHS guidance in relation to limiting their exposure to other people and social groups
  • employees who are self-isolating and who are found not to be limiting their exposure to others may find themselves subject to the disciplinary procedure
  • employees who wish to remain away from work beyond the recommended self-isolation periods
    standard arrangements apply, with employees having the option of using:

  • annual leave
  • credit time
  • accrued days
  • unpaid leave
  • special leave will not be provided for this purpose

Management of annual leave

The standard annual leave carry-over arrangements apply - with the Director approval taking due cognisance of Covid-19 absences in assessments.

Directors have discretion to allow additional carry over where leave requests have been refused for business need.

Directors have discretion to allow additional carry over where leave has not been able to be taken due to covid-19 absences, covid-19 self-isolation or the requirement to continue working as a key worker.

Any employees who have unused statutory holiday from FY 19/20 where the balance is greater than the standard 10 days/5 days will be able to carry over their statutory entitlement. This will be managed by NSBS and does not require Director approval.

Additionally, Directors will note the following points when making assessments:

  • The business disruption due to covid-19 started on Monday 16th March, which for day workers was 12 working days before the end of the leave year
  • If employees had annual leave booked since March 16th and did not attend work (or work from home) for reasons associated with the covid-19 arrangements, and their absence was not treated as sickness they are expected to use the annual leave and not to cancel it
  • If they were ill, the leave can be re-categorised as sickness absence. This may result in leave carryover being above the normal 10 days and will be approved by the Director
  • Employees who had leave booked after 16 March but were asked to attend work or work from home due to covid- 19 will have their annual leave carryover increased to cover annual leave not taken during this period. Leave carryover in excess of 10 days will be allowed to accommodate accrued days transferred to annual leave
  • Accrued days cannot be carried over. For any employees with accrued days which now cannot be taken, retrospective OPMS booking can be altered so that outstanding accrued days are transferred to become annual leave. For any time off sick, the accrual of accrued days will be treated as standard

The longer term impact of the pandemic response is not yet clear, and it is likely that in order to manage the longer term impact on the business, management of annual leave will have to be enacted to ensure availability for ramp up and to mitigate a legacy leave build up that the business cannot sustain. Options are being considered and discussed with the unions. Further details will be included in future guidance.

Working pattern changes

Extended and extensive reductions in the numbers of employees able to attend work may require changes to attendance patterns and hours worked.

Basic pay will remain unchanged regardless of hours worked. All allowances are subject to the standard arrangements in T&Cs or relevant agreements. Secondments or temporary changes in shift patterns are treated in line with standard T&Cs.

Allowances for working non-standard shift patterns will be dealt with using exceptions agreements/essential worker agreement, but payment for ongoing and very unusual patterns will be discussed and agreed with the relevant trade union.

Any changes will be carried out via consultation with the relevant unions

On call

The current voluntary arrangements may need to be strengthened for certain groups by making on call a contractual requirement.

The on call allowance in this circumstance will be discussed and agreed with the relevant trade union.

If we do change on call arrangements to become contractual but an employee with this arrangement becomes ill or has to self-isolate and can no longer comply with the on call requirements, the payment would cease for the period in question.

Volunteers, reservists etc.

For any employee who is deployed to assist UK national efforts in support of response to the pandemic (e.g. reservists, NHS recalls, special constables etc.), these will be treated as a secondment with pay and terms unaffected. Guidance should be sought from HR in these instances.

My Contribution

The 1 April 2020 was the planned launch date for the roll-out of My Contribution, our new approach to managing individual and team performance across Sellafield Ltd.

Most line managers have attended the My Contribution training, the supporting tools are available on the My Contribution SharePoint page and the supporting IT system is ready to go.

However, given the unprecedented challenges surrounding COVID-19 and the impact on people and Sellafield Ltd as a whole, we recognise that now is not the right time to launch the My Contribution IT system.

We are currently reviewing a number of options and we will only launch My Contribution at the right time and when we can guarantee there will be no impact on our critical IT infrastructure.

In this challenging environment, we are all adapting our usual ways of working, and as part of that, continuing to have conversations with our people and teams about their wellbeing and day-to-day work expectations is now more important than ever.

By following the checklist below, you can help your team continue to focus on their contribution:

Line manager checklist:

  1. Continue to hold regular telephone and virtual check-in conversations with your team members, with a focus on wellbeing, objectives/goals and behaviours
  2. Record goal, objective and performance data where appropriate so you can add it to the My Contribution system when normal business activity resumes
  3. There is no requirement to populate a 2020/21 PMA form in OPMS at this time

If you have any questions, please email

Absence reporting

In addition to Sellafield Ltd’s normal absence reporting procedures (where individuals would contact their line manager on the first day of absence) all individuals must now also contact NSBS using the absence hotline numbers to report any new or updates to sickness or COVID-19 related absences (including self-isolation and childcare).

