Workload agreement

An Agreement on Workload between Loughborough University and the LUCU (University and College Union, Loughborough - formerly Loughborough Association of University Teachers)

This workload agreement exists to ensure duties undertaken by academic staff are allocated in a fair and open manner and to ensure that all staff contribute fully to the activities of the University.

This Agreement is between Loughborough University and Loughborough University and College Union (LUCU) and came into operation from the academic year 2005-06, was updated in 2009 and again in 2013.  It applies to all schools of the University. The University and LUCU seek to promote a congenial and healthy working environment and to engender trust and co-operation between colleagues. Good management at school level is one key to achieving these objectives; colleagues who work in a school in which they feel they have an important role, are part of a team, are fairly treated, are part of the decision making process and work in an environment which is friendly and constructive, will work more efficiently and with less stress.

Implementation of this agreement in Schools is the responsibility of the Dean with the details of how the framework is interpreted subject to agreement with staff in the School and as appropriate to the activities in the School.

The University reaffirms its commitment to its participative processes and structures.

Summary of requirements of this agreement

This Agreement requires that Deans be responsible for producing an annual school workload model (together with its applications). This workload model must:

  1. identify the R (research), T (teaching), E (enterprise and A (administration) workload for each member of the staff engaged in RTEA or TA or T-only;
  2. be discussed and reviewed with its applications to the staff noted in (i), annually at a staff meeting;
  3. be accessible and available to all school staff;
  4. be generally acceptable to all the school staff noted in (i);
  5. ensure that the workload duties are distributed equitably;
  6. be confirmed as being in place with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on an annual basis by the Dean;

All school workloads must be in accordance with these stipulations and with Appendix 1, and should take account of the guidance in Appendices 2, 3 and 4 as may be found helpful.


Bearing in mind the responsibilities of individual Deans for academic, financial and personnel management within the School, there are a number of principles which make for good school management and which should be observed.  

  • Open communication
  • Consultation with staff about the setting of school objectives and priorities.  
  • Clear lines of responsibility and accountability for individuals and school committees.
  • The establishment of a management structure in which lines of responsibility and authority are carefully defined. Staff should be clearly aware of their administrative duties and should be accountable for the performance of those duties.
  • Having in place planning procedures which provide for full and open discussion in school meetings and all staff having access to the necessary financial information that enables them to make a constructive input to the management process. 

Allocation of duties

Duties should be allocated in a fair and open manner so that all staff are seen to be contributing fully to the activities of the school. Specifically:

  • Duties should be allocated with regard to principles of equity and fairness. In the case of academic staff, the balance of duties amongst teaching, research, enterprise and administration will reflect individual expertise and school priorities.
  • Regard should be had to the rights and entitlements of staff within their conditions of service.
  • While hours of work are not fixed, individuals should not be required to work excessive hours for sustained periods.
  • Individuals themselves should avoid the stress arising from overwork on a regular basis.
  • When teaching duties are allocated care should be taken to ensure that prolonged periods of teaching without a break are avoided.
  • For staff returning from long term absence such as sick leave or maternity leave, Deans should agree a phased reintroduction of workload consistent with the University's policies and procedures including those for "Sickness Absence" and "Family Leave".


Deans have to confirm with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on an annual basis that their School is compliant with this workload model agreement and that they monitor its use within the School.  The Deputy Vice-Chancellor has responsibility for overseeing compliance and appropriate levels of consistency with this framework across the University and for ensuring that there are opportunities for discussion and sharing of best practice.


If a member of staff feels that he/she is being unfairly treated with regard to the allocation of duties, he/she should raise it through the Grievance Procedure, the first stage of which will be to discuss the matter informally with his/her line manager.

Appendix 1: General guidelines for the implementation of workload control

Conditions of service

Members of academic and related staff enjoy other rights as specified in contractual conditions of service. Certain items pertain directly to workload, e.g. in the case of academic staff, proper effort shall be made so to arrange the time required to be devoted to teaching and administration that each member shall have at least the equivalent of one day available during each working week for the advancement of their field of study; and academic staff have the right to apply to take study leave according to the conditions of service and Ordinance XV. 

