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3.1    Casual Workers: The University will only offer work on an hourly-paid casual worker basis where the level and regularity of work is insufficient to justify an employment contract (see The Workforce Policy, Section 4.3).  Workers are not employed by the University, although they do qualify for certain legal rights afforded to employees. They are engaged under the Standard Terms and Conditions for Temporary Work. 

3.2    Casual work is ad hoc and/or occasional.   Casual workers are usually engaged to provide:

  • Occasional or short-term cover,
  • Additional support for seasonal or fluctuating demands in work,
  • Non-permanent or intermittent services as and when required.

3.3    Examples of work normally carried out under a casual worker arrangement are: short-term teaching; demonstrating; examining; short-term specialist work e.g. coaching, facilitating, translating, and ad hoc academic support work such as developing a course, producing web content for teaching etc.  

3.4    Other support work i.e. administrative and clerical work should be engaged via The University’s Temporary Employment Service (TES) - see 3.12 below.

3.5    Where an employee takes on additional casual work that is not part of their employment arrangements i.e. in another department, they should be engaged as a worker and issued with a Temporary Worker Agreement.  This work should be paid on a CHRIS 80/82.

3.6    Where you have identified that a casual worker fits your requirements, you must adhere to the following key principles:


3.7    Key Principles

3.7.1    Right to Work checks MUST be carried out for all casual workers before they commence work for the University. This is to comply with the Immigration & Asylum Act (as amended by the Immigration Action 2016), which makes it a legal responsibility for employers to ensure that all individuals engaged by the University have the legal right to work in the UK.  

3.7.2    Workers should not be requested to undertake activities for which they will not be paid.  This includes any training and meetings they are required to attend.

3.7.3    Workers should receive an appropriate induction which must include basic health and safety training and the online Equality and Diversity Essentials and Understanding Unconscious Bias training, together with any local training requirements. 

3.7.4    Workers should have access to adequate training to undertake the duties they are expected to perform.  Attendance and payment for attendance at training must be authorised by the individual’s manager 

3.7.5    Workers should receive the terms and conditions of their engagement before they start work or on their first day of work at the latest.  They must also receive the relevant handbook (link to Handbook for Workers or Handbook for TES)

3.7.6    Workers are entitled to 28 days’ holiday per year, inclusive of bank holiday, pro-rata where part-time.  Holiday pay should be paid for at the time when the holiday is taken.  Payment for holiday cannot be included in an hourly rate (known as `rolled up holiday pay´).

3.7.7    Workers will automatically be enrolled in the University’s Pension Scheme, subject to qualifying conditions, as set out in the Worker Handbook.

3.7.8    Workers must be given a named contact to provide guidance and support and advice whilst working at the University.


3.8    Rates of pay 

  • Workers are paid for the hours they are requested to work. 
  • The rate of pay is determined by the nature of the work undertaken for which an appropriate hourly rate is paid.   
  • Rates of pay must not be below the Cambridge Living Wage, except for apprenticeships and internships, whose rates must comply with the National Living Wage and related guidance. 
  • The University’s Substitute Teaching Rates (STR) set out hourly rates of pay for teaching and demonstrating roles. To avoid inconsistency in practice, should an institution need to use different rates due to specific local requirements, they must record the locally approved rates as well as the method and justification for deviating from those published above.   
  • For non-teaching roles, where an individual is carrying out duties that are substantially similar to someone undertaking an existing University role, the rate of pay should be aligned to that role e.g., Research roles 
  • Examining and assessment rates can be found here.


3.9    Recruitment  

  • As is the case for all vacancies arising within the University, the process for engaging casual workers must be fair and transparent and must promote the principles of equal opportunity and diversity.  
  • It is recognised that given the specific requirements of a particular post, it may not always be possible or appropriate to engage in open competition. Where this is the case, the Department should document why this is the case.
  • Where open competition (regardless of scale) has been part of the engagement process, the Institution should create and retain documentation related to the selection process for 12 months. 
  • The engagement of casual workers, as far as is appropriate, should follow the Recruitment Key Principles, as outlined in the Recruitment Policy.


3.10    Termination of Engagement

There is no employment relationship between a worker and the University, therefore, there is no requirement on either the individual or the University to serve a period of notice to end the agreement.  However, both parties will ideally notify the other as far in advance as possible if they wish to terminate the contract.


3.11    Process for payment

Casual workers (except for TES) should be paid via the University Payment System.  From January 2023 payments will be made via Cambridge Casual Worker System.


3.12    Temporary Employment Service 

The Temporary Employment Service (TES) provides short-term staffing solutions for primarily administrative and support staff throughout the University. TES assignments usually last for no more than 9 months.

Further information can be found on the TES website.