SOAS University of London

Human Resources

Fractional Teacher FAQ

  • How are my hours of work calculated?

    Different arrangements apply to staff in IFCELS and the Language Centre.  You can find out information from your employment contract and contact your HR Officer for further information.  

    If you are employment by a Faculty, your hours of work are calculated by looking at two elements of your work.  The first is contact teaching time (e.g. direct classroom teaching time).  The second is plain time hours; this covers activities such as attending meetings, dissertation payments, attendance at Examination Boards).

    SOAS recognises that for every hour you spend in the classroom delivering lectures, tutorials or seminars, you will have had to carry out additional duties of class preparation, some coursework assessment (up to set limits) and administration associated with that hour of teaching.  To pay you for these additional duties, the School multiplies each hour of contact teaching time by a factor known as the multiplier.  Your multiplier is determined by your grade.  For staff on Grade 6, the multiplier is 2.5; for staff at Grade 7 and above, the multiplier is 3.   So, for each hour of contact teaching time at Grade 6, you are paid for 2.5 hours work.  For each hour of contact teaching time at Grade 7 or above, you will be paid for 3 hours work.

    Your plain time hours are calculated separately and are paid at your standard rate of pay.  For example, for each hour of attendance at an Examination’s Board, you will get one hour’s pay without the application of the multiplier.

    Your total multiplied contact teaching hours and your total plain time hours are added together to calculate your ‘total contract hours’.  Your total contract hours will be stated in your contract of employment and be used to calculate your FTE.

  • What is an FTE?

    FTE stands for ‘full time equivalent’.  It means the proportion or fraction you will be working of a full time member of staff who works 100% OR 1.0 FTE.  A part-time member of staff working 0.2 FTE will work 1 day a week or 305 hours per year.

    A full time member of staff works 35 hours per week  and is paid for 52.143 weeks (including annual leave) or 1825 hours per year.  Their full time annual leave entitlement equates to 301 hours of annual leave per year.  This leaves 1524 hours of working time.

    Your FTE is calculated by dividing your total hours by 1524.  Your total hours are calculated by adding your plain time hours to your multiplied contact teaching hours.

    Your FTE is used to calculate your annual salary and other benefits such as annual leave entitlement.

    Agatha Runcible works 22 contact teaching hours and 14 hours of plain-time and is employed on Grade 7.
    Her 22 contact teaching hours equate to a total multiplied hours of 66.
    22 x 3 = 66.  
    Her total hours of work (both multiplied contact teaching hours and plain time hours) are 80
    66 + 14 = 80.
    Her FTE is 0.05 FTE
    80 ÷ 1524 = 0.05 FTE.

  • What is included in the multiplier and what duties would I expect to carry out?

    Different arrangements apply to staff in IFCELS and the Language Centre.  You can find out information from your employment contract and job description, or contact your HR Officer for further information.  

    If you work in a Faculty, your multiplier includes payment for duties associated with classroom teaching including class preparation, administration and some course-work assessment.    

    Class preparation and administration: may include any of the following activities:

    • Preparing teaching materials required for classroom teaching including audiovisual aids, notes and handouts; 
    • Updating Virtual Learning Environment
    • In language based subject, finding text or other materials suitable for translation
    • Maintenance of class registers
    • Liaison with the Faculty Office and/or Head of Department, Course Director and Convenor as required. 

    Assessment: Faculty fractional teachers will be expected to mark up to the equivalent of one coursework essay per student per term within the multiplier.

    If you undertaken additional coursework marking (e.g. marking a second essay) or exam marking, the marking will be paid at plain time rates (grade and spinal point) using a set formula.  If you undertake marking that does not relate to the course on which you are employed to teach (e.g. second marking, coursework/examination marking for a different course, extended essays, dissertations), the marking is paid at plain time (grade and spinal point) using a set formula.

    Duties for Language Centre teachers will vary considerably and they will not be required to perform many of the activities on these lists; for example, most teachers of short courses will not be required to carry out any marking or office hours. If you are a Language Centre teacher, your duties will be determined by the Head of the Language Centre.

  • How does my holiday entitlement work?

