1. Introduction

This guideline should be read in conjunction with the University’s full Extended Workforce Policy. There is a particular focus on the engagement of Casual Workers as this activity is managed locally by departments and not within the HR department. 

The guideline includes:

  • Guidance on whether a role should be filled on a casual worker or employment basis
  • Procedural arrangements for the Engagement of Casual Workers
  • Procedural arrangements for the “bulk employment” of irregular hours (i.e. no fixed work pattern)/part-time roles such as GTA and Demonstrator
  • Arrangements for agreeing appropriate time allocation for preparation and similar activities
  • Arrangements for payment of hourly paid workers and employees
  • Guidance on the calculation and allocation of annual leave for hourly employees
  • Guidance on the different forms of part-time arrangements which may be utilised

Advice must always be sought from College/US HR prior to offering any role on a casual worker rather than an employment basis.   

The Policy makes it clear that the University of Glasgow is committed to engaging all members of its workforce on the most appropriate contract and to doing this in a fair and transparent way. These Guidelines reflect the different contractual options available. College/University Services HR teams will provide advice on the most appropriate arrangement for any given role/situation.

2. Casual Worker or Irregular Hours/Part-Time Employee

Before offering work on a casual worker basis, hiring managers must seek advice from their College/University Services HR team to ensure that this form of arrangement is appropriate for the role being filled. As stated in section 2.3 of the policy “Where there is a sufficiently meaningful and predictable level of regular work over a given period the University will typically offer an employment contract which may be fixed term or permanent/open ended, full or part-time and will provide as much security of employment as possible. ”Casual worker arrangements will normally only be used when these conditions are not met.  

Such casual worker arrangements do not create any form of mutuality of commitment between the University and the individual. Hence if there is some form of predictable ongoing work over a given period it may be more appropriate and mutually beneficial to offer the role on an employment basis with some form of hours commitment even if there is no predictable work pattern. This may be of a fixed term nature.

There is no policy on what precise amount of work might result in a role being offered on an employment basis as circumstances in units will vary. However typically any level of work under 3 hours per week for a short period of time would be offered on a casual worker basis. Similarly a one-off piece of work, for example 4 days of work (28 hours), which was unlikely to be repeated may also typically be offered on a casual worker basis. However where a role has, for example, 4 hours a week over 7 weeks (also 28 hours) there is a stronger basis for offering the work on a part-time irregular hours employment basis. Similarly an irregular hours employment contract may be appropriate where there is a mutual commitment to a minimum number of hours over a given period e.g. 30 over an academic semester. Whereas ad-hoc work offered occasionally over a semester would be on a casual worker basis.

The University recognises that not all individuals who work for the University wish to be engaged on employment contracts. Where an offer of a contract of employment is declined, consideration will be given to engaging the individual as a casual worker if this arrangement is mutually considered to be an appropriate alternative. Advice must be obtained from HR in such situations. 

3. Arrangements for Engaging a Casual Worker

3.1 Casual Worker Duties Template

Prior to appointing a Casual worker a post needs to be created on the HR System. Where there is no comparable post already on the system, a casual worker duties template should be completed prior to any recruitment.

Once the Casual Worker Duties Template has been completed, it should be returned to the College/University Services HR Team who will assess the template to:

  • ensure the activity and the circumstances justify the use of a casual worker arrangement
  • establish the rate of pay
  • confirm whether any checks under the ‘Protection of Vulnerable Groups’ scheme are required. 

Having reviewed the duties template, a member of the HR team will then contact the School/RI/Service to notify them of the outcome. Where the work is confirmed as appropriate to offer on this basis, the role will be allocated a post profile and post number. 

3.2 Grading & Rates of Pay for Casual Workers

A number of roles have been identified which may sometimes be filled by workers. The Generic Job Descriptions for these roles, which can be amended to suit local requirements, are listed here:

This generic post is described as grade 5 level.

This generic post is described as grade 6 level.

