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Human Resources


The strength of the University lies in the excellence of its staff and it is in the interests of our continued success that we take exceptional steps to support our staff through these unprecedented times. Following the emergence of the Covid-19 disruption, the University implemented a number of approaches to mitigate the financial impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on our staff, including the Employee Welfare Loan scheme and the Staff Hardship Grant scheme.

The Employee Welfare Loan scheme will continue to offer a temporarily increased level of support to provide non-interest bearing loans of up to £1000 to employees with at least 12 months remaining on their existing contract, to be repaid over a period of 12 months.

However, it is recognised that there may be staff who find themselves in extreme hardship arising from the coronavirus outbreak but who are not eligible for the Employee Welfare Loan scheme.

Therefore, the University has agreed, for a limited time, to establish a Staff Hardship Grant scheme. The scheme is currently open to applications until 30 April 2021 and may be extended further by the University if the current COVID-19 disruption persists beyond this date.

Who is eligible to apply for a Staff Hardship Grant?

Staff Hardship Grants are intended for those members of staff who have an existing contract of employment or workers agreement AND are ineligible for the University’s welfare loan scheme. It is available to current employees or workers of the Academic University[1] who are facing exceptional financial hardship as a result of a loss of their income directly due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The Staff Hardship Grant fund is limited and therefore is intended to help only those who are facing genuine significant hardship.

It is not available to employees that are eligible for the Employee Welfare Loan scheme, or to staff whose earnings are above £50,000. Save in exceptional cases, it is not available to those staff who can access support from other statutory or charitable schemes. Staff of Colleges and other entities that are not within the Academic University are not eligible for this scheme and should contact their specific employer directly over hardship issues.

What is the amount of a Staff Hardship Grant?

Staff Hardship Grants provide a non-repayable, one-off grant of a maximum £1,250.  Please note, the grant payments will be subject to income tax and national insurance.  Accordingly, the amounts received will be lower than the amounts awarded, based on the applicant’s specific tax position.  Please see the table below for an estimate of the net funds (i.e. the amounts received) compared to the amount awarded.

Applicants should only request the amount they absolutely need.

Estimated net funds

The table below shows an estimate of the net amount received compared to the amount of the grant awarded. 

Estimated net funds

Amount awarded

Estimated net payment


Up to Grade 6

Grade 7 and above


























Application process

Applications will be reviewed by a newly established Staff Hardship Group on a case by case basis taking account of individual circumstances, noting that (save in exceptional cases) grants will only be offered to those applicants who can demonstrate that they have been ineligible/unsuccessful for other forms of statutory or charitable support. Grants awarded may be for the amount requested or a lower amount, depending on the nature of the application and the number of applications received.

As the case takes account of individual circumstances, it is essential that the Staff Hardship Grant Application Form is completed in detail, including:

  • the exceptional reasons applicants are applying for financial assistance;
  • recent reductions in the applicant’s income;
  • statutory and/or charitable and/or University support applied for and/or received; and
  • details of how the hardship funds will be used.

This information will be kept confidential by the Staff Hardship Group and in its records (for audit purposes) and will not be recorded on the Employee’s personnel record.

Applications should include an endorsement of the request by the relevant Departmental Administrator [2].

Completed applications should be sent by Departmental Administrators (or Institutional equivalents) to

The Staff Hardship Group will consider applications promptly and may request further details from Applicants or Departmental Offices.

Please note that the decision of the Staff Hardship Group is final. The process for application may be updated following early experience of the scheme applications.

Guidance for Departmental Administrators is also available.

Post approval process

Post approval, the University will use reasonable endeavours to pay grants via BACS on the following Monday (within normal application capacity). Payments will only be made through the verified bank account on the relevant payroll system.


[1] Academic University is defined as the core teaching and research activities of the University, including museums, but excluding Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Assessment, WNWCE Board, the Investment Office and all subsidiaries, trusts and joint ventures

[2] Department Administrators will be issued with guidance on endorsement of applications.