Engagement of Workers
The University recognises that there are occasions when it is appropriate for individuals to undertake work on an irregular or short-term basis as workers. A typical worker relationship is characterised by the fact that, outside of the particular engagement, there will be no obligation for the individual to perform work or for the University to offer work to that individual.
As a people-oriented and socially-progressive employer, we are committed to ensuring that individuals providing work to us are engaged on the most appropriate contractual arrangement for both parties. As a result, we guarantee to offer each of our workers a minimum number of hours of work. Workers are issued with an assignment, detailing their guaranteed minimum hours and the period of engagement.
For further information about the engagement of workers and the principles of an assignment, please see the Guidance on Engagement of Workers. The purpose of the Guidance is to:
- Help managers choose the most appropriate type of engagement for individuals undertaking work for the university; and
- Ensure that the appropriate rates of pay and hours are applied for those individuals engaged as workers.
Worker Rates of Pay
There are published pay rates that apply to the majority of our worker engagements. Hourly rates have been determined by ascertaining the main duties/demands of the work and determining which of the descriptions contained within the University Job Level descriptors provide the best match. Rates are presented as an hourly rate as workers will not be undertaking all of the activities associated with a grade. The University has established standard rates of pay which will cover the majority of worker engagements. Where the potential work is not covered by the published pay rates, Departments/Schools should refer to the Job Level Descriptors and speak to their HR team for further guidance.
Worker Rates of Pay are detailed within Appendix 2 of the Guidance on Engagement of Workers.
Holiday Pay for Workers
All workers (regardless of the number of hours guaranteed per Academic Year) will receive an additional payment of 17% or 19% of each payment (dependent on the job role that the worker is engaged to perform), in respect of holiday pay. Holiday pay is calculated as a percentage of the hourly rates as follows:
- Grade 1 to 5 equivalent: 17% of hourly rate
- Grade 6 equivalent and above: 19% of hourly rate
The Pay Scales table on the University website provides further information of hourly rates and grades within the University.
For budgeting purposes, salary scale figures, inclusive of National Insurance and Pension costs can be found on Finance Department's Staff Payments web page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following a number of engagement sessions with Departmental Administrators and Work Requestors on the process of engaging workers and worker assignments, the following FAQs have been prepared:
What information will be required to set up each assignment?
Each assignment will record:
- department/school in which the work will be undertaken;
- period during which the individual will be engaged;
- number of minimum guaranteed hours of work during that period;
- type of work to be undertaken;
- default ledger code(s);
- rate of pay; and
- Right to Work indicator*
*the system will indicate whether or not current Right to Work evidence is held (in the context of the Assignment dates) but it will be possible to create an assignment, subject to RtW evidence being presented, before work commences.
Can assignments for individuals who undertake the same work be ‘batched’ and associated with a particular payment?
In addition, each assignment will be unique to the particular individual and most of the assignment form will require to be populated with information personal to the individual.
No. However this is an understandable question, given that each worker engaged by the University will require an ‘assignment’ to be set up on the system, setting out their guaranteed hours. Necessarily, the first step in the process is to identify an individual and the information that Departmental Administrators require to input into the system to set up an assignment will largely mirror that previously required to process a claim.
An assignment may be set up once per individual (per type of work), for a series of subsequent claims. Claim forms are considerably reduced in size (in comparison to the old requirements) because we will have captured most data at the assignment stage. As a result, there should be a time saving overall, when processing claims for individuals.
Will the department/school need to locally record: (i) the number of hours the University guarantees to offer; (ii) the number of hours offered; and (iii) the number of hours not accepted for each individual?
The department/school will be able to see the number of hours the University guarantees to offer – together with any associated claims – as part of each of the individual’s assignments. This will allow department/schools to easily track the number of claims made (number of hours offered and accepted) vs the guaranteed minimum hours.