This generic post is described as grade 6 level.

This generic post is described as grade 6 level.

Advice should be sought from the College HR on local grading.

This is a generic post which may require to be adapted to reflect the specific activities. HR will then advise on whether the revised role will require to be individually graded.

Any other job descriptions will be graded in accordance with normal University processes.

The inclusion of these job descriptions here is not intended to result in all such positions being filled on a casual basis. As indicated in section 2. above, where there is a reasonable level of predicted activity and mutual commitment this may well  merit engagement as an employee rather than as a casual worker and a fixed term contract should typically be offered.

3.3 Rates of Pay for Casual Workers

Employees and workers are normally placed on the bottom salary point of the grade for the job when taking up that role. However, salary placement may be higher where it is so justified, subject to advice from College/University Services HR.  

For the avoidance of doubt, the hourly rate applicable to any particular salary point is calculated as follows:-

Full-time salary/ 1825 (nominal 35 per week x 52.143 weeks/year) = hourly rate

There may be roles e.g. for which a full job description may not be appropriate. In this case, a list of duties should be compiled by the relevant School/RI and paid accordingly after agreement with the College/University Services HR team on the grading in advance of the assignment. 

The University salary scales and associated hourly rates are available here -‌ Finance Salary Scales including Hourly Rates.

3.4 Recruitment and Registration of Casual Workers

The process diagram “Casual Worker - Appointment Process (Right to Work Checks) ‌” illustrates this process.

3.4.1 Recruitment

The recruitment process for casual workers should be sufficient to attract the best candidates available and ensure that it supports equality of opportunity and values diversity. In particular it should enable all those in ‘target markets’ to have an equal opportunity to apply, while ensuring that the effort involved in the process is proportionate to the nature of the jobs on offer.

The University normally advertises externally, but it is acceptable to advertise internally-only in certain circumstances including where the post is short-term and/or where it can be reasonably demonstrated that internal advertising will generate a sufficient pool of appropriate candidates.

For example, in relation to a tutoring/demonstrating job which is expected to be of interest to current post-graduate students, the job should be advertised in at least the relevant Subject Area to give all eligible students an opportunity to apply. This may be done by notifying all PG students in that area or by posting it on a well publicised local website or noticeboard. Alternatively, all PG students could be invited to indicate whether they are interested in tutoring work and then those who do should have an equal opportunity to obtain jobs as they arise.

3.4.2 Registration

Once the worker(s) has been identified, they should be asked to meet with the School/RI/US administrator in order that the registration process can commence. During the first stage of registration the administrator will: 

Carry out the necessary pre-employment/working permission checks to confirm eligibility to work in the UK (see section 3.5 below), and copy and certify the documentation; Enter the required basic personal details of the worker through Core HR back office i.e. name, date of birth, national insurance number, personal email address and next of kin details;Attach the worker to the appropriate post profile and upload the certified working permission documentation (e.g. passport, birth certificate etc.).All workers must be issued with a letter of engagement‌ prior to commencing work. The letter (Casual Worker - Template Engagement Letter) should provide as much clarity as possible regarding the work arrangements and likely volume of work to be offered and must be uploaded to Core HR along with the documents above.

On completion of the first stage of the registration process, an email will be sent to the worker’s personal email address which will provide them with their University of Glasgow ID (GUID) therefore enabling them to access the HR Payroll System. The worker will then be required to log into the HR Payroll System  where they will complete the registration process by providing their bank details, address, and diversity information. Please note that payment for work undertaken cannot be made until the worker is fully registered. (NB.  No payments will be approved for payroll until the person is registered and the appropriate registration documents uploaded)

3.5 Immigration and Asylum Checks

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, all workers must provide the relevant School/RI/Service with documentation which proves that they have the right to work within the UK prior to undertaking any work for the University. Details can be found in the Home Office Right to Work Checklist‌ and our Right to Work Checks Guidance. Further guidance on Tier 4 Controls is available in the attached document: Tier 4 Controls - June 2018.

