SOAS University of London

Human Resources

Fractional FAQs

  • What is the difference between a Teaching Fellow and a fractional Teaching Fellow?

    Most non-fractional Teaching Fellows work full-time.  Fractional Teaching Fellows work part-time.

    The difference between a Teaching Fellow and a fractional Teaching Fellow is to do with the way the hours of work are calculated.   A Fractional Teaching Fellow is part-time and employed on a small ‘fraction’ of a full-time equivalent (FTE).  The Fractional Teaching Fellow’s FTE or hours of work are calculated according to the number of contact teaching hours worked which are then multiplied to take account of additional duties such as preparation and marking.  Some fractional staff are also paid ‘plain time’ hours which are not multiplied.  For further information on how this is calculated, see below.

    The terms of conditions of employment for Teaching Fellows and Fractional Teaching Fellows are largely the same; however, Fractional Teaching Fellows will have additional special contractual clauses (e.g. relating to their fraction, hours of work and annual leave etc).

  • What is a Graduate Teaching Assistant?

    Graduate Teaching Assistants or GTAs are employed as part of a programme aimed at providing training opportunities and teaching work experience for SOAS research students.  The School recognises the need to maintain a number of teaching posts to help with the training of PhD students who intend to pursue an academic career.  

    To be employed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, an individual must be a SOAS PhD student, normally in their second, third or fourth year of study.  They are expected to undertake a (four-module) training programme focusing on seminar/tutorial teaching skills and the role of a GTA at SOAS. PhD students must have undertaken the 3 day Core Units of the Professional Development in Higher Education Programme (PDHEP) prior to commencing teaching as a GTA.

    GTA’s are normally offered fixed-term employment for up to a maximum of two years as a career development opportunity to allow them to gain teaching experience to further their academic career.  In exceptional cases, posts can be for no more than three years with the approval of the Head of Department.

    Recruitment of new staff each year for GTA positions is a recognised priority so that as many PhD students as possible can benefit from the scheme.

    Individual contracts should be for a maximum of 10 months, with hours of work determined according to the teaching requirements of the course, although these hours should not exceed 20 hours per week in total in term time. Application must be made for each year in post via the School’s recruitment process for GTA staff.

    GTAs are employed on Grade 6 on a job description which is based on the National Role Profile Level 1. The convening of courses, course design, major responsibility for lecture courses or examination (other than of course work) and all post-graduate teaching will not be required of GTAs.

    Every GTA will be allocated a mentor (normally the course convenor) who will induct, guide and monitor the performance (e.g. supervise probation etc) of the GTA.  Each mentor will observe one class in the first five weeks of term.

    Their contractual terms and conditions of employment are the same as other fractional teachers.

    Further information can be found in the GTA Training Scheme

  • How long can a Graduate Teaching Assistant work for?

    A Graduate Teaching Assistant will normally be offered a fixed-term contract of a maximum of two years.  In exceptional cases, the Head of Department may approve a further one year extension under the programme, but no GTA can be employed for more than three years on the training programme.  

  • How is the FTE calculated for a fractional member of staff?

    The FTE for a fractional teacher is calculated by looking at two factors; contact teaching hours and ‘plain time hours’.

    The School recognises that for each hour of contact teaching time in the classroom the fractional member of staff will need to carryout additional duties such as class preparation etc (see below for further information).  To calculate how much time the employee will need to spend on these additional duties, the total contact teaching hours are increased by a ‘multiplier’ that is determined by grade and the duties of the post.   The multiplier for teachers on Grade 6 is 2.5; the multiplier for staff on Grades 7 to 9, is 3.


    Agatha Runcible works 22 contact teaching hours and is employed on Grade 7.  Her multiplied hours are 66 which are calculated as follows:

    22 x 3 = 66.

    Miles Malpractice works 60 contact teaching hours on Grade 6.  His Grade is 6.    His multiplied hours are 150, which are calculated as follows:
    60 x 2.5 = 150

    In addition, some fractional staff are required to carryout some tasks (e.g. attending meetings etc) which do not need to be multiplied.  These are referred to as ‘plain time hours’.

