Principles for Casual Engagements – joint statement with UoN UCU


October 5th, 2023

The University of Nottingham and the University and College Union Branch (UoN UCU) aim to minimise the use of casual engagements and to encourage direct contracts of employment as the preferred solution.

The university and UoN UCU agree that having principles to govern the use of casual engagements can help achieve this commitment, ensuring that people are employed on the right contract based on conditions detailed within the principles.

If a role does not meet the conditions for a casual engagement within the principles, then the university’s default position will be an employment contract such as a permanent or fixed term contract.

The principles aim to support line managers in deciding the correct type of engagement for the job role and to ensure that alternatives have been explored prior to engaging a casual worker. The principles also recognises that casual workers should not undertake activities for which they will not be paid and that there will be regular monitoring of the adherence to the principles.

The principles are being launched as of 1 October and will initially apply to Research and Teaching staff (R&T, T&L and R only). It is our intention that these principles will also apply to all job families and we will align these once full discussions have concluded.

To support these principles, we need robust systems, process and guidance in place. As part of the HR Operational Delivery Plan, HR will be undertaking a full review of the casual engagement process and supporting material to enable staff to engage with and embed the Principles.

This work will be delivered in line with the launch of the Digital Core system, enabling Faculties to fully adhere to the Principles by this time (anticipated May 2024).

Action required (managers): If you manage casual workers you should familiarise yourself with the Casual Worker Principles to ensure you are aligned or working towards alignment by the time Digital Core goes live. If you have any concerns, please contact your HR Business Partner.

Action required (workers/staff): If you are currently casually engaged by the university, either directly or indirectly via a temp agency, then you should familiarise yourself with the Casual Worker Principles to ensure your engagement is aligned with these. If you believe you should instead be on a fixed-term or other employment contract, then please contact your HR Business Partner.

Jaspal Kaur/Helen Dunn, HR Director, University of Nottingham
Howard Stevenson / Andreas Bieler, UCU Branch President

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