EEA (European Economic Area) workers must produce a copy of their full birth certificate or current passport.  Please note that a UK Drivers License is NOT acceptable.

Non EEA (European Economic Area) workers must produce documentation which confirms that they have permission to undertake work in the UK. 

Students from outside the EEA who are over the age of 16 are permitted to work:

For up to 20 hours per week during term time; full time outside of their term time (although they must still have valid leave).

There may, however, be additional restrictions on the student’s passport therefore this must still be checked as part of the registration process. 

It is essential that managers do not offer individuals more hours than they are legally permitted to work. Some students may have more than one assignment the manager must check with the student that their total working hours do not exceed 20. It should also be noted that if there was a level of work on a regular basis at this level then a casual worker arrangement is probably not appropriate and advice should be sought from HR to consider other employment options. 

Whilst it is the responsibility of the University and local Management to ensure that someone does not work more hours than permitted by their VISA we also wish to encourage the individual to share in some of that responsibility. To this end all those engaged on an hourly basis who are on such a VISA should be asked to sign a declaration stating that they understand the restrictions and that they should raise any concerns accordingly if offered more work. This will assist in addressing the challenge presented by some holding multiple appointments. The Tier 4 worker – Declaration Form  is available for use. 

For a list of EEA countries and further information on UK worker eligibility please visit the Border and Immigration Agency website.

If in any doubt regarding an individual’s right to work and the number of hours permitted please check with a member of the Recruitment team

3.6 Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme

In accordance with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007, a member of staff/worker who is to carry out ‘regulated work’ (as defined by the Act) must undertake a PVG Scheme record check in order to confirm that they are not barred from working with children and/or protected adults. The member of staff/worker will be notified accordingly where work has been identified as ‘regulated’. Further guidance can be found in the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme Policy.

4. Engagement to high-volume roles - GTAs/ Demonstrators

The process diagram "Bulk Recruitment incl. GTAs & Demonstrators Process Flow" illustrates this process.

4.1 The University of Glasgow is committed to providing its postgraduate students with the opportunity to carry out tutoring and demonstrating as part of their early career development, and to providing the necessary training and support to fulfil these important duties.

4.2 Where the level of available work justifies an employment contract, such roles will typically be offered as Part-Time (No Fixed Work Pattern) Fixed-Term Contracts. GTA contracts should be for up the three academic years where possible (but may be for one or two based on the individual’s period of study). The number of hours in the contract should be as many as can be confirmed and guaranteed.

4.3 Recruitment and selection is managed at a local level and School Administration should work with Local HR to agree the appropriate contracts and number of hours to offer.

4.4 School Administration are responsible for carrying out the pre-employment/Right to Work Checks (see section 3.5 above). Guidance on Tier 4 Controls is available in the attached document: Tier 4 Controls - June 2018.

4.5 In line with these controls, if the individual is on a visa you must ensure that they are not scheduled to work more than the number of hours allowed by their visa (typically 20 in any single week). Note that this is not an average and includes all work.

It is therefore essential that you ask the individual whether they have other work, especially if that is at the University, and agree with them how to manage their total hours. Subsequently, the person responsible for scheduling the work must be made aware of these restrictions.

When completing the Right to Work check you should issue the Tier 4 worker – Declaration Form for these students and return the completed document to recruitment who will upload it along with their Right to Work verification and employment contract. The information will also assist in establishing the necessary controls with those responsible for allocating work.

4.6 School Administration should then complete the spreadsheet with full details of the contracts to be offered and return this to the central Recruitment Team, who will issue employment contracts and enter all necessary details on to the CoreHR system. The spreadsheet, and associated guidance, is available on the following links: GTA Demonstrator Bulk Appointment Spreadsheet 2018 FINAL and Guidance - Completing the Bulk Recruitment Spreadsheet.