    The multiplied hours and the plain time hours are added together to get the total hours of work for each fractional teacher.  These are then divided by the total hours of work of a full-time equivalent excluding annual leave, which is 1524 hours per annum.  This will give the FTE or ‘fraction’ for the Fractional teacher, which is used to calculate their annual salary.


    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 multiplied hours?

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

    For   fractional teachers based in academic departments, the multiplied hours cover duties associated with classroom teaching and include;

    • Classroom contact teaching time
    • Class preparation
    • Administration

    Class preparation and administration covers a number of activities, determined by the Head of Department including;

    •  Preparing teaching materials required for classroom teaching, including audiovisual aids, notes and handouts;
    •  Updating the Virtual Learning Environment
    •  (In language-based subjects): Finding text or other materials suitable for translation
    • Maintenance of class registers
    •  Liaison with the Departmental Office and/or Head of Department, Course Director or Convenor as required
    •  Marking formative assessment (e.g. weekly homework)
  • What activities are paid at plain time hours?

    The activities that are paid at plain time rates will be notified to each teacher by their Head of Department or delegate.  For academic departmental fractional teachers, plain time hours cover duties including

    • Examination board attendance
    • Attendance at required departmental meetings
    • Office hours
    • Dissertation supervision and marking
    • Lecture attendance where requested in advance by the Head of Department for pedagogical reasons
    • Marking [e.g. coursework, exams, marking on someone else's course]


    IFCELS teachers have different local arrangements for plain time payments and different activities included in the multiplier.  Language Centre teachers also have different local arrangements.  

  • Does each fractional contract only cover teaching on one individual course?

    Fractional contracts will now specify which modules, courses or teaching activities they relate to.  Where a teacher covers several courses, they will normally receive one contract with details of all their courses and teaching activities laid out.

    There are however, some exceptions to this;

    • if a teacher is teaching in more than one department
    • if the teacher is paid from more than one cost code
    • if the duties for the teacher’s different courses are on different grades/job descriptions


  • What are the start and end dates for fractional contracts?

    All permanent fractional staff are paid over twelve months.

    The start and end dates for fixed-term fractional contracts will vary according to when the actual work takes place. 

    • For fractional teachers in academic departments, their contract will normally start when they carryout their course preparation before teaching begins.  
    • Different arrangements may apply in IFCELS and Language Centre: where different local pay arrangements exist - so contracts may start when teaching begins or when a teacher undertakes orientation.
    • Contracts are now define the working hours and pay for each teaching activity such as contact teaching hours, office hours, marking, course preparation, meeting attendance etc.
    • Each teaching activity will have its own start and end date which will appear on the fractional contract; the teacher's start date for that contract will be the earliest teaching activity and their last teaching activity, will be the expiry date of their contract.
    • Detailed advice on the start and end dates for teaching can be found in the VT2000 FAQs which are aimed at administrators responsible for inputting fractional contracts on the VTS payment system.

    Standard start and end dates [e.g. 1 October, 1 January) will no longer be used from 2017/18 onwards.

  • Do I need to advertise a fractional post or can I just appoint someone?

    All posts of over six months’ duration must be advertised in line with the School’s Equality and Diversity Policy and Recruitment Policy. Fractional staff working over six months cannot simply be ‘appointed’ without a fair selection process.

    It is recommended that new fractional vacancies are advertised on the School’s Job site as a talent pool advertisement.  Talent pool advertisements allow departments to advertise for teaching opportunities for a number of courses and then develop a "pool" of teachers to select from when actual vacancies arise.   Departments  may also choose to advertise fractional vacancies using all-faculty emails, student notice boards and the careers service (e.g. for a Graduate Teaching Assistant) etc.

    Standard job descriptions exist for fractional posts which include person specifications, which can be altered where indicated; please ensure that any changes to duties/criteria remain within the normal expectations of the role.  Further advice can be obtained from the Recruitment and Operations team.   Candidates should be given access to the job description and person specification for the vacancy.

