Update on Charter reform - consultation on revised contracts for academic staff
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
As part of the project to reform the University's Instruments of Governance, commonly referred to as ‘Charter Reform', and following consultation with UCU and the Staff Forum, we will be issuing academic staff with new employment contracts in the summer term in line with the introduction of new employment policies and the removal of Statute XXXIII in August. Currently, the proposed Instruments of Governance are with the Privy Council for approval.
The University is taking the opportunity to review and update all contracts in line with modern best practice and employment law. Other members of staff will receive new contracts in due course so that all employees are on broadly the same terms, and that all the contracts are in the same format, wherever possible.
There will be no substantive changes to contractual rights. Contractual benefits, such as notice pay, pension, sick pay and holiday entitlement, will be unchanged. The majority of changes to the contract are stylistic, although some are being made to ensure compliance with the law and to set out more clearly the rights of employees.
Key amendments are:
- ensuring that employees comply with legal obligations such as compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Bribery Act 2010;
- applying a probationary period for all new employees. This will not apply to current members of staff, where existing probationary periods will be unchanged;
- ensuring requirements around holiday pay comply with the relevant laws, including clearly setting out how untaken holiday will be compensated when employment ends;
- setting out the University's contractual obligation to repay properly incurred expenses;
- no longer contractually requiring employees who have been off work owing to an accident to bring legal proceedings against whoever has caused that accident;and
- aligning contracts with the University's Code of Practice on Intellectual Property.
Colleagues who have security of tenure will continue to be employed on their current terms and their tenure will be protected. Contact your HR Partner if you believe this applies to you.
The University will be consulting formally on the proposed new contracts with UCU and the Staff Forum over the next few weeks. Following this consultation, Human Resources will send all academic staff new contracts and there will be opportunities at this stage to raise any questions or concerns.