    In common with other part-time SOAS staff, you receive pro-rata annual leave based on your FTE.  Like other term time only staff, you are not permitted to take annual leave on days which you are scheduled to teach; all your annual leave is taken during School recess (holiday) periods.  

    Your payment periods are determined to ensure that you are paid when your annual leave is taken; e.g. over the recess periods.  This is reflected in your contract of employment.  

    In common with all SOAS staff, your salary includes a proportion of paid annual leave.  For this reason, if you divide your annual salary by your total hours of work, you will get a higher hourly rate than the advertised salary scales on the School website.  

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

    Congratulations on your good news.  Although you are part time and possibly on a fixed-term contract, you will may be eligible to maternity benefits (if you meet eligibility criteria) providing you comply with the School’s Maternity Procedure.

    It is really 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.  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, and failure to notify SOAS in good time can lead to loss of entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay or Occupational Maternity Pay and maternity leave.

    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 write to you with details of 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.

    Contact your designated HR 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/Faculty your longer term plans particularly if employed on a fixed-term contract.  If you wish to continue working for SOAS after your maternity leave, it is essential your manager knows when you want to return, how to contact you about any possible opportunities that may arise during your absence etc.  

  • 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 Faculty/Centre administrative office or by completing the online sickness notification form.  Your absence should be reported by no later than 10.00 am 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.

  • I’m being deducted pension contributions; how do I stop this?

    All SOAS staff are automatically entered into the School’s pension scheme (USS) unless they opt out.  You can choose to opt out of a pension scheme if you want to but the School encourages you to consider remaining in your pension scheme once enrolled.  If you stay in you will have your own pension which you get when you retire. The School and you will pay into USS every month. The Government will also contribute through tax relief.

    If you wish to opt out, we recommend that you read the information on opting out on the USS website and the pension pages of this website.

    You can find out information on how to opt-out at HR induction to avoid any pension deductions being made from your salary.

    Please note that each time you receive a new contract of employment from SOAS, you are  automatically re-entered into USS.  Therefore a new opt-out form will need to be completed for your new appointment if you wish to continue to opt out of USS.

  • How do I make sure I’m taxed correctly?

    When you start work with SOAS, you need to provide the Payroll section with a P45 tax form from your last employer.  This form will give SOAS your correct tax code and should allow us to place you on the correct tax code.

    If you do not have a P45, you need to complete a Starters Declaration which forms part of the HR induction form, which will be sent to you with your contract of employment.   Please bring your completed and signed HR Induction form with you to your HR induction to help ensure that we can tax you at the correct rate.

  • Why does SOAS need to check my right to work in the UK?

    All UK employers are legally required to check the eligibility to work of all staff prior to them starting work.  Being a UK or EU citizen is irrelevant - we still are required to check that you have the right to work in the UK.

    By law, the check has to be made in person – we cannot check photocopied or scanned documents you post or email to us.  

    We are obliged to check your eligibility to work before you start work; the check cannot be made after you have started.  You will be invited by HR to attend an induction and bring your passport with you for checking.   Please ensure that you attend as requested; if there are any difficulties, please contact your HR Officer for advice. If you are planning to be abroad prior to starting work and are unable to attend any induction times offered to you, please ensure that you come in to HR have your documents verified, before your trip.

    If you have been previously employed by SOAS, we will be required to check your right to work again if there has been a gap in your service with us and if your right to work is only of limited duration.  Where you have a visa (such as a student visa) giving you the right to work for a fixed period, we are required to check your right to work at least every 12 months and check your visa upon renewal.

    Click here for further information.

  • What documents are acceptable as proof of my eligibility to work in the UK?

    The following documents are acceptable as proof of your eligibility to work in the UK:

    • A UK passport; or
    • A passport or national identity card of an EEA state and, if relevant, any worker registration or other supporting documentation; or
    • A passport from a non-EEA state, the relevant endorsement showing that the holder is permitted to live and take employment in the UK and, if relevant, any additional required documentation (e.g. documentation from the UKBA, evidence of student status).
  • What is a Market Rate Supplement?

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

    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:


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


    • 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 their Department.