    Each Faculty/Department should select applicants for fractional posts based solely on the criteria set out in the person specification and the reasons for selection decisions relating to this criteria must be recorded.  Advice on selection methods including shortlisting, interviewing and selection tests can be found on the recruitment pages of the HR website.

    The Recruitment Policy allows some exemptions for advertising – for example, if a vacancy constitutes a redeployment opportunity for a fixed-term fractional teacher whose post is due to expire.  If a vacancy constitutes a redeployment opportunity for several fractional teachers whose contracts are expiring, the post should be advertised to all affected staff (e.g. a ring-fenced advertisement).

  • What is the appointment procedure for new fractional teachers?
  • What do I need to do when checking a teacher's right to work?

    You need to comply with the School's guidelines on eligibility to work in the UK which set out in detail what you need to do and which documents are acceptance as proof of eligibility to work in the UK.

    Remember that

    • the Recruitment & Operations team will check that the documents you have checked, actually give the teacher the right to work in the UK
    • right to work checks have to be carried out before a teacher can receive their contract on VTS
    • you have to check the teacher's documents in person - scanned, photocopied or posted documents are not acceptable.
    • You are also responsible for ensuring that the documents provided by the teacher relates to them [e.g. by looking at their passport photo, checking date of birth, etc] and that the documents appear to be genuine [e.g. not fraudulent copies]
    • the scanned or photocopied documents must be signed by the person who checked it with the following statement:

      'This is a true original as seen by <<Persons Name>>> <<<Date>>>> <<<Signature>>>'

  • How do I extend the fixed-term contract for a fractional member of staff?

    The Recruitment & Operations team should contact you about three to four months prior to the fixed-term expiry date for the fractional member of staff.  In accordance with the School’s Procedure for the Expiry of Fixed-term Teaching and Scholarship, Research and Support Staff Groups, the Recruitment & Operations team will ask you to consult the fractional teacher about their expiry of your contract using the FT2 form as a basis for the consultation.  You should explain to the fractional teacher, why you want to extend your contract, the terms and the objective justification why their contract will remain fixed term.

    If the contract is to be extended, you will need to follow the appointment process outlined above (see Question: What is the appointment procedure for new fractional teachers?)   so that the teacher can be given a new contract on VTS.

    The employee will be asked accept their new/revised contract prior to any payment being made.

    You will also need to arrange for the fractional teacher’s SOAS identify card to be extended.

  • What do I do when a fractional member of staff’s contract is expiring?

    The Recruitment and Operations Team will contact you prior to the end of the fixed-term contract of the fractional member of staff.

    In accordance with the School’s Procedure for the Expiry of Fixed-term Teaching and Scholarship, Research and Support Staff Groups, the Recruitment & Operations team will ask you to consult the fractional teacher about their expiry of your contract using the FT2 form as a basis for the consultation.  You should explain to the fractional teacher, why the post is expiring and it is not possible to extend their contract.  You should also discuss any redeployment opportunities, any support the teacher may need to assist with their job search and refer them to the School’s job pages.   Explain to the teacher that they have a right to appeal against the ending of their contract.  Further guidance can be found in the Procedure for the Expiry of Fixed-term Support, Research and Teaching & Scholarship Staff Groups.

    It is important that you complete the consultation process in a timely manner as soon as you have received the FT2 form, to ensure that the teacher is given notice that their contract is ending and time to explore redeployment and other options.

    You will need to send the completed FT2 form to HR as soon as possible.  HR will write to the fractional teacher confirming the expiry of their employment.  The Payroll & Pensions team will make any necessary pension arrangements and issue the teacher’s P45 as appropriate.

  • I want to change the hours of work for a fractional member of staff, what should I do?

    You will need to consult the member of staff about varying their contractual hours of work, with a view to gaining their agreement for the change.  The additional hours will need to be authorised by the Head of Department or their delegate to ensure there is budget available.  If the additional hours will be funded by a research grant, approval will also be needed from the Research  & Enterprise Directorate.

    You will need to complete a Fractional Variation google form - a link is available from your administrator responsible for fractional teachers.

