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FAQs - Background

Background FAQs

The benefits of the University's contracting arrangements for postgraduate students include:

  • Greater professionalisation of the role of the Postgraduate Teaching Associate, including clear association with the Education and Scholarship academic terms and conditions of employment;
  • Enhances students' future employment opportunities by including employment status on CV’s;
  • A commitment by both parties - in terms of the University to provide work and by the employee to undertake the work that has been agreed;
  • Participation of postgraduate students in induction, probation, training and Performance Development Review procedures (via ePDR) for which payment will be made for participating in these activities;
  • Membership of the university’s pension scheme arrangements “Universities Superannuation Scheme” and other benefits received by employees of the University, including sickness benefits;
  • Ensures that the terms and conditions and benefits are applied equitably with other employees on similar contracting arrangements.

New contracting arrangements for Postgraduate Teaching Associates were launched in September 2018. The aim of these new arrangements were to improve the employment and payment options for our postgraduate students by offering annualised or termly staff contracts or casual work in line with the University’s business rules for engaging workers.

These changes provide simpler and more efficient contracting arrangements, and a contract and payment process that reflects the flexible nature of PTA working patterns. They include:

  • Students will receive a Assignment Schedule 2021-2022‌ from their college with a full description of their hours worked and hours training.
  • Students will receive a guaranteed hours employment contract. The contract does not provide a full description of the hours worked as these may vary, but it guarantees a minimum number hours of work that will be paid for the contract period, even if those hours are not worked.
  • Students scheduled to undertake ad-hoc work temporary work will be engaged on a casual basis. If further work is offered that is regular and pre-scheduled, they will be transferred to a guaranteed hours contract.
  • Students will be paid by submitting claims based on the hours they have worked via iTrent, the University’s payroll and Employee Self-Service system. PTA Co-ordinators or line managers will be required to approve these claims, and the payment for that work will be made in the next available monthly payrolll
  • Students are eligible for the annual salary increment. For further information please see the University Salary scales.
  • Students will continue to be engaged in accordance with the arrangements set out in the “Employment of Postgraduate Students: Code of Good Practice”.   
  • Right To Work documents must be provided before commencing work at the University. 
  • A pre-medical assessment form will be used to assess the need for any reasonable adjustments (as with other employees);
  • Students will be automatically enrolled in the pension scheme;
  • Hours will be allocated as appropriate for induction, probation, training and performance development review processes (via ePDR) ;
  • Students are permitted to undertake other casual assignments at the University (e.g. exam invigilation, research assistant, supporting WP and outreach activities).  Students are asked to be mindful of the maximum 180 hours annually that students engaged in postgraduate study are permitted to work.  Additional hours for non-PTA work can be claimed using the PTA103 Additional Hours form;
  • Students will need to give notice and resign if they wish to be released from work commitments.

No, Early Career Researchers are already employed full-time on contracts of employment.