Human Resources

Recruitment & probation

Casual/temporary staff guidance notes

These guidance notes do not cover University Teachers: a separate document on the employment of University Teachers is available from Human Resources.

This document is a guide to employing casual staff in the academic year 2017/18. Deans of Schools/Heads of Departments should ensure that all members of staff are aware of these procedures.

Operations Committee approval is required for employment over 8 weeks (previously 4 weeks). A contract is still required after 4 weeks.


Traditionally, staff have been employed on a casual basis to complete short term pieces of work or projects, or to cover the absence of permanent staff. However, recent legislation makes it more difficult to employ people on such a basis. This document is designed to provide guidance on how to ensure that this legislation is adhered to when employing staff on a casual basis.

This document is for guidance only. If you have any questions or are unsure of what action to take, please contact your HR representative.

Summary of responsibilities

It is essential that Departments follow the procedures to avoid a delay in payment to an individual.

Head of Departments Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Head of Department to:

• Ensure the procedures outlined in this document are followed correctly
• Ensure that the ‘Good Recruitment Guide’ is followed when recruiting casual staff for work which will last longer than 4 weeks
• Ensure that Immigration Checks are carried out within the Department for all casual employees.  For Tier 4 visa holders, a scanned copy of the verified passport and visa documents must be attached to the first claim form.
• Check and sign claim forms to ensure that the Departments budget is being utilized effectively. If appropriate, the Head of Department can nominate an individual with the correct signing authority to sign the claim forms. However, it is important to note that ultimate responsibility for the budget lies with the Head of Department
• Nominate an individual to act as Department contacts for the claims procedure

Managers/Supervisor Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the Manager/Supervisor of the casual employee to

• Follow University procedures and guidelines when recruiting casual staff
• Ensure that the individual is paid the appropriate hourly rate in alignment to Loughborough University’s pay spine
• Ensure that the individual has claimed accurately for the hours worked and in a timely manner

Department Contacts Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the Department Contact to.

• Check that claim forms have been completed correctly and process them in a timely manner. (eg. No more than 3 months after the work). Ensure a ‘right to work’ check has been completed and attach a scanned copy of the Tier 4 visa holder verified documents to the first claim form.
• Allocate each claim form with a SOC code and act as a point of contact for Payroll if a claim form has not been completed correctly. Casual staff employed for less than four weeks do not require a contract. If the individual works for longer than eight weeks then Operations Committee approval of the position is necessary. A contract must be raised by Human Resources if the employment is for longer than four weeks.

Relevant employment legislation

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act (2006) and Immigration Act 2016 requires all employers in the UK to make basic document checks on every person they intend to employ before that individual commences work. The necessary checks are carried out within the Department/Section for casual staff before they commence work.

The Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (2000) have been implemented to ensure that part time workers are treated equally in comparison with full time workers doing the same type of work within the same organisation, (although fixed term part time workers can now claim unfair treatment in comparison with permanent full time workers). They are therefore entitled to the same hourly rate of pay, the same entitlement to annual leave and other leave (e.g. maternity), the same entitlement to sick pay and so on. Often, people employed to carry out a short term project are likely to be employed on a part time basis, and are therefore covered by these regulations.

The Fixed Term Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (2002) provide protection for employees on fixed term contracts preventing employer’s abuse of such contracts. Staff employed on short term contracts are covered by these regulations. People employed on fixed term contracts have the right to the same terms and conditions and benefits as permanent employees. This includes, pay, annual leave, sickness entitlement, redundancy payments and so on. The University must have an objective justification for treating a fixed term worker differently from a permanent worker. In addition, from 2006 a fixed term worker can expect to be made permanent after a period of four years in post on successive fixed term contracts.

The University has a policy, agreed with the unions, that wherever possible the fixed term limits on posts should be removed and therefore this should also be considered when employing staff.

All workers are entitled to a minimum of 20 days paid annual leave per year (pro rata for the hours they work) as a result of the Working Time Regulations. However, with the Fixed Term Workers and the Part Time Workers Regulations, giving staff the statutory minimum is not acceptable, as they will not be being treated equitably with colleagues. 