    The form will be submitted to the administrator who will input the new hours into VT either as an additional contract or a revision to an existing contract.  A Contract Variation Decision Path flowchart helps them determine which method to do.

    The new/revised contract will need to be authorised by the Head of Department [or delegate] and accepted by the teacher before they receive payment for the variation. 

    Please note that if a revised contract is not authorised and accepted by the payroll deadline, the teacher will not receive any payment for that work that month. 

  • How can I transfer a fractional member of staff onto a permanent contract?
    Fixed-term employees should be regularly reviewed at workforce planning meetings to see if there remains a valid objective justification for employment continuing on a fixed-term basis.  Where a decision has been taken to transfer a teacher to a permanent contract, approval will be needed from Executive Board. The administrator responsible for fractional teachers will need to ask the Payroll team to set up a new permanent post for the fractional teacher in ResourceLink, the HR-Payroll system. Once this has been done, the administrator will be able to create new permanent contract for the teacher in VT.  The contract will need authorising by the HoD and accepting by the teacher. The VT system is an annual database; so the permanent contract for the teacher will need to be re-created each year in the system, and temporary increases in hours processed as additional fixed-term contracts.  This will enable the permanent teacher to see all their hours of work and payments on VTS, the online VT system.
  • I want to upgrade a fractional member of staff: how do I go about this?

    You will need to submit a Grading Review Request in line with the School’s Grading Review Procedure and Appeals Procedure.  

    To do this, you will need to send to the Human Resources the following:

    • A Grading Review Form (GR1)
    • A structure chart showing how the role fits into the department and the overall structure of your Department.
    • One of the following:
      • EITHER A new or amended Role Outline form (with changes tracked electronically or a detailed written statement of the revised section) 
      • OR A nationally agreed Role Profile with the grading review statement indicating why it is more appropriate than that used to currently grade the post

    For fractional teachers, it is recommended that you use a nationally agreed Role Profile (Teaching and Scholarship) as Role Outline Forms have not previously been completed for fractional staff.

    The information you submit to the Human Resources Directorate, will be evaluated using the HERA role analysis scheme.  These results, together with your original documentation will be submitted to a Grading Review Panel who will determine whether the post should be re-graded.

    Appeals can be submitted against the decision of Grading Review Panels in accordance with the Grading Review Procedure and Appeals Procedure.

    Please note that a fractional member of staff should not be upgraded by updating ResourceLink until the Grading Review Process has been completed.

  • A fractional member of staff has told me she’s pregnant; do I need to do anything?

    All employees who wish to take maternity leave must

    1. confirm in writing the following information

    • that they are pregnant
    • the expected week of their childbirth
    • the date on which they would like to start maternity leave

    2. provide a MATB1 form

    Please ensure that the employee has written to their designated Employee Relations Consultant notifying them of this information, as failure to do so, can adversely impact on the individual’s entitlement to statutory and occupational maternity pay.

    You will also need to arrange for a risk assessment to be conducted for the pregnant employee. Further advice can be obtained from the Maternity Leave Procedure and the Health & Safety Office.

    It is recommended that you discuss with the employee how they wish to be consulted about any changes to their department/work whilst she is on leave, and how she wants to kept up to date with any information required for her role.  In addition, you should discuss whether she would like to come to work for ‘keeping in touch’ (KIT) days during her maternity leave and if so, when these may be and what types of work will she do on her KIT days (e.g. attend departmental meetings, training, etc).

    Under legislation, employers are required to assume that employees will take their full maternity leave (normally 52 weeks); if an employee wishes to return early, she has to notify HR providing 8 weeks written notice.  Sometimes employees wish to return to work on a flexible basis after making a flexible working application. Bearing this in mind and that the employee’s plans may be uncertain until after the birth of her child, you may wish to sensitively discuss her planned return to work and when this may be, to help you identify how her role can be covered.

    Obviously you will need to consider how you are going to cover the employee’s absence.  Options include;

    • recruiting another fractional teacher on a fixed-term contract to cover the employee’s absence
    • re-organising duties amongst existing members of the team (e.g. reallocating teaching and administrative duties etc). 