The teaching week and year

  • The teaching week is generally defined as 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on Wednesday. 
  • No member of staff should be required to teach more than two 50 minute lectures and/or tutorials consecutively or more than 4 hours in a practical session. 
  • In order to facilitate the taking of a lunch break, save in exceptional circumstances, members of staff should not expect to teach at both the 12.00-13.00 and 13.00-14.00 timetabled slots.
  • Where teaching is required outside the hours of 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on Wednesday. Particular attention should be paid to an equitable distribution of the resultant workload.
  • Teaching outside these hours, or teaching outside the normal teaching year, will be the subject of consultation with the individuals concerned and appropriate recognition for this will be given.

Professional development time

Staff (academic, research, and related) should be able to devote a reasonable part of their normal working time to professional development time and be able to continue their education throughout their professional lives. This may take many forms and may be done flexibly depending on school circumstances by agreement with the Dean

Appendix 2: Workload: recommendations


Within schools, hour values should be assigned for R (research), T (teaching), E (enterprise) and A (administration) activities for each member of staff. NB: Hours are notional: they cannot be absolute or precise: their use in this Agreement is intended to be helpful in arriving at an overview that shows the overall balance of individuals' activities.

  • The workload model and allocations will reflect the needs and academic discipline of the school. However, the workload model should contain the following: (a) the basis for allocating hours to RTEA (as demonstrated by the Checklist in Appendix 3), (b) a summary table which lists RTEA and total hours for all individual members of academic staff carrying out teaching (see Appendix 4, Table 1) and (c) details for individual members of academic staff (see Appendix 4, Table 2). 
  • UCU’s nationally negotiated model workload agreement states that academic staff are entitled to ten weeks per year (not necessarily in one block), not including annual leave, uninterrupted as far as is reasonably possible by scheduled activities, set aside for research and scholarship.

Research - R

  • Research hours should be assigned. Each school should decide how these are to be assigned, possibly by the Dean, or AD(R) in conjunction with Dean.  The allocation is for the estimated time spent, not the quality of R. The quality is assessed elsewhere.
  • An allocation of supervisory hours per PGR and RA should be made.

Teaching - T

  • All academic staff should undertake undergraduate and/or PGT teaching.
  • Allocations can be per module or hour taught in modules where more than one academic teaches.
  • An allowance for probationers must be included: 1/3 T for year 1, 1/2 for year 2, 2/3 for year 3.

All teaching hours for the school should be included, i.e. TAs, RAs. bought in teachers, PGs etc. This will help schools assess their total teaching needs.

Enterprise - E

  • Enterprise is defined as: academic engagement with business, public and voluntary organisations to create social, cultural and economic impact through knowledge exchange.  Academic staff should agree the list of activities and time allocation with their Dean supported by the AD(E).

Administration - A

  • Each school will have different duties and weightings: add or subtract from the guidance       list. Assign hours allocations for each task.
  • An allowance of 90-120 hours may be given to each academic to cover miscellaneous RTEA administration that is not covered in the list of duties.
  • ‘One off’ jobs should be given an allocation. The ‘predicted’ jobs should be allocated in the   current workload model and ‘non-predicted’ jobs may be compensated for in the following year’s workload model.
  • University duties and committees must be given an allowance.
  • Allowances for PVC, Dea, Associate Dean, Head of Department must be included.
  • UCU representation must be allowed for, e.g. UCU school representative. Facility time allocations for UCU officers are agreed by the Chief Operating Officer and must be implemented within the workload model for officers; financial compensation to the school is allocated by the Chief Operating Officer.
  • Probationers should normally be allocated only minor duties in years 1 and 2.

Appendix 3: Workload: checklist for the notional weighting of RTEA tasks

The allocation of time (in hours) is notional and not prescriptive. The checklist is a guide and each department should decide how the RTEA hours are to be assigned.

The model works on the assumption of a notional 37 hour working week and 30 days + 14 days holiday per year (i.e. 44 weeks.) This amounts to a working year of 1628 hours as a guide, not a limit.

The ‘hourage’ weightings should be assigned and agreed in each school. The list below sets out guidelines to demonstrate which duties need to be taken into account in each school and how these might be defined. There will be other tasks in individual schools that also need to be included. Note that University Committee and UCU hours must be assigned.

