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PTA Guidance for Managers

Contract and other employment FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions - Contract and other employment

PTA contracts are for a fixed-term period of up to 12 months. This arrangement recognises that PTA teaching requirements vary from year to year based on student choice and student numbers, so it is only possible for the University to commit for the academic year.



If a PTA is sick and unable to undertake scheduled work, they should notify their academic manager or another contact in the College as soon as possible. Their manager should follow the sickness recording process and provide cover where necessary or re-schedule the work. The PTA is able to claim in the usual way for work that they were due to undertake during their period of sickness, but were unable to re-schedule, as they may be eligible to University sick pay. For guidance on managing sickness please refer to the Managing absence Code of Practice.   Advice can also be obtained from your HR Advisor.

The work undertaken by postgraduate students is primarily related to teaching activities and this aligns to the Education and Scholarship job family.

Yes, subject to satisfactory performance, and subject to a minimum of six months’ service in the grade, increments are payable on 1 August each year up to scp 27. For further information on salaries and oncosts please follow this link: Salary Scales.

Yes, their continuous service from when they were issued their contract will apply in their new role (subject to any breaks between contracts).  However, they cannot continue to be employed as a PTA. 

University salaries are paid on the penultimate working day of the month.  The pay date may vary in December but a list of pay dates is confirmed at the beginning of each year.

Provided the claim is submitted and approved by the monthly Payment Claim Form cut-off date, the payment will be made at the end of that month. Further information on payroll deadlines and pay dates can be found here: Payroll deadlines

Please note that we must have received the student's right to work documentation and new joiner details in order to pay them. 


UK law requires the University to check that every worker has the right to work in the UK, and we are expected to conduct this check for each new period of employment.

If the student has previously provided their right to work documents AND they are still in date AND they have worked for the University in the last 12 months, we may not need to re-check their right to work documents. Please contact the HR team for further advice.

Students will accrue approximately 0.18 hours of annual leave for every hour they work and are paid for, and they are able to book holiday via the iTrent Employee Self-Service system. Any holiday that is booked and approved, will be paid to the student in the following month’s payroll at their usual rate of pay. 

Their annual leave will be recalculated on the 1st of every month, to reflect any additional hours they have worked and any holiday they have already taken.

You should ensure that students take their leave each year outside peak times in the area where they normally work. Annual leave may not be taken during term-time, although different arrangements can be agreed for PTAs.

At the end of the student’s contract period, the University will review their accrued annual leave, and will pay them for any untaken holiday.