    It is important to note that employees on maternity leave (depending on the length of their leave) have the right to return to the same or equivalent job.  If you replace the individual during their leave, it can only be for a fixed-period to cover their absence; you cannot permanently reallocate their courses or work to another individual and end the individual’s employment with SOAS.

    Further advice can be obtained from your designated Employee Relations Consultant.

  • One of my fractional members of staff is unwell; what is the procedure?

    You need to follow the same sickness absence reporting process as for any other member of staff.  

    Please report the member of staff's absence and return to work on  MyView.

    Alternatively, the member of staff can use the MyView to report their absence.  

  • What should I do about the high number of student complaints about a fractional teacher?

    You will need to investigate the complaints to identify if the teacher is performing satisfactorily.  If the teacher is not performing to the required standards, you will need to hold an informal Performance Monitoring Interview with the teacher to try to improve their performance.  Step-by-step guidelines  explain how to hold the meeting which will enable you to:

    • identify the causes of any performance problems
    • identify if there are any problems (e.g. personal, work etc) impacting on the teacher’s performance
    • clarify the standards of work you require
    • set timed performance objectives for the teacher to achieve
    • agree any training or support to help them improve


    Further advice on how to hold the Performance Monitoring Interview can be obtained from your designated HR Employee Relations Consultant.  

    You will need to hold at least one informal performance monitoring interview with the member of staff, if the member of staff fails to improve to the required levels and meet their objectives, you should then contact your designated Employee Relations Consultant  about initiating the formal disciplinary procedure.

  • What should I do about a fractional member of staff who has resigned?

    Fractional Leaver / Non Starter Form

    You will need to complete the Fractional Leaver & Non-Starter Form.  You should attach the email or letter of resignation from the employee to this form.  Send both documents (password protected) to the Recruitment & Operations Team, Human Resources Directorate no later than the 14th of the preceding month before the fractional teacher leaves employment.  If the fractional teacher has resigned but not given notice and therefore you cannot notify the Recruitment  & Operations team within these timescales, please contact both Payroll & Pensions and  Recruitment & Operations teams immediately to try to prevent an overpayment.

    Any delays in sending the Fractional Leaver & Non-Starter Form to Recruitment & Operations Team could lead to an overpayment to the individual which it may be difficult to reclaim.

    If you wish to advertise the vacant fractional post on the School’s Job pages, please contact the Recruitment & Operations Team.

  • What is an objective justification and why do I need to have one in a fractional teacher’s contract?

    An objective justification is a legal definition essentially meaning a good business or objective reason which justifies why a contract is fixed-term rather than permanent.  The term has arisen from legislation protecting fixed-term workers; one of the objectives of the legislation is to ensure employers only employ staff on a fixed-term basis if there are genuine reasons for doing so.

    Any objective justification has to be aimed at achieving a legitimate objective (e.g. a genuine operational or organisational objective) and must be a necessary and proportionate means of achieving that objective.  Essentially, there must be a genuine and real operational reason for a fixed-term post – you cannot just invent a reason for the post being fixed-term.  

    At SOAS, fixed-term employees including fractional teachers come under the School’s Policy on the Employment of Fixed-term Staff.  This policy sets out a list of objective justifications that the School uses when employing fixed-term staff.  The list is based on a national agreement between higher education employers (UCEA) and the recognised trade unions (including UCU and UNISON).

    To ensure that SOAS complies with the relevant legislation, all fixed-term staff must have an objective justification in their contract of employment justifying why the appointment is made on a fixed-term rather than permanent basis.  When updating ResourceLink, you will need to include the relevant objective justification for any fixed-term post, so this can be included in the contract of employment.

  • Which objective justification should I use?

    The School’s Policy on the Employment of Fixed-Term Staff lists a number of objective justifications or reasons why a fixed-term contract can be used.

    You will need to look at the list and decide which is the most appropriate to use.  The following guidance explains the types of situation which the list of objective justification covers.  