The gap between previously called ‘casual’ employment and more formal employment has closed significantly as a result of these pieces of legislation. Normal employment rules will therefore apply to most appointments within the University.

It is also worth noting that records on all casual staff now have to be reported to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Recruitment and selection of casual staff

It is the Departments responsibility to recruit and select casual members of staff. If an appointment is to last for longer than four weeks, the University’s Good Recruitment Guide must be adhered to.

Please note that it is University policy that posts lasting less than nine months need not be advertised, but if an extension is anticipated the post should be advertised from the outset. 


Staff employed on a casual basis must be paid a fair rate for the work they are undertaking to ensure that the University complies with Equal Pay legislation and other legislation protecting the rights of staff who work on a part time basis and on a fixed term basis. The following guide has been produced to assist departments in determining a fair rate of pay for the many different types of casual work undertaken in the University.

Below is a list which has been designed to assist in deciding which grade the work is matched to. A spine point at any point in the grade may be used and factors such as previous experience and qualifications should be considered when deciding which point to select.

If the duties do not adequately describe the duties required of a casual member of staff, further analysis using the job families should be carried out. Please contact your HR Partner of HR Adviser for assistance or visit the Jof Families page for further information

Grade 1
• Assisting with bulk mailings (filling envelopes, bulk photocopying)

Grade 2
• Routine typing or data entry
• Receiving, sorting and delivering mail
• Making routine arrangements and bookings
• Preparing of straightforward materials
• Student Guide
• Making telephone calls for fundraising/admissions initiatives

Grade 3
• Making and receiving telephone calls for fundraising/admissions initiatives and dealing with queries as they arise
• Creating documents from a clear brief
• Updating databases
• Filing documents
• Routine reprographic work
• General clerical duties such as arranging meetings, distributing information and contacting customers
• Reception work

Grade 4
• Conducting straightforward experiments, recording test results and reporting findings
• Analyzing data and producing summaries and reports
• Taking minutes
• Keeping diaries
• Composing routine letters and documents from a general brief
• Screening telephone calls and answering queries

Grade 5
• Assisting with the activities of a particular research project, such as conducting experiments and fieldwork
• Conducting literature and database searches
• Producing complex statistical and financial analysis
• Maintaining departmental information and documentation
• Maintaining website

Grade 6
• Operating specialist equipment
• Preparing project specifications
• Developing research proposals
• Writing up research for publication
• Providing and disseminating specialist knowledge and advice
• Develop processes, procedures or systems

Costs to consider

When employing staff, whether short or long term, it is important to consider the additional costs involved.

The additional annual leave costs for very short term or casual contracts can be found within the casual pay scales.

As all employees who are employed for more than three months are entitled to join a Pension scheme, the Department will incur an additional cost of a maximum  of 21% pension contributions if, the casual member of staff opts to join the relevant pension scheme. 

NI is not calculated cumulatively, so each pay period stands in isolation.
This means that NI will be deducted on any payment above £680 in a particular month, regardless of whether the casual employee’s pay to date is within the tax-free allowance.  It is therefore important that claim are submitted regularly and no later than 3 months following the work.

Immigration checks

Immigration checks must be completed in the School.  The Dean or nominee is responsible for ensuring that the necessary immigration checks are carried out within the School to confirm that the individual has permission to work in the UK, regardless of nationality, BEFORE (s)he undertakes any work at the University.  A signed, dated copy of the relevant documentation should be attached to the request for offer of appointment form for those staff who will receive a contract.

If the individual is not issued with a contract of employment,  a copy of the necessary evidence should be kept in the School. Staff responsible for checking immigration documentation in Schools should refer to the Guidance Documentation for up to date instructions.

IMPORTANT: Students on a Tier 4 student visa can only work a maximum of 20 hours in a single week,   i.e Monday to Sunday, across all departments, including voluntary work.   Any breach of this limit will affect their right to study in the UK and the visa could be at risk and revoked by the Home Office.

