SOAS University of London

Human Resources

Fractional Teachers Procedures and Policies

Fractional Teachers' policy

The Fractional Teachers' Policy has been revised for the 2017/18 academic session and is available here.

New Fractional Process for 2017/18

New software and processes are being introduced by SOAS to improve how contracts are put in place for and payments are made to fractional staff for the 2017-18 academic year.

A summary of the new Fractional recruitment and employment process is available here.

If you are offered work in the 2017-18 academic year, these changes will impact on you in the following way:
  • You will receive your fractional contract through an online system called VTS;
  • Contract templates have been re-written in a new simplified format and include detailed information about modules, hours of work, teaching activities, and monthly payments, including holiday pay;
  • The new format should help you to understand exactly what we are contracting and paying you for as well as help you identify any missing or incorrect teaching activities to enable you to raise any issues with your employing department at an early stage;
  • When you have accepted your contract online, your payment records will automatically be activated;
  • Changes in your hours will be made using the same process and you will receive email notifications asking you to log into VTS to approve your contract variations;
  • You will also be able to access detailed monthly payment reports which will help you understand your salary payments and how these relate to your teaching;
  • New teachers and former staff re-joining as fractional teachers will be asked to use a new system called VT Candidate to provide their essential new starter information including bank and tax details;
  • Once they have completed their VT Candidate details and provided proof of their eligibility to work in the UK, their contract can be processed through the VTS system.
When will these changes happen?

Testing on the new VTS is currently taking place and we anticipate the new system will be available for employing departments to start using during July. We hope that Fractional contracts for 2017/18 will start being issued through the system from July onwards.

What do I need to do?
  • Please make sure that you check your SOAS email addresses regularly this summer as you will receive an email notification of your new contract.
  • Your employing department will be able to provide you with an indication of when you are likely to receive your contract.
  • You will need to log onto VTS to accept your contract before you receive any salary payments.
  • VTS guidance materials will be available on the fractional teacher’s website when the software is launched and we are planning VTS drop in sessions for teachers in July and September.

Reminder: If you are a new fractional teacher or are employed on a time-limited visa and need to provide further evidence of your right to work, please ensure that you provide this to your employing department as soon as possible. You cannot start work until you have provided legal evidence of your right to work.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’m expecting a baby – how do I arrange my maternity leave?

    Congratulations on your good news. You may be eligible to maternity benefits (if you meet eligibility criteria) providing you comply with the School’s Maternity Procedure.

    It is essential that you complete the  Maternity Leave Notification Form (msword; 36kb)   to inform us of your maternity leave in line with the School’s Maternity Procedure.  Unfortunately, in the past, some fractional teachers have failed to notify SOAS of their pregnancy in time, which has resulted in teachers forfeiting their entitlement to maternity pay and leave.  The notification requirements for the School’s Maternity Procedure are based statutory requirements.

    You must complete the  Maternity Leave Notification Form (msword; 36kb)   and send it to HR and your line manager as soon as possible and by no later than the 15th week before the Expected Week of Childbirth.  On the Maternity Leave Notification form, you must inform us of the following information:

    1. That you are pregnant
    2. Your expected week of childbirth
    3. The date you wish to start maternity leave (you can change this date at a late time by giving 21 days written notice)
    4. Whether or not you intend to return to work following maternity leave.

    You are also obliged to send HR your MATB1 form, which will be given to you by your midwife or doctor normally 14 weeks before your expected week of childbirth.  This form should be sent after you have already notified us of your maternity leave as it will be issued after 15 weeks before your expected week of childbirth.  If you have more than one employer who will require the MAT BI form, please let HR know.

    Following your notification of your pregnancy, HR will contact you to discuss your maternity leave and any entitlement to maternity pay or allowance.   

    You will also be required to complete the Risk Assessment From for New and Expectant Mothers in discussion with your line manager (normally Head of Department or delegate such as Course Convenor) to ensure your health and safety and that of your unborn child.

    You will have the right to time off work to attend ante natal appointments; these should normally be arranged outside of teaching hours.  Where it is not possible to arrange an appointment outside of your teaching timetable, please ensure you give at least one week’s notice in advance of the appointment and an estimation of how long you will be absent (e.g. what classes will be missed etc) and discuss with your Head of Department (or delegate) arrangements for re-convening these classes on an alternative date etc to minimise the impact on students.

    Please contact your HR and Recruitment Officer to discuss your entitlement and options if your fixed-term contract is due to expire before the birth of your baby.   You should also make arrangements to discuss with your Head of Department your longer term plans particularly if you are employed on a fixed-term contract.  If you wish to continue working for SOAS after your maternity leave, it is essential that your manager knows when you want to return and how to contact you about any possible opportunities that may arise during your absence.  

  • I’m feeling unwell and will not be able to teach my class today, what should I do?