Please note Condition 5. Hours of work from the Academic and Related Staff Conditions of Service: Hours of work whilst not fixed are such as are necessary for the efficient discharge of a Member’s duties as reasonably required by the Dean. The nature of a Member’s duties may require from time to time work during hours outside of the normal requirements of a post. No additional payment shall be made for such work but equivalent time off in lieu may normally be granted at the discretion of the Dean.

Research activity (R) hours p.a.

The calculation of the R allocation should include all matters pertaining to research including publications, grants applied for, grants won, outside lectures, organisation of conferences, etc.

Teaching activity (T) hours p.a.

All teaching hours may be included for school use, i.e. TA, RA, bought-in, PG etc. This will help departments assess their total teaching needs.

  • Preparing and teaching a module **or hours for lectures, tutorials, etc
  • Extra preparation time for a new  module
  • Exam marking per module  (*weighted according to the number of students)    
  • CW marking per module (*weighted according to the number of students)
  • Supervision of a masters taught course research project
  • Supervision of a final year research project

* Weighted per number of students

** Schools may allocate hours per module or allocate according to teaching hours (weighted accordingly). This may be easier if most modules have several colleagues teaching on them. A suggested guide is lectures (2 h), tutorials (1.5 h), practical classes (1.25 h), new lectures (5 h)

Enterprise (E)

Examples of activity include:

  • Consultancy through LUEL
  • Knowledge transfer/impact acceleration projects
  • Development projects
  • IP disclosures (with Dean's approval)
  • Commercialisation projects
  • Spin-out company formation
  • short courses
  • Engagement with business partners (generally in support of T and R activity)
  • Engagement with local community groups

Administrative tasks (A) hours p.a.

Basic administrative allowance (for RTA miscellaneous administrative tasks) 90-120 hours*

This list indicates the range of administration tasks which might be undertaken within schools; each school should refine the list accordingly. These are examples of roles and not a complete list.

  • Dean of School
  • Head of Department
  • Teaching coordinator
  • Research coordinator
  • Head of Section
  • Associate Dean
  • Undergraduate admissions (home)
  • Undergraduate admissions (international)
  • Postgraduate research tutor (inc admissions, advertising)
  • Foundation programme tutor (inc admissions)
  • Industrial placement coordinator
  • Visiting students on Industrial placement
  • Open days, induction, school visits etc
  • Organiser of projects
  • Postgraduate programme tutor
  • Undergraduate programme tutor
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd year tutor (for the year cohort)
  • Safety and security
  • Library liaison officer
  • Research seminar organiser
  • Probationary adviser   
  • Senate or Council member 20 hours**
  • Representative on other university committees
  • UCU representative 20 hours**
  • Facility time for UCU officer as agreed by the UCU and Chief Operating Officer

** These allowances should be allocated

Appendix 4: Workload: summary data

Summary workload table which lists the totals  hours for all academics in the department

A Bloggs 500 400 200 528 1628
AN Other 650 250 0 700 1600
J Jones 1300 200 0 325 1825
  total total  total total total

The names and indicated hours are only an example. RTEA hours should be given in nominal hours. The total should be weighted to allow for part-time staff, probationers etc. The average hours for academics should be given. Staff, other than academics, who undertake teaching, may be listed at the bottom to allow for data for total teaching hours in the department. This will help departments planning hours for staff other than academic staff.

Details for individual members of academic staff

Name: A Bloggs, senior lecturer

 Name of JobHoursOther details e.g module code
R PhD students 60 3 PhD: A.Smith, R Patel, Y.Chan
  refereed papers p.a etc 80 4 papers
T Lectures 60 CX003 elementary technology
  Lectures 20 CX201 applied studies
  tutorials etc 25 CX201 applied studies
A 1st year tutor 50  
  Safety Officer etc 40  
E Involvement in Catapult project 60-  

The names and indicated hours are only an example. A separate table for each member of academic staff is essential listing all their workload with details of each item of A, T or R being listed with a total at the bottom. The notional hours should be 37 hour weeks for 52 weeks - 30 days nominal holiday and 14 statutory holidays = 44 weeks, i.e. 1628 hours p.a.