The verified passport and visa documents must be attached to the first claim form

Please note that the Home Office can undertake an audit at any time without notice and you could therefore be asked to produce this documentation as evidence that the University is complying with Home Office regulations.  Non-compliance with these immigration regulations could result in severe penalties to the University as an employer.

If further advice is required please contact the HR Immigration Team, who will assist in checking eligibility to work. 

A list of acceptable documents for the ‘Right to Work’ check can be located in the sidebar.

Further information on immigration can also be obtained from your HR representative.

Procedure for making a claim

IMPORTANT: Students on a Tier 4 student visa can only work a maximum of 20 hours in a single week,   i.e Monday to Sunday, across all departments, including voluntary work.   Any breach of this limit will affect their right to study in the UK and the visa could be at risk and revoked by the Home Office.

Casual staff should claim for work undertaken using the First Claim Form and the Subsequent Claim Form. A scanned copy of the verified passport and visa documents must be attached to the first claim form.

Casual employees should submit their first claim using the First Claim Form. This form requires the individual to submit personal information and equal opportunities information as well as details of their claim. All sections of this form must be completed for the form to be accepted. If the individual has already completed the First Claim Form, they do not need to complete this again. Please note that it is now obligatory to provide a National Insurance number wherever possible. A contact email address (business or personal) is now also a mandatory requirement.

The second claim in an academic year and all subsequent claims must be made using the Subsequent Claim Form. This will only ask claimants to provide details of the work undertaken.

Each Department will have one nominated individual who is responsible for checking all claims. If you are unsure who this person is, please speak to the Departmental Administrator. This individual will ensure that all claim forms are provided with a Standard Occupational Code and that a record of the claim will be kept for the purposes of Departmental budgeting.

Claim forms will not be actioned unless the following information is completed:

  • Full name
  • If a Tier 4 visa holder -A scanned copy of the verified passport and visa documents must be attached to the first claim form
  • Number of hours worked, over which days of the week
  • Total amount claimed
  • Departmental signatures including Head of Department
  • SOC code [to be completed by Departmental Contact]
  • Email address

Payments will be made on the 15th of each month, or the last working day before the 15th of each month.

Failure to complete the form fully and provide appropriate authorisation will result in a delay in paying the Casual Employee and the form returned.


Different contractual requirements exist for casual appointments which last for less than 4 weeks and for appointments in excess of 4 weeks.

Please note: if you are employing a University Teacher, these requirements differ considerably.

Appointments for less than 4 weeks

If the planned employment will last for less than 4 weeks, Human Resources do not need to be informed. However, in order to ensure that equal pay legislation is adhered to, the employee’s salary should be based on the appropriate salary scales. When deciding on the spinal point to be used, consideration should be given to the duties involved and the employee’s skills and experience for the work required.

The Head of Department is responsible for ensuring that the employee is entitled to work in the UK. This is a requirement of the Asylum and Immigration Act (1996) which makes it a criminal offence to employ an individual who is not eligible to work in the UK. See the Immigration Checklist in the sidebar for full details.

The employee will be paid via the Claims Payroll.

It is the responsibility of the Head of Department to ensure that the correct annual leave entitlement is paid in addition to the hourly rate.

These rates are based on the annual leave entitlement for staff employed on a full time permanent contract within the University and includes an allowance for bank holidays. This entitlement requires the employee to take annual leave when they are not required to work for the University.  

Sometimes it is not known at the commencement of employment whether the job will last for four weeks or more. If someone is employed on a casual basis and it becomes apparent that the employee is likely to be required to work in excess of four weeks a contract request should be made. If it is envisaged that the employment may continue beyond eight weeks, an application to Operations Committee should be made without delay. It should be made clear on the paperwork that the employee is already working so that the submission can be considered urgently.

Appointments of more than four weeks

Any appointments in excess of four weeks should be treated in the same way as any other appointment. Approval must be sought in advance from Operations Committee. The University’s Good Recruitment Guide also applies; in particular it means that any appointments in excess of nine months should be advertised.