    Firstly you need to report your absence by either telephoning your Department/Centre administrative office or by completing the online sickness notification form.  Your absence should be reported by no later than 10.00 am (8.30am in IFCELS) or if you are due to start teaching before 10.00 am, at least one hour before your starting time.  

    Full sickness absence reporting procedures can be found online.

    If you miss a class (or more) and your course convenor/co-ordinator decides that you need to teach any missed classes, you are required to reschedule these classes on your return to work (where practicably possible) without additional payment.

  • What is a Market Rate Supplement?

    At SOAS, the grade and therefore the salary of all posts is determined by job evaluation.  

    In some rare cases, paying the salary for a specific role will not allow SOAS to successfully recruit or retain someone to this specific role, usually a specialist job, where salaries in the external job market are much higher for the specific specialism/role.  

    In these cases, SOAS pays a market rate supplement (MRS) on top of the salary, to enable the job to be filled and member of staff retained.  The level of the MRS is determined by the job market.  

    MRS may only be awarded whether there is objective and verifiable evidence that salaries for similar posts are being paid at much higher rates and/or there is evidence of staff leaving SOAS for more highly paid jobs elsewhere.

    • In the case of fractional teachers, the decision to award an MRS should be made in accordance with the School’s Market Pay Policy and Addendum by your Faculty, including approval by the Head of Department.
    • MRS are awarded for fixed periods (normally for a year in the case of fractional teachers) but these may be extended if the market conditions which warranted the MRS still exist.  
  • How do I get upgraded?

    You and/or your line manager, will need to make a formal Grading Review application under the Grading Review Procedure and Appeals Procedure.  

    You (or your line manager) will need to complete a Grading Review Form and send this to HR together with a structure chart showing your role in the Department/Faculty and one of the following:


    EITHER: 

    • a completed Role Outline Form (you should use the SOAS Notes for Guidance when completing this)

    OR

    • A Nationally agreed Role Profile with a detailed written statement indicating why it is more appropriate than that used to currently grade your post.

     

    The Grading Review Form, Role Outline Form and SOAS Notes for Guidance can be downloaded from the Reward and Grading pages of the HR website. 

    Your line manager/Head of Department will be asked to verify the information you have provided and may add additional information if appropriate.  For this reason, we recommend that you discuss your application with your line manager/Head of Department prior to making it.

    The information you and your managers have supplied will be subject to job evaluation and scoring by HR trained role analysts using the School’s job evaluation scheme, HERA.  Your information, together with the scoring will be submitted to the Grading Review Panel who will make a decision on whether your post should be re-graded or not.  In exceptional cases, you may be interviewed by the Grading Review Panel.  Full details of this process can be found in the Procedure HYPERLINK, including information about appeals if you are unhappy with any decision made by the Grading Review Panel.

    You can get further advice on the Grading Review Process from your union representative.

  • I think my teaching warrants an additional reward; what is the procedure?

    The School operates a Reward and Recognition Procedure  under which staff may be awarded additional accelerated increments or non-consolidated payments (e.g. a one-off reward payment).  

    Rewards are made for staff consistently demonstrating exceptional performance and/or is consistently providing sustained, outstanding services to the Department.

    There are two routes for reward applications:

    • You can make a direct application yourself
    • You can be put forward by your manager (e.g Head of Department)

    Where you have made a direct application, your Head of Department will be required to write a supporting statement.  

    The Reward Process is an annual one.  

    An all-staff email/e-bulletin will be sent to all staff explaining the annual process and deadlines, as well as giving a link to the application form (Application/Recommendation for Consideration for Recognition and Reward form) for you (or your manager) will need to complete.  

    Please read the Reward and Recognition Policy  before completing the application form as it will explain the criteria you will need to address when making your application, as well as the next stages in the procedure.  

    We recommend you discuss your case with your Head of Department prior to submission.  

  • What is the appointment process for fractional teachers?

    1. Recruitment


    Recruitment for vacant GTA and fractional teacher posts is carried out locally by your employing department. Jobs will be advertised and selection methods such as shortlisting and interviews locally determined.


    Eligibility to work checks will be carried out for all candidates during the interview process.


    2. Selection of successful candidate


    If you are the successful candidate for a fractional teaching position, your department will contact you by email with details of the post such as hours of work, grade and spinal point. They will provide you with a breakdown of the contact and plain time hours you are being offered.

    If you confirm your acceptance of the role, your faculty/department will enter your details on to the VT Candidate system if you are a new-starter or are re-joining SOAS after a gap in employment. To do this, the department must be in receipt of your eligibility to work documents.

    3. Offer of employment


    Once your details have been entered on the VT Candidate system, you will receive a request to complete the VT Candidate form with your personal details. You will be asked to provide a tax declaration and will also be notified that you will automatically join the pension scheme, unless you take steps to opt out.


    On receipt of your completed VT Candidate form, you will receive your contract by email from VTS@soas.ac.uk, together with instructions about how to accept your contract.