    There are two routes for reward applications; firstly you can make a direct application yourself or 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; all applications must be made by the 20th April each year.  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 benefits am I entitled to?

    You are entitled to the same benefits as other SOAS staff, including

    • Ability to join the USS pension scheme
    • Annual leave and other benefits such as maternity leave, paternity leave, compassionate leave and sick leave (if eligibility criteria are meet)
    • Childcare vouchers  (if eligibility criteria are meet)
    • Loans including season ticket loans and computer loans
    • Cycle to work scheme
  • What is the appointment process for fractional teachers?

    There are a number of stages to the fractional teacher appointment process.

    1. Recruitment

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

    2. Selection of successful candidate

    If you are the successful candidate for a fractional teaching position, your faculty office/IFCELs administrator will contact you by email with details of the  post such as hours of work, grade and spinal point.  
    If you confirm your acceptance of the role, your faculty/department will enter your details on the School’s HR-Payroll system.

    3. Offer of employment

    Once your details have been entered on the HR-Payroll system, the HR Directorate will generate an offer of employment for you.  This will be sent first to your faculty/department for checking.  Your faculty/department will forward this onto you electronically to your SOAS email address using the School’s Sharepoint system.  You will need your SOAS login ( address) and password to download your offer of employment, terms & conditions of employment and HR Induction form.

    4. HR induction

    You will be asked to attend HR induction before you start work.  This induction must be held before you start work as we are legally required to check your eligibility to work in person prior to your start date.  Fractional teacher inductions are normally held over the summer in July and August.  Please try to come to the earliest induction offered to you to ensure you are paid on time.   If you are unable to attend on any of the dates offered to you and/or are scheduled to be away in July/August, please contact your HR Officer to arrange for an early induction prior to July.

    You will be asked to bring in the following documents with you to your HR induction:

    • HR induction form which includes a Starters Declaration tax form
    • Your P45 form (if you have received one)
    • Passport or proof of your eligibility to work in the UK


    Existing members of staff are still required to attend including so we can obtain your signed offer of employment, and correct tax and pension information.

    5. Activating your payroll record

    Following your HR Directorate, the core HR & Payroll teams will complete the rest of your records on the HR-Payroll system and activate your record ready for your first payment.  Your first payment is normally made in the end of the month after your start date, providing the procedure described above has been correctly followed.
    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 now be issued to your SOAS email account.

    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 access your contract.

    If there is no offer in your email inbox, please contact your faculty office/IFCELs administrator.  They will be able to inform you if your records have been entered onto the Resourcelink system and if your contract has been received by your Faculty for checking, prior to it being sent to you.   

    If you have already received your contract and attended induction, your Payroll Administrator or HR Officer will be able to confirm when you will receive your first salary payment.

    Details of your key contacts can be found here.

  • My hours on my offer of employment are incorrect; what should I do?

    There may have been a change your hours after your details have been entered onto the HR-Payroll system.  You may have been asked to take on additional hours or your hours may need to be reduced following poor student enrolment.  In such cases, your faculty will have to enter your amended details on the HR-Payroll system.  Once this has been processed, you will be issued with a Contract Variation letter (or in some cases, an additional Offer of Employment).  This will be produced by the HR Directorate and sent to you through SOAS email via your Faculty.

    If you think your hours are incorrect, please contact your Faculty Office/IFCELs administrator who will update you on your case and explain the next steps to you.

  • 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.  If none of these options are possible, the reasons why (they are not) should be discussed with you at the meeting
    • Giving you an opportunity to raise questions about the ending of your fixed term contract and your aspirations for further employment with SOAS
    • To clarify the reasons why your contract is not being renewed (if applicable)
    • 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 faculty office), 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 interview if you wish – just 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 Number (NIN) is used in the UK for the administration of social security (National Insurance) and tax purposes.  You will need a NIN if you are going to work in the UK.  If you have recently arrived in the UK and do not already have an NIN you will need to apply for one at JobCentre plus.

    Your NIN 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.

    Please state your NIN on your HR Induction form or forward it to Payroll if you have only received your new NIN after your  Fractional Teachers' HR Induction form (msword; 27kb)  .

  • 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.