Kingston University
Hiring Practices

The following is a letter of offer made to a candidate for the position of Senior Lecturer at Kingston University.  
The offer was subsequently withdrawn after the candidate expressed concerns about moving from New Zealand to the UK prior to the University's receipt of satisfactory references, a condition which, if not satisfied, would result in his immediate dismissal.






21 January 2011



Dear Candidate


Further to your recent interview, and on behalf of the Governors of Kingston University, we are pleased to offer you an appointment as Senior Lecturer in Environmental Management in the Faculty of Science. This is a fixed term appointment from 01 February 2011 to 31 January 2012, due to funding becoming available for a project.


In accordance with the requirements of the Employment Rights Act 1996, the terms and conditions of your employment are detailed in the attached Statement of Particulars. 


Duties of Post

The duties of your job are as outlined in the attached job description. In addition, you may be required to undertake various other duties and/or hours of work as may be reasonably required of you at your place of work or at any other of the University centres.


Kingston University aims for excellence in both teaching and research. As a member of academic staff, you will normally be expected to engage in both activities. The balance of your duties will be determined by your Dean in agreement with you.  You will also be asked to undertake training and development, including professional practice, appropriate to your duties.



Initially, you will be located at Penrhyn Road. However, as part of your employment, you may be required to work at any of the other sites of Kingston University.


Start Date

Your start date is 01 February 2011, which is also your continuous service date.  I should be grateful if you would confirm your start date as soon as possible.  Please note that continuous service with an institution within the HEFC sector or from a post, which conferred eligibility to join the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme, will be counted when calculating sickness and maternity/paternity entitlements, subject to verification.  Full details are in point 10 in the attached Statement of Particulars.


Hours of Duty

This is a full time post; and your basic working week will be 37 hours per week. You will work for 52 weeks per annum.  This contract is intended to reflect a full time professional commitment but it gives flexibility in how you carry out your duties. Please also note point 4 in your Statement of Particulars.


Grade and Salary

The post is graded in accordance with Grade 9 in the basic salary range of £36,862.00 per annum to £44,016.00 per annum.  Your commencing salary will be £37,990.00 per annum plus £2,153.00 per annum London Weighting.  Your actual salary will therefore be £40,143.00 per annum. This is Spine Point 38. Your salary will be paid monthly by credit transfer into your bank account on the last Thursday of each month.


Annual Leave

Your basic annual leave entitlement is 35 working days per annum plus any public and Bank holidays falling on your normal working day. If you commence part way through the annual leave year this entitlement will be pro-rata, as indicated in point 8 of your Statement of Particulars.



Members of academic staff are automatically entered into the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme (TPS) however staff currently contributing to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) will be able to continue their membership with USS - please contact Human Resources to confirm your eligibily. Staff not wishing to join the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme must sign and return the opt-out form to Human Resources.


The appointment is subject to:


The receipt of references which are satisfactory to the University;


Health clearance.  Please complete the enclosed medical questionnaire and consent form and return them in the envelope provided without delay, as you may not take up your post without health clearance.  You will be informed if you are required to undergo a medical examination to establish if you are fit for work;


Meeting the requirements of Section 8 of the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999;


Criminal Records Bureau clearance, if you are likely to be working with people under the age of 18 or vulnerable people. You will be notified if this is applicable to you;


A probationary period of 12 months. During this time your performance will be reviewed and you will be given help and support as required.  If you fail to meet the required standard during this period, the full disciplinary procedure will not apply to you, but your employment may be terminated.


Details of University policies, including those relating to sickness absence, travel and subsistence, data protection, freedom of speech and personal harassment, are available in the Staff Handbook, a copy of which is held by your Dean or Head of Department.  The Handbook is also available in the Human Resourses Office or the University Libraries or via the University’s Intranet site.  You should familiarise yourself with the contents of the Staff Handbook, since it forms part of your terms and conditions of employment and will therefore apply to you in your employment at Kingston University.


Enclosed for your information/action:


1.         Statement of Particulars for Academic Staff

2.         Job Description

3.         An Extract from the University's Safety Policy

4.         Pensions Booklet

5.         New starters form (PERS1)

6.         Details on Security and Personal Property

7.         Car Parking arrangements

8.         Details of a Private Medical Care Scheme

9.         Occupational Health Questionnaire


Please sign and return one copy of this letter to Human Resources, River House, 53-57 High Street, Kingston Upon Thames, KT1 1LQ.

May we take this opportunity to congratulate you on your appointment and wish you every success in your new duties.  I look forward to seeing you on your start date, in the meantime, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Yours sincerely





HR Adviser


cc:       Acting Dean of Faculty, cost centre code: - Science/GGE

            Acting Head of Resource Planning








I confirm that I understand and accept this contract of employment including the conditions of employment as stated in the Statement of Particulars enclosed with this letter.


My start date with the University will be ………………….




Date ................................................……………………....








During your employment with Kingston University Higher Education Corporation ('the University') your terms and conditions of employment will be determined by the University's Board of Governors in the light of national agreements reached by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES) and amplified by local arrangements made by the Governing Body of Kingston University.