Hotline Numbers
019467 81584
019467 79755
019467 81096
019467 84303
019467 81110
019467 86487

The absence hotlines will be available between the hours of 8:10am – 4:20pm

If you are calling outside of these hours please email with the following:

  • employee ID (e.g. 124536)
  • full name
  • contact phone number
  • expected end date of absence
  • reason why you are absent:
  1. COVID-19 symptoms
  2. someone in your home has symptoms
  3. self-Isolating, state if you are pregnant, vulnerable, or over 70 years old
  4. COVID-19 confirmed
  5. childcare
  6. details of any other reason

Line managers – you must ensure the absence hotline numbers, along with the absence reporting email address, are passed onto your team members who make contact to confirm they will not be attending work due to sickness absence.

If a team member contacts you outside of the core hours and the individual does not have a home email address, you must email on the individual’s behalf.

Please note: As part of our COVID-19 action plan, it is imperative that all other non-sickness or COVID-19 related absences are recorded in OPMS on the day.

Volunteering to support our community

As an organisation, we are working with our local authorities to provide support to their response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have also donated personal protective equipment to local health care workers.

As individuals we can all support local organisations and vulnerable people. We know that many of you are already volunteering in your own time through initiatives like the NHS Volunteers.

If you are volunteering please send details to so that we have a collective view of the total support being provided.

Volunteering during contracted hours

We have been working to establish a process that supports you volunteering during your contracted hours of work, while maintaining the key roles that we need at Sellafield.

If you would like to volunteer during your contracted hours, please discuss your request with your line manager who will complete this application form below. Note that the form must be completed and submitted by your line manager or their nominated deputy.

Volunteer Application Form

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

This process is only for those employees who wish to support the Covid-19 response in the community. There is no change for employees who already volunteer for organisations such as mountain rescues, fire service etc.

The application form includes 3 main questions. If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then you will not be able to volunteer during your contracted hours.

Line managers should still submit the completed questionnaire to (for Cumbria based employees) or (for Warrington based employees).

If the answer to all 3 questions is ‘no’ then your completed application should be sent to (for Cumbria based employees) or (for Warrington based employees).

A member of our response team will then contact you directly with details of which community hub you should register with. For Cumbria based employees this will be Support Cumbria. If you are based in Warrington then we will advise which hub to register with based on your home location.

When the relevant hub has assigned you with volunteering tasks you should email details of your assignment to either or Please also send an email to the appropriate inbox if your key worker status changes.

Time booking

Please use the ‘Volunteering-Community’ time booking code in OPMS to record volunteering done during contracted hours.

Requests for support

Individuals requiring support should contact the Cumbria County Council team on 08007 831 966 or via email:

Organisations requiring support should contact the Cumbria Local Resilience Forum via email

Welfare and wellbeing

The coronavirus pandemic has led to lots of changes to how we live our lives. These changes take time to adapt to.

It is hard to provide guidance for all employees on the best way to work from home – some people will benefit from the routine and structure of the working day, whereas others will prefer working at quieter times or where there are less distractions. The important thing is that people find a way of working that is right for them and ensures they’re able to do what they need to.

With lots of our employees now working from home, it’s more difficult to access some of our usual welfare and wellbeing services. This includes our network of mental health champions, who might not be available or might be dealing with unusual circumstances of their own.

Line managers should check in with their employees (home working or otherwise) regularly.

There are lots of other useful sources of information. We have listed some of these below:

Mental health charities

Rethink Mental Health has set up an online hub filled with practical support and information for people living with our supporting people with mental illness.

The Mental Health Foundation have a similar site as well as Mind.

BBC News

The BBC coronavirus pages don’t just contain the latest news. They also have a lot of help and guidance. The BBC also have their own mental health guidance pages.


The NHS website is the place to go for all official government health advice, including relating to mental health and responding to coronavirus.

Sellafield EDI Hub

Employees who have access to the Sellafield Ltd IT network can access our EDI hub. This contains a lot of information, advice and guidance on a range of subjects including coronavirus and mental health.

Employee assistance programme

We also have an employee assistance programme, which can provide specialist guidance and support to employees. Assistance is available by email, over the phone or on their online portal.

In the first instance, please email with the details of what support you’d like. If you want to speak to someone, leave a number and they will call you back.