Departments/schools should retain local evidence where hours have been offered to the individual, but declined (number of hours offered but not accepted). These hours offered contribute to the guaranteed minimum that the University has offered to the individual. The form of evidence is a local decision, but we suggest some form of written/electronic evidence is retained by the department in a location accessible and easily located by others in your department who may need access to the information. The written evidence (e.g. email) should, where possible, record:
Which assignment the hours offered relates to;
- Which assignment the hours offered relates to;
- The date on which the hours were offered;
- Details of the hours offered - proposed date, time and number of hours offered;
- The date on which the hours were refused;
- The method by which the hours were refused (telephone call; email; etc)
- The fact that the individual has refused the hours; and
- The reason for refusal, where provided.
Will the system indicate to the department/school where a student has another assignment within the University?
No, the department/school will not have visibility of other assignments elsewhere in the University.
However, where a student has a Tier 4 visa, the system advises the student, the departmental administrator and the budget signatory if a claim is being submitted which would - in itself or added to concurrent/overlapping claims - total more than 20 hours in any given week. The information provided to the departmental administrator includes a list of the relevant claim IDs and the departments/schools in which the other work was carried out. Although such circumstances must always be checked, it should be remembered that there can be legitimate reasons for Tier 4 hours exceeding 20 per week, such as undergraduate work being performed during vacation periods. Further information is available on the Right to Work webpage.
How will the system cope with different rates for the same person if doing different work?
An assignment must be set up for each type of work being carried out by the individual, because each assignment guarantees a number of hours, involving a specified type of work, at a specified rate. See Appendix 2 of the Guidance on Engagement of Workers for further details on job titles, the description of work to which that relates and the relevant pay rates.
Can additional hours be added to an existing assignment?
However, departments/schools are encouraged to estimate the number of hours to be worked as accurately as possible, to ensure that the guarantee of hours is fair and reasonable in the context of known departmental requirements. It should also be noted that we generally do not expect Assignments to be fixed for longer than one academic year (therefore it will not be possible nor appropriate to set up an ‘open-ended’ Assignment).
No, not on the Supplementary Payroll system. The Assignment will (i) relate to a specified time period (e.g. generally a maximum of one academic year) and (ii) guarantee a minimum number of hours only. Within reason, if there is a need for additional hours to be worked, this can happen without the assignment being changed or a new assignment being created.
For individuals with repeat claims, will there be a simplified version of the claim form?
Yes, as the assignment will hold most of the details currently captured by the existing claim form. As a result, the information required by the new claim form will be limited to the dates when the work was carried out, and changes to address, bank details, etc.
Will Tier 4 students be informed if they input a claim that would result in them exceeding 20 hours in one week?
Where a student has a Tier 4 visa, the system advises the student, the departmental administrator and the budget signatory if a claim is being submitted which would - in itself or added to concurrent/overlapping claims - total more than 20 hours in any given week. The information provided to the departmental administrator includes a list of the relevant claim IDs and the departments/schools in which the other work was carried out. Although such circumstances must always be checked, it should be remembered that there can be legitimate reasons for Tier 4 hours exceeding 20 per week, such as undergraduate work being performed during vacation periods. Further information is available on the Right to Work webpage.
Can we report on claims?
Yes, and HR will be doing so proactively, especially during the bedding-in-period, to monitor the hours claimed versus hours guaranteed, the rates of pay selected and any non-standard rates used (along with the reasons).
What are the appropriate pay rates?
A range of hourly rates has been identified by HR, for common types of engagement. See Appendix 2 of the Guidance on Engagement of Workers for further details on job titles, the description of work to which that relates and the relevant pay rates. These rates are available for selection when processing claims through the Supplementary Payments route. As noted below, there will be an opportunity to enter an alternative, non-spinal rate in exceptional circumstances.
Will the system be able to incorporate non-standard rates?
In exceptional circumstances only, departments/schools may need to enter a rate against a claim which is not available from the list of standard rates displayed for that type of work. In the first instance, please speak to your HR team to agree a rate of pay.
Justification for non-standard rates will need to be provided when entering such rates on the Supplementary Payments system. For the purpose of ensuring fair and appropriate levels of pay, the use of non-standard rates will be monitored, with a view to further standardisation where reasonable and appropriate.
Will the system be able to incorporate a multiplier rate?
