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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Bank Holiday and Weekend Working

The normal practice is for teaching to be timetabled on bank holidays. However, departments have the flexibility to re-arrange teaching if this would not have a detrimental impact on students.

When staff are required to teach on a bank holiday, weekend, or after 5pm, Heads of Department and Managers have a responsibility to:

i) Ensure that adequate levels of support are available to all staff (considering administrative, technical, and health and safety requirements appropriate to the work being carried out).

ii) Ensure that all staff are aware of the support available to them.

iii) Provide adequate notice to staff of the requirement for them to work.

The University's terms and conditions of employment detail the arrangements to be made in relation to staff working on public and customary holidays.

Should any member of staff be required to work alone in a department or building at any time, the University's Health & Safety for Lone Working must be followed (see below).

Should a member of staff find it difficult to work on a bank holiday due to caring responsibilities, it may be appropriate to consult the University's Flexible Working policy.

It may be possible to provide pre-arranged IT technical support for teaching on bank holidays - if this is a requirement, please contact your Faculty's Academic IT Lead.

Where practicable, in the absence of administrative staff, arrangements should be made to enable teaching staff to have access to students' files (for example, in case of an emergency involving a student).

Health & Safety - Lone Working

The University Health & Safety Manual Section13 defines the requirements for Lone Working including the need for risk assessment. The general principle is that if a member of staff may be working alone at any time, the Head of Department must ensure that the individual is not exposed to significantly greater risks than when working accompanied.

The department's lone working risk assessment will determine the detailed requirements but, in general, staff working alone, or at times when there are reduced staffing levels, should be reminded of the following:

  • the department's out-of-hours security arrangements;
  • the correct action to take in the case of a fire alarm sounding (as detailed in 'fire action' notices located throughout departments), or other emergency;
  • the 24-hour services emergency contact numbers:;
  • the location of first aid facilities;
  • in the absence of a local first aider, call the security office for assistance on 42222 (Durham) or 40080 (Stockton) 24 hours a day;
  • Accidents, injuries, and any other health and safety incidents must be recorded and reported to the Department and Health and Safety Service;
  • If a student becomes seriously unwell during a lecture member of staff should call the appropriate emergency services.