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Fixed-term and hourly paid workers

Some of the most vulnerable people working in education are those on fixed-term contracts or who work part-time or are paid by the hour. Although recent legislation now offers more protection, fixed-term staff are still at risk.

Fixed-term and hourly paid news

Produced by UCU's fixed-term and hourly paid staff committee: read the latest issue here


One of the most difficult times can be when your fixed-term contract is coming to an end. If you are in this situation, we can make sure you know what your employer's obligations are. These depend upon the nature of your particular contract within your particular institution: when it was signed, what clauses it contains, whether it has previously been renewed - all of which affect your legal entitlements.

So if a problem arises, please contact your branch/local association or regional official who will be able to advise and if necessary represent you.

As we have knowledge of specific institutions, we can advise part-time employees as to what treatment they should expect in comparison to full-time staff, and can help them follow this up if they feel they are being treated badly. Postgraduates who do teaching work, and who are generally paid by the hour, are especially vulnerable to poorer terms and conditions.

Whatever type of contract you are on, you may have concerns or queries about specific clauses in your contract, or how your contract ties in with national and local aspects such as leave entitlements or access to staff development schemes.

Again, your branch/LA is best placed to advise you on the specifics in the context of your institution, and if necessary can help to negotiate improved terms.

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