No, multipliers should no longer be used. When determining the minimum number of guaranteed hours for staff engaged in teaching (and recording them on system for payment), account should be taken of the time required to mark student work and/or prepare class teaching and assignments. For example, for each hour of tutoring or lecturing, an additional hour may be allocated for preparation time or marking time (whichever is relevant).
This is particularly important when engaging students who have permission to work in the UK under a Tier 4 Student Visa. Generally, Tier 4 students are limited to no more than 20 hours work per week during term time – hours paid for marking or preparation count towards that limit. For further information, please see the Right to Work in the UK page of the University’s website.
Are we able to pay fixed fees?
Among the key objectives for the proposed developments is the ability to offer and record the number of guaranteed hours of work, and to monitor these against the hours of work that have been claimed. In addition, the standard rates of pay should allow for a move away from a fixed fee payment and towards accurate payment for hours worked. Finally, in the cases of non-EEA, Tier 4 students, we need to be able to evidence compliance with limits on the number of hours that are allowed to be worked.
As a result, it will be essential to process claims on the basis of hours worked. If as an exception, a fixed fee is paid, it should be divided by the hours worked and must comply with our obligation to pay the Living Wage. See below for specific information relating to external examiners.
How should we record fixed fees for external examiners?
Among the key objectives for the proposed developments is the ability to offer and record the number of guaranteed hours of work, and to monitor these against the hours of work that have been claimed. In addition, the standard rates of pay should allow for a move away from a fixed fee payment and towards accurate payment for hours worked.
However for external examiners, we appreciate that a fixed fee is payable which is not linked to a set number of hours, or is dependent upon variables that cannot be quantified at Assignment stage. Due to the variability in hours worked for the fixed fees, external examiner fees can be put through at 1 hour for the non-standard rate equivalent to the fixed fee payment.
Is holiday pay only charged for actual hours claimed?
Holiday pay will be paid automatically, in each pay period, as an appropriate percentage of the actual hours worked (either 17% or 19%, depending on the grade-equivalent of the work undertaken).
Does the system allow departments/schools to select budgets from elsewhere in the University i.e. SEES?
To a limited extent, yes. Departmental Administrators will be assigned appropriate organisation(s) and the codes that they see will be appropriate to these organisations. In the event of administrators requiring associations with other organisations, these will be confirmed with budget holders then assigned by HR. In addition, charge codes for External Examiners will continue to be available to all Departmental Administrators.
Does the system have the facility to be able to select multiple budgets on the same claim?
Yes, as they can currently.
What if the budget code is unknown or requires to be changed?
Ledger codes can be defined at Claim stage which do not necessarily have to be the same codes defined at Assignment stage. The approval route for the Claim will be dictated by the ledger code(s) selected at Claim stage.
Can we export information from FMS for analysis?
Yes, information can be exported to allow for further analysis on expenditure.
Is the budget signatory required to approve an assignment as well as associated claims?
The creation of an Assignment guarantees a minimum number of guaranteed hours of work. Consequently, an Assignment commits the University to a minimum payment. Generally, across the University, a budget holder is required to follow an authorisation process where there is a finance implication - and this is the case for Assignments. Under certain circumstances, it will be possible to request that approval requests be redirected; however, this would necessarily mean rerouting the workflow to someone with appropriate authority to approve payments. This option could also apply in the event of the absence of the approver, to ensure that payments are processed within the payroll deadline.
The deadline for claims to reach Finance will be 10.00am on the 5th of the month.
Will all workers be asked to provide qualifications?
Where workers are carrying out the type of work that requires confirmation of their qualifications to carry out the role, the process should remain consistent with current practice.
How long is a right to work check valid for?
At the point of creating an Assignment, the system will determine, based upon the end date of the Assignment and the expiry date of evidence uploaded against any previous claim (e.g. the visa expiry date), whether or not the Departmental Administrator should ask for current proof of Right to Work. In order for us to ensure compliance with Home Office legislation, evidence will be sought for every individual who has not previously had proof of Right to Work uploaded into the system. Thereafter, for non-EEA assignees only, the system will ask (mandatorily) for evidence to be uploaded if:
- the Assignment end date is later than the expiry date of Right to Work evidence uploaded previously, and/or
- the Right to Work evidence was uploaded in a previous academic year.
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