    When covering a vacancy and there is no one else with the expertise or experience to provide such cover.
    • If you have a course which requires specific expertise, knowledge or experience but no one in SOAS currently has those attributes and you are advertising a vacancy so that the these skills can be required on a permanent, on-going basis, you can justify a fixed-term post to cover the vacancy.  In such cases, use:


    a. The post requires specialist expertise or recent experience not already available in SOAS in the short-term.

    • In addition, you can also use this objective justification when you are planning to request a new substantive position but the new position has not been approved.  In such cases, the teaching duties of the new post can be temporarily covered using the justification above.
    •  However, you cannot normally use this objective justification long-term to justify renewals of the individual’s contract; once you have recruited a fractional member of staff with the required expertise/experience, it is not possible to argue that the expertise/experience is not available in SOAS in the short term!


    When covering a substantive post frozen by Executive Board on an interim basis
    • When a substantive post has been frozen by Executive Board and the employing department has not had a approval to recruit to the post, the following objective justification should be used:


    a. The post requires specialist expertise or recent experience not already available in SOAS in the short-term.

    • However, this reason cannot be used to justify renewals to fixed-term contracts indefinitely; after no more than four years, the position should be reviewed to establish if the position is required on a permanent fractional basis.


    Covering skills/experience gaps in the short-term whilst permanent employees acquire the relevant expertise/experience.


    • Where a post requires experience or expertise that you are training a member of staff to carry out in the future, but at the present time there is no one able to provide that experience/skills, the following objective justification could be used:

    a. The post requires specialist expertise or recent experience not already available in SOAS in the short-term.

    Where a post requires experience or expertise not possessed by current SOAS staff but the role is not needed permanently
    • You may be able to use the following objective justification if a fractional teacher has expertise or recent experience that no one else in SOAS does, and that the expertise is not required on on-going basis,

    a. The post requires specialist expertise or recent experience not already available in SOAS in the short-term.

    • However, if you require the experience/expertise on an on-going basis, the appointment should be permanent.


    Covering absence
    • When you are recruiting a fractional teacher to cover a staff absence like maternity leave, research leave, unpaid leave or a long-term sickness absence, use the following objective justification;

    b. To cover staff absence such as research leave, maternity leave or long-term sickness absence

    • This objective justification can also be used to cover staff who absent from normal teaching duties due to temporary secondments to administrative roles such as Head of Department or Associate Dean.


    Graduate Teaching Assistants
    •  The Graduate Teaching Assistant scheme is designed to provide career development opportunities for SOAS PhD students.
    •  So when appointing any Graduate Teaching Assistant, you should use the following objective justification:

    c. The contract is to provide a secondment or career development opportunity.

    • You may also wish to use a second objective justification if another one also applies – for example a Graduate Teaching Assistant may also be covering a staff absence so you should use both b and c.


    Secondments and career development opportunities
    • If you are giving a fractional teacher a secondment or career development opportunity, it is possible to use the following objective justification;

    c. The contract is to provide a secondment or career development opportunity.

    • For example, if you are seconding a teacher from the Language Centre to a Department in the Faculty (e.g. to give them experience of postgraduate teaching etc), it would be appropriate to use this objective justification.  However, if the transfer to the Faculty was on an on-going basis rather than for a fixed period, the appointment should be made for on a permanent basis.


    Project work or activity lasting for a fixed period such as course development
    • If you require a fractional teacher to work on a project or activity which lasts for a fixed time, it is possible to use the following objective justification:

    d. Where input from specialist practitioners is required for a limited period or for a project/activity lasting for a limited duration.  

    •  An example, could be a fractional teacher working on setting up and developing a new course.  However, once the initial project and activity has been completed, it may not be possible to justify further renewals of the teacher’s contract using this reason.  For example, once the teacher has set up the course and the course is on-going, this reason no longer applies.  If demand for the newly established course can be demonstrated to be uncertain, it may be possible to use a different objective justification (see below).


    Teaching from specialist practitioners for a limited duration
    •  If a course requires some specialist teaching from practitioners for a limited period (such as lawyers teaching a few lectures or a module), then the following objective justification can be used;

    d. Where input from specialist practitioners is required for a limited period or for a project/activity lasting for a limited duration.  