    4. HR induction


    You will be asked to attend HR induction before you start work. Inductions are scheduled for September and October (for term one starters) and January (for term two starters).


    5. Payment


    Your first payment is normally made in the end of the month after your start date, providing that you have accepted your contract. You can run payment reports on VTS after the payroll has run and check these reports against your payslips which are accessible on MyView.

    You can access your HR-Payroll system records using MyView at any time and update parts of your record such as your address.

  • I’m not sure when I’m going to get my contract or my pay; who should I contact?

    Fractional Teachers contracts will be emailed to you as an attachment together with details of how to accept them.

    Please check your SOAS email inbox to see if your contract of employment has been sent to you.  You will need your SOAS username/log-on (e.g. your SOAS email address) and password to log into VTS to accept your contact.

    If there is no offer in your email inbox, please contact your departmental administrator.

     They will be able to inform you if your records have been entered onto the VT system and its status [e.g. if it has awaiting authorisation by your Head of Department (or delegate) or it has been sent to you for acceptance.

    Once you have accepted your contract on VTS, payments can be processed for you.

    Details of your departmental administrator can be found here.

  • Why have I been asked to attend an end of fixed-term consultation meeting?

    The School holds consultation meetings with staff employed on fixed-term contracts whose contracts are due to expire.  The purpose of the meeting is to allow your manager to consult you on:

    • The feasibility of avoiding the ending of your employment with SOAS, such as the possibility of transferring you to a permanent contract, extending your fixed-term contract or redeploying you to a suitable alternative vacancy.  
    • To clarify the reasons why your contract is not being renewed (if applicable)
    • Giving you an opportunity to raise questions about the ending of your fixed term contract and your aspirations for further employment with SOAS
    • To discuss support available to you such as time off for job interviews, training and how to access job vacancy information at SOAS.

    The consultation meeting will be held in accordance with the Procedure for the Expiry of Fixed-term Contracts for Teaching & Scholarship, Research, Support and Casual Staff Groups.  This is a three stage process; firstly you should get a written invitation to the consultation  meeting (often from your department), secondly the consultation meeting and finally an appeal stage.  Please read the Procedure for full details.

    You can ask for the meeting to be held by telephone or online web/video conference call,  if this is more suitable for you.   In such cases, you will need to make arrangements for your colleague or trade union representative (if applicable) to participate too.

    You can decline to attend the consultation meeting if you wish – please email the person who invited you, informing them that you do not wish to participate.  Please note in such cases, the School will make a decision about ending your future employment without any further consultation with you.

  • Can I have an appraisal (Staff Development Review)?

    At SOAS, ‘appraisal’ is known as SDR which stands for Staff Development Review.

    All fractional teachers are entitled to have an SDR meeting in accordance with the School Policy and Procedure.  If your FTE is 0.4 or above, you should have the opportunity to have an annual SDR; if your FTE is less than 0.4, your SDR may be conducted less frequently.

    If you would like to have an SDR, you should request this from your Head of Department or line manager.   Depending on circumstances, your manager may arrange for part of the process (such as pre-meetings or discussions about arrangements for the SDR) by phone or web conference call.  Paperwork such as the SDR form can be completed electronically to expedite the process.

    Further information can be found on the Staff Development website about the scheme and its operation.

  • I wish to resign, what should I do?

    You will need to write a resignation letter (which can be submitted by email) to your Head of Department.  Please copy this to the Payroll Section and HR Directorate, who will process your resignation.  

    The Payroll team will

    • issue your P45 (a tax form issued to staff who leave employment – this needs to be presented to your next employer)
    • inform the pension scheme (if applicable) that you are leaving
    • calculate your final salary payment to ensure that you receive the correct monies owing to you.

    We recommend that you also check your postal address on MyView to ensure it is correct – as this is the address to which your P45 will be sent.  

    It will not be possible for us to reissue your P45 if this is lost; so please retain this carefully.

  • What is a National Insurance Number (NIN) and why do I need one?

    A National Insurance (NI) Number is used in the UK for the administration of social security (National Insurance) and tax purposes.  You will need a NI number if you are going to work in the UK.  

    If you are moving to the UK from abroad, you may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your biometric residence permit (BRP). You don’t need to apply for a National Insurance number if you already have one, or one is printed on your BRP.

    If you don’t have a National Insurance number, you must apply. You can only apply for it once you’re in the UK. You must have the right to work or study in the UK to get a National Insurance number.

    You need to apply by phone for a National Insurance number:https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number

    Your NI number will be used to record any National Insurance contributions that may be deducted from your salary, which will be used to build up your entitlement to certain state benefits, including the State Pension.

    Your NI number should normally be provided when you register on VT Candidate. Please forward your National Insurance number to Payroll if you have only received it after starting work with SOAS.

  • How do I join the union representing teachers at SOAS?

    The Universities and Colleges Union (UCU)  represents fractional teachers at SOAS and have an active local branch.  You can join directly online on their website.