4.7 When engaging GTAs and Demonstrators and completing the spreadsheet, the following points should also be taken in to account:

  • In line with the policy, as much commitment as possible should be given. This means that:
    • contracts should be for up to three academic years where possible (but may also be for one or two based on the individual’s period of study at the University)
    • the number of hours should include as many as can be confirmed and guaranteed
    • for multi-year contracts the hours will cover those in year one and may be revised for years two and three. All contracts will include a clause allowing for the variation of hours in future years (either up or down following consultation with the individual). For contracts extending over more than one year, these should be reviewed when planning for each new academic year in liaison with the individual and if the hours are to decrease, or significantly increase, local HR will issue a variation letter.
  • This creates a mutual commitment between the individual and the University. Additional ad-hoc hours may be offered, worked and paid but the aim is to include as many guaranteed hours as possible to deliver a mutual commitment to these. In offering additional hours a system must be in place locally to ensure no individual exceeds the maximum number of permitted hours in any single week.
  • Hours should include known contact time and associated preparation, training, meetings and marking where these are known. Please refer to the table within section 5 below. For GTAs and Demonstrators, the assumption is that staff will work all the hours included in the contract. Holiday entitlement is therefore added to these. This is done automatically by the HR/Payroll system based on the hours claimed and holiday is deemed to be accrued and therefore paid in the month the hours are completed. Staff will see this as a separate item on their payslips.
  • GTAs and Demonstrators will typically be paid via timesheets for both contracted and additional hours. Even where the hours are guaranteed to be regular (e.g. 6 hours per week) it typically still makes sense to pay by timesheets as contracts extend over holidays when no hours are worked. Hence it would only be by agreed exception that you would pay via the payroll as we would for regular part-time employees. If you wish to pay via payroll please discuss first with your College/US Head of HR who will liaise with the central Recruitment Team prior to a decision being made.
  • GTAs and Demonstrators should be encouraged to claim hours on a timely basis, regularly each month and reminded of the payroll deadlines. A schedule of anticipated work should be shared with each employee to enable them to claim accurately and for the approver to review accordingly. All approved work should be paid so it is important that arrangements are clear within the School/RI in terms of who is permitted to offer work. 

4.8 A full GTA_Demonstrator Info Sheet is available here and may be adapted for local issue.


5. Hours & Payment Administration

The principles set out in this section apply to employees on zero hours employment contracts and casual worker arrangements and may also be referenced for staff on employment contracts with a level of agreed hours but no regular work pattern, for example 30 hours per semester. 

Hourly paid employees and workers are paid for hours worked, where there is a requirement for work to be undertaken, subject to prior authorisation and approval by the Head of School/RI/Service.

Colleagues should always be given as much notice (and commitment) as possible in relation to anticipated work (e.g. start dates, timings and duration). Appropriate induction, training, line management and support should also be provided to support colleagues to effectively perform their roles. 

Colleagues should be fairly paid for the work that they do, reflecting both the contribution and the time spent on associated activities. For hourly paid colleagues engaged in tutoring and graduate teaching related activities, this includes being paid agreed appropriate time for preparation, administration and marking in addition to their teaching or class contact time. The table below indicates the amount of time which should be applied to a range of teaching/tutoring and teaching support related activities for which payment should be processed at School/RI/Service level accordingly. Payment for demonstrating related work and any other exceptional activities is based on actual hours worked and the nature of this work does not normally involve significant preparation, administration, etc.

Type of Work Payment Comments Timesheet Category
Demonstrating  1 hour per hour of demonstrating (i.e. actual student contact time)  Based on actual student contact time.  Basic Hours
Tutoring 1 hour per hour of tutoring/teaching contact time (i.e. actual time)

Based on actual contact time.
For online teaching, an expectation
will be made by the School/RI that
sets out expected time.  This is
deemed to be equivalent to actual time.

Basic Hours


Actual  For classroom training the time will
be as scheduled (i.e. actual time).
For online training an allocation
will be made based on the expected
average time to complete.
Basic Hours

Normally 30 minutes per hour of tutoring/teaching contact time is payable for preparation relating to tutorials.