You need to have a Sellafield Ltd username and password to access the online portal. This is available on the intranet, or by contacting our Human Resources team by calling 01946 777 316 or 07812 221 128.

Wellbeing app

Employees with a Sellafield Blackberry device can access also access the wellbeing app.

Family network

The Sellafield family network is a voluntary group of Sellafield employees which works to support families.

The group can provide peer-to-peer support and signpost people to other routes for advice and guidance on issues they might face.

If you would like to join the network – to speak to colleagues – or because you’d like to discuss an issue the network might be able to support you with, then please email

Employees with network access can access more information on the EDI hub, available from the company intranet.

Sellafield site

Site gates

To access site please use only Main gate or Calder gate. North gate and WAMAC are both closed.

Access arrangements

As part of our business continuity response to the ongoing situation with coronavirus we have been looking at different options to ensure that essential employees and contracting community have options to get to their place of work.

To help our employees who have to continue to work during this time, we removed the need for a SOVA to access the site on your own.

We are still seeing people car sharing. Please remember that you should be travelling to work alone in line with the social distancing rules and whilst at work they should follow the social distancing principles.

Building closures – Covid-19

To reduce the demand on the cleaning staff, the following buildings have been closed:

Offsite offices:

  • The Pavillions at Westlakes
  • Banna Court
  • The Vertex
  • The Copeland Centre
  • Albion 2 (from Tuesday 31 March)

Please note: Albion Square 1 remains open; however, the multi-storey car park has now closed to reduce the burden on the Harbour Commissioner staff. Quay Street North and South car parks (near Argos) remain open and are free of charge.

Sellafield site:

B111, B1634, B1640, B1668, B1808, B1922, B388, B923, B930, B934 and C0816.

B582 - starting on Wednesday 1 April, only the 2nd floor will be open, all other floors will be barriered off. Please only use the facilities on the 2nd floor.

Other buildings are available for people to work from, but they should apply the social distancing rules.

If you are based in a building which is closed and want to collect laptops/equipment you can call the Infrastructure Shift Co-ordinator on 01946 774 770 to make arrangements.

We appreciate this is a change from our usual guidance.

Canteen facilities

The main canteen will close from Tuesday 24 March 2020. During this time we will have a full vending service in the areas offering sandwiches, confectionery, drinks and snacks.

The closure of the canteen aligns to the government advice and will reduce the amount of people needing to attend the site.

Warrington offices

Hinton House remains open every weekday to synchronise laptops and pick up documents and equipment.

From Tuesday 7th April we’ll be adding extra safety measures for employees who need to visit Hinton. These are to ensure we keep track of everyone entering and exiting the building to enable us to maintain social distancing and reduce the possibility of contamination.

Those measures are:

  1. All staff must first speak to their line manager if they are planning to attend Hinton House, and ensure they have approval for the visit.
  2. The line managers of any contractors requiring attendance shall inform the Superintending Officer of their team members attendance via email giving date and time of day.
  3. You must send an email to by 3:00pm the day before you want to access Hinton House and you must ensure your line manager is copied in to the email. If the reasons for your access align with the access criteria you will be sent the Hinton House Entry Notice. You must reply that you have read and understood it and that they agree to abide by it.
  4. If you are not registered you will not be permitted entry

While you have access, you should:

  1. Maintain social distancing at all times while you have access.
  2. Keep a distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and other people at all times.
  3. Spend no longer than 30 minutes inside the building (exceptional circumstances may warrant an extension to this timeframe)
  4. Only use the toilet facilities in the reception area and Core E ground floor.
  5. The use of kitchen areas and drink making is prohibited.
  6. Remember to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds. Follow the NHS advice on effective hygiene and hand washing.
  7. Only carry out work stated on your building entry request. Once this is complete you must leave the building.
  8. First Aid: You must ensure you have a mobile phone with you at all times with the security contact number saved in your phone. You can get this number from reception before you enter the building.
  9. In the event of a fire, please use the Hinton House visitor car park as the muster point, maintaining social distancing at all times, and await further instruction from security who will assume incident command.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Where to find the latest information


  • government coronavirus (COVID-19) - guidance
  • health information and advice - NHS

Sellafield Ltd

  • GOV.UK external website - staff update
  • Sellafield Ltd Facebook - page
  • Sellafield Ltd Twitter - page
Published 25 March 2020
Last updated 6 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. Additonal 'My Contribution' section added

  2. Access information for Hinton House amended.

  3. Updated IT support FAQs and pay policy procedures

  4. Volunteering to support our community section added.

  5. Welfare and wellbeing update.

  6. First published.