    • This objective justification cannot be used if you cannot demonstrate that the work or teaching is of limited duration; if the specialist input is needed on an on-going basis, the role should be permanent.
    Uncertain student numbers
    • Where a new course is being developed and/or where it is hard to predict if the new course will attract sufficient student numbers, it is possible to use the following objective justification.

    e. Where student or other business demand can be clearly demonstrated as particularly uncertain, such as the development of a new course or service.

    • However, if and when the course becomes established and student numbers are no longer uncertain, it will not be possible to use this objective justification.
    • If you are renewing the contract (e.g. by issuing another contract) a fractional teacher who was employed on a fixed-term contract for this basis, and you feel that student numbers/demand continues to be particularly uncertain, you will need to be able to demonstrate this (e.g. with student records data for the past few years showing significant fluctuations in student numbers).
    External funding for a limited period
    • If a fractional teacher’s post is funded from external funds which are for a limited time only (e.g. not on an on-going basis), the appointment can be made on a fixed-term basis providing that there is no prospect of the funding being renewed or internal funding becoming available.  In such cases, use the following objective justification;


    f. Externally funded posts where there is no reasonably foreseeable prospect of short-term funding being renewed nor other external or internal funding becoming available.  Where short-term funding has already been renewed, continuing use of the fixed-term contract would need to be justified by objective reasons.

    • If any subsequent renewals of the teacher’s contract are externally funded and the funding is only for a set period, you will still need to justify why the contract remains fixed term. You would have to demonstrate this by showing there is no available internal funding and no other prospective sources of external funding.


    Where a course is ending

    • If a course/module is going to end (for example at the end of next academic year) but the course is still on the current programme and has students enrolled on it, and therefore you require a teacher until the course finishes, you should use the following objective justification:

    g. Where the post is wholly or largely supporting a specific business or academic function/activity which the School has decided to cease in the future.

    Where an academic programme or activity is ceasing, for example following a re-structuring
    • If due to restructuring, or for other business reasons, your Faculty have decided to end a particular programme or activity in the future, but at the present time, a teacher is working on that activity, they can be employed on that activity on a fixed-basis until there is no longer a requirement for that role.  An example would be if the School decides to contact out human resource services to an external agency at a given date in the future, HR staff could be employed on a fixed-term basis until the new agency takes over.
    • In such cases, use the following objective justification:


    h. Where the post is wholly or largely supporting a specific business or academic function/activity which the School has decided to cease in the future.

  • None of the objective justifications in the School’s Employment of Fixed-term Policy apply – what should I do?

    If none of the listed objective justifications apply to your case, please consult your designated HR Business Partner.  

    If you have a good business reason for a post being fixed-term which is not included in the list, consultation with both the School’s recognised unions will need to be carried out on the reason.  Working with your HR Business Partner, you will need to succinctly phrase the ‘objective justification’ to be inserted into the contract of employment but also provide a more detailed explanation, together with any supporting evidence, to be presented to the trade unions.  Any new objective justification will need to be approved by the HR Director before it can be used.  This process may take some time, particularly the consultation with the School’s unions, so it is important to contact your designated HR Business Partner as soon as possible, early in the recruitment/appointment process.  Be mindful that the consultation with the unions may not be successful – UCU wish to see a reduction in fixed term contracts and the use of objective justifications at SOAS, rather than an increase.

    If there is no good business reason for a post being fixed-term, you should not simply invent a reason.  Under the relevant legislation, the reason for any fixed-term post must be genuine and meet operational/organisational needs.  Don’t just appoint a fractional teacher on a fixed-term contract simply because they are a fractional teacher, most of whom are fixed-term.

    If there is no objective justification for the fractional teacher being appointed on fixed-term basis, their contract of employment with the School should be on a permanent basis.

    It is worth remembering that if circumstances change (for example if a programme is ended etc) and there is no longer any requirement for the teaching work to be carried out, both fixed-term and permanent fractional teachers can be made redundant.  Both permanent and fixed-term staff who meet qualifying criteria, are eligible for statutory redundancy pay.