Demonstrating does not typically require preparation time. However if attendance in the lab is required ahead of the session this time should be credited and claimed as actual time.  

  • This is a time allocation and
    should be claimed in line with
    School/RI instructions. 30 minutes
    should be claimed (and will be
    paid) for each 30 minute allocation. 
  • It is recognised such time may
    be utilised for administration or student support related duties instead of preparation. 
  • This minimum factor may increase between disciplines and levels of academic work or situations where
    there is a requirement to undertake preparation, administration and
    student support related duties. 
  • Prep time will be reduced or removed altogether for repeat tutorials/teaching contact in situations where preparation
    is not required.
Development Normally 30 minutes per hour  of tutoring/teaching contact time is payable for developing a lecture/course/ programme This minimum factor may increase for development of an entirely new syllabus or decrease for updating an existing syllabus.  
Marking  1 hour for each hour undertaken on marking and feedback-related activities including examinations, assessments, projects, coursework, essays, etc. This is a time allocation and should be
claimed in line with School/RI instructions. The reasonable expectations of School/RI/College in terms of scripts
marked per hour may vary between disciplines and levels of academic work. Hence the number of hours credited is typically linked to the number of scripts (based on an average expected time per script) and not the “actual time” spent.  

Exceptionally, hourly paid employees/workers expected to undertake activities such as scholarship, CPD, attendance at School meetings, briefings, etc. are paid on an actual hours worked basis as requested and agreed in advance with the Head of School/RI/Service.  

These are guidelines and it is recognised that requirements may vary depending on the nature of the work and particular local circumstances. Any variations to the arrangements outlined above should be resolved at College/US level in consultation with the relevant Head of HR. Any local tariffs and rates should be clearly and consistently communicated at the start of the engagement. 

These same guidelines should be used when assessing the number of hours to include in a part-time or average hours employment contract covering the same duties.

6. Processing Payment

Payment of hourly-paid workers and employees is processed by completion of an electronic timesheet. Timesheets are created and submitted through the HR/Payroll system either by the individual themselves or by a departmental administrator. Payment for fully approved hours worked is made in the subsequent month. You should discuss the approach in your area with your line manager or local administration office and familiarise yourself with approval and payments dates as found on the Pay & Pensions web pages

Some areas still process these hours via the legacy paper system. Your local administrator will inform you if this is the case, and explain the arrangements in place to gather data on hours worked. The spreadsheet to be used by administrators to submit to payroll is available in the links below

Some hourly paid staff will have more than one assignment with the University in another College, RI or School. It is essential that the correct person number and appointment ID is used to pay the person for work done. This can be obtained from the HR Core BI Report Distributed Standard 21 - Casual Workers (Current) hr. For any queries with running the reports please contact HR System Support team, hrsystemhelp@glasgow.ac.uk 

Some irregular hours (no fixed work pattern) employees may have their hours processed via the payroll without the need for timesheets. They are treated like any other part-time employee and paid on the basis of their average hours presented as a full time equivalent. For example someone working 3.5 hours per week would be 0.1fte. As the timing of hours worked often varies for many employees on such irregular hours/average hours contracts the expectation is that the majority will have their pay processed via timesheets. Either way any additional hours worked beyond the contractual agreement would also, periodically, be processed in this way.

Please contact Payroll for further guidance.

6.1 Holiday Payment - Casual Workers

As stated in the Extended Workforce Policy an additional payment in lieu of statutory holiday entitlement will automatically be paid to Casual Workers and will appear as a separate figure on pay-slips for hours processed. This additional payment in respect of holiday pay is calculated as 12.0319% of the individual's normal hourly rate. Holiday entitlement is calculated based on hours worked and will be pro-rated on the basis of a full time workers statutory holiday entitlement (currently 28 days). No action is required by the Administrator as this element is added automatically by payroll.