There are two types of contract that can be issued in this instance:

• Fixed hours contract
• Variable hours contract

A) Fixed Hour Contract

Those employed on fixed hours contracts are likely to be employed to complete a very short piece of work, or, for example, to cover another employee’s absence. They will have set hours for each day and will be required to work those hours for the duration of the contract.

Such casual staff should be paid on the grade appropriate for the job, (e.g. someone employed to carry out secretarial duties should be paid at the appropriate level within the Administrative Grades).

The spinal point offered should be paid after considering the nature and duties of the work. The employee will not be paid an hourly rate, but will receive a pro-rata salary for the hours they work through the Monthly Payroll and not via the Claims Payroll.

If the Payroll section receive a claims form for an employee for two consecutive months from the same Department, they will not process the second payment without a copy of a Contract of Employment.

The Request for an Offer of Appointment Form should therefore be completed before the employee starts (or as soon as possible after it becomes apparent that the initial four week contract is to be extended and sent to Human Resources along with either an Application Form or CV.

Human Resources will generate a contract of employment based on the information provided in the offer form and the approval from Operations Committee (if the employment is for over eight weeks). The contract of employment will refer to the appropriate conditions of service, dependent on the nature of the work.

The employee will also be entitled to annual leave, which will be specified in the contract of employment. For part time posts of less than three months duration, a supplement will be paid to the employee to cover annual leave accrued.

If an employee is employed full time and/or for a period in excess of three months, wherever possible, they shall be entitled to a pro-rata annual leave entitlement, which they can take when operationally possible.

If you wish to extend or terminate the contract, please contact the relevant HR representative. Periods of notice as laid out in the appropriate conditions of service will apply.

B) Variable Hours Contract

Sometimes the University may require people to work on a more flexible basis. They will not have specific hours and may be asked to work as and when required. An example might be a Relief Recreation Assistant, who may be asked to cover for the absence of permanent staff.

Usually in these situations, there is no mutuality of obligation. This means that the University is not obliged to offer this person work, and the person is not required to accept any work offered to them.

It is important that these employment situations are monitored very carefully, as regular periods of working or a pattern of working can result in the employee having continuous service and therefore gaining certain employment rights. The Employment Rights Act (1996) stipulates that there is a statutory presumption in favour of continuous service and unless an employer can prove that there was no continuous service, the employee will be presumed to have continuous service. In these instances, a regular working pattern or a reasonable expectation of work can result in an employee being classed as having continuous service.

The Request for Offer of Appointment Form should be completed before the employee starts (or as soon as possible after it becomes apparent that the initial 4 week contract is to be extended) and sent to Human Resources along with either an Application Form or CV.

A contract of employment will then be sent out to the employee, confirming that there are no set hours and that there is no requirement on the University to provide work and no requirement on the worker to take on work. It is important that this is made explicit before the employee commences. Human Resources will also indicate what entitlement to annual leave should be paid.

The contract of employment will state the following:

‘The University is under no obligation to provide work for you and you are under no obligation to accept work offered to you by the University.’

An hourly rate of pay will be calculated by Human Resources from the grade and spinal point indicated on the request for Offer of Appointment Form and entered on the contract of employment. The payment due should be calculated using the salary scales appropriate for the type of work undertaken. Where the casual worker is a relief worker, who is employed to cover for absences, the grade for the permanent job should be used as a starting place. The reduced level of duties and responsibility should then be considered and usually a lower spinal point will be agreed as the appropriate rate for the relief job.

Each month, if the employee has worked, a Claim Form should be submitted to Payroll who will make the necessary arrangements to pay the employee and will ensure that the annual leave supplement is included.

It is important to note, that Payroll will not be able to authorise payment for an employee who has submitted two claims forms from the same Department within the previous three months, without a copy of the Contract of Employment.

The employee will be subject to the Conditions of Service specific to their job type. However, in the Special Circumstances Section of the Contract of Employment, it will be made clear that the notice period on either side will be one week only.