6.2 Holiday Payment – hourly paid employees

The arrangements for accruing, taking/paying holidays for hourly paid employees may differ. Some staff on open ended zero hours employment contracts will have an additional payment in lieu of holidays automatically paid in the same way as is done for Casual workers. This is based on a pro-rata entitlement of 31 days annual leave plus public holidays.

Other hourly paid employees, including those with a minimum number of hours stated in their contracts will similarly accrue holiday for every hour worked and this will then be scheduled and paid in agreement with their line manager. This is again based on a pro-rata entitlement of 31 days annual leave plus any public holidays which fall within the period of the contract.  In some cases (e.g. GTAs and Demonstrators) this will be deemed to be accrued and taken in the month the hours are worked - this will happen automatically and does not require any claim to be made.   For others it is accrued and then taken at the end of a term or semester.  Payment of holidays for employees in this situation is made via the same Timesheet as for their standard working hours and processed on behalf of the employee by Local Administration with support from the central HR Team and payroll. A calculator is available via the Useful Links below. 

7. Termination Arrangements - Casual Workers

Casual workers do not have an employment relationship with the University and hence there is no requirement on either the individual or the University to serve notice to end the service agreement. These are governed by the terms of the letter of engagement and the school/RI/service administrator should monitor and end accordingly ensuring that workers no longer being used are ended in the HR System. A data cleansing exercise should be carried out on a quarterly basis. The record for any individual not having received payment for an assignment for six months should typically be ended in the University's system.

8. Guide to different forms of Part-time arrangements

The following options represent the key variations which are utilised by the University reflecting the needs and circumstances of both the University and those who work for it. Such arrangements may be considered for both open-ended and fixed term employees.    

8.1 Part-time fixed hours – Standard part-time contract where the work pattern is agreed and fixed; e.g. Monday & Tuesday 9am – 5pm plus Wednesday 9am – 12.30pm.

Total hours = 17.5. Full-time equivalent (fte) – 0.5 or 50%. The work pattern will be entered in to the HR/Payroll system and all benefits including annual leave will be automatically calculated.    

8.2 Term – Time. Some employees only carry out work during set periods, most commonly term time. Salary may be paid on an average basis (spread equally across the year or period of a fixed term contract) or at the time of working. For the latter if the work pattern during term is fixed this would typically be entered in to the HR system and paid accordingly. Where the number of hours is perhaps fewer and not fixed then payment may be made based on completed time sheets as in example 8.3 below. Holidays may be scheduled to be taken outside of the standard term in which case advice should be sought from HR to ensure this is appropriately calculated. 

8.3 Part-time – no regular work pattern.  

Some contracts may be agreed on the basis of an average number of hours per week or a minimum number of hours over a period e.g. a semester. Such contracts may be used for roles such as Demonstrator or Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA). The approach to payment for these contracts will depend on the anticipated work pattern. 

When the number of hours per week is fixed, or generally consistent, a nominal work pattern may be entered in to the HR System and staff will be paid on the basis of X hours per week during their contract. Any additional hours will be paid via timesheets either on a monthly basis or at the end of a defined period, most commonly a semester.

When the number of hours is known but the pattern is more irregular, the employee may be asked to complete time sheets for all their worked hours, both contractual and additional. In this way payment for these hours may be processed as and when they are worked.

Even where the work pattern is not predictable it is recognised that some individuals may prefer to be paid the same amount each month. This is in effect an average hours contract and the fte will be entered into the HR system based on the contractual hours and these will be paid in the normal way. Employees may still be required to complete time sheets to assist in the tracking of hours and to ensure any additional hours are captured and paid appropriately.

Where no regular work pattern is entered in to the HR System it will not be able to calculate leave entitlements. Annual leave will accrue on a pro-rata basis for every hour worked and will typically be scheduled and taken at an agreed point in the contract, most commonly at the end of a term or semester. (See section 6.2 above)

For more information on Holiday entitlement and calculations please see the Annual Leave Policy & FAQs