2.         DUTIES OF POST

The main duties of academic staff are teaching, research and scholarship.  You will also be required to undertake other activities in support of these duties, which may include; staff development, your own and participating in the development of others, curriculum development, management and administration, consultancy and professional updating, student counselling and welfare.


The post of a member of academic staff requires professional commitment and the maintenance of high professional standards.


The detailed description of your post will be agreed between you and your Dean and may be varied from time to time in consultation with you.  Any substantial change will be by agreement between you and your Dean.


3.         LOCATION

You will be assigned to one of the University centres as your initial base, but the duties of your post, as agreed between you and your Dean, may involve working at other centres of the University, or other locations as agreed.  Any reasonable travel expenses incurred may be claimed under the Kingston University Travel and Subsistence arrangements. 


4.         HOURS OF DUTY

a)         Your hours of duty will be 37 per week, and the normal working week is Monday to Friday.  As a member of academic staff you will be expected to work flexibly and your pattern of work will be agreed between you and your Dean.

The academic year varies between Faculties and Schools, but is, with the exception of a few specific courses, no more than 36 weeks.


The standard maximum scheduled student contact time is 18 hours per week, subject to detailed guidelines for the determination of duties of lecturing staff as set out in the Annex to Academic Staff Contract.


You will not be expected, without prior agreement, to undertake more than 14 consecutive weeks of teaching at any one time.  Any significant variation to the pattern of the academic year shall only be made after consultation with the staff concerned and, where appropriate, negotiations with the recognised trade unions.


b)         You will be expected and encouraged to engage in research, scholarship and professional development, including, where appropriate,  professional practice, and 20% of the calendar year will be allowed as self managed time for this purpose. The exact use and disposition of this time will be agreed with your Dean, normally on an annual basis, which may be through appraisal.


Practices will differ on the use of this time but normally a block of at least 4 weeks may be set aside at an appropriate time of year.  This may include time during the teaching terms by agreement between you and your Dean.  This professional development time may be taken consecutively with a period of annual leave at the discretion of your Dean.  You may, however, engage in these activities for more or less than this specified time allowance by agreement with your Dean.


c)         You will not be expected to attend more than 2 evening sessions a week except by mutual agreement.


d)         Additional payments for extra work shall be negotiated in advance with your Dean and these will depend on the nature of the additional work and, in the case of additional income, the monies generated by the Faculty/Department.  Payment will be made in accordance with procedures and payment systems established by the University, following negotiations with the recognised trade unions.



You may retain additional earnings resulting from employment during the time period as defined under 6(b) below, or outside your working hours.  You must, however, obtain permission from your Dean for the use of the University's reputation and/or facilities and an appropriate fee and terms for their use will be agreed.  Such permission will not be unreasonably withheld.



a)         External work which is supportive of your professional responsibilities is encouraged by the University.  You may undertake paid work either freelance or with another employer, either during the time as defined under 4b) above, or during your own time.  You must, however, notify your Dean and seek approval in advance, using the appropriate form, of your intention to undertake this work. This work must not conflict with your University employment, and if your Dean considers there to be a conflict of interest, you may be refused permission to do the work.  Permission will not be unreasonably withheld.


This requirement does not apply to the following, although your Dean must be kept informed:


(i)         external examining;


(ii)        acting as an assessor or moderator;


(iii)       the production of scholarly works such as books, articles and papers.


b)         While engaged in other employment you must in no way act so as to bind the University or to damage its interests. Failure to observe this condition may result in disciplinary action.


7.         SALARY

a)   Your starting salary is assessed according to criteria adopted by the Board of Governors ('the Governors') of Kingston University Higher Education Corporation ('the University').  Details of the criteria are available from the Human Resources Office. Your salary will be paid by credit transfer to your bank/building society account, monthly in arrears.


b)   Your salary will be paid in accordance with scales adopted by the Governors on recommendation from the agreed negotiating machinery.


Future salary reviews will be agreed by the Governors in the light of any negotiated agreements.


c)   Subject to the completion of six months of service and satisfactory performance, a salary increment is awarded on 1st August each year until the top of the scale is reached


To be considered for promotion to Senior Lecturer it is essential to have one year of satisfactory service at the top of Grade 8.


Details of current scales are available from the Human Resources Office.


8.         ANNUAL LEAVE

The full-time annual leave entitlement is 35 working days paid leave plus eight public and Bank holidays. If have a fractional appointment your leave entitlement will be pro-rata, and you will only be eligible for time off on those statutory/bank holidays that fall during your normal working days.


Your leave year runs from 1st September to 31st August each year.  Leave may be taken at a time appropriate to the needs of the post as agreed with your Dean.  There is an expectation that a reasonable block of leave will be taken at some time during the year and, subject to organisational requirements, it is possible to request that up to 30 days of leave be taken in a continuous period.  Such a request will be considered in the light of your work commitments and permission will not be unreasonably withheld.

The University is closed between Christmas and New Year and you may elect to work away from the University or take annual leave during this period.

Details of other provisions with regard to annual leave are available from the Human Resources Office.


Academic and Research Staff Annual Leave

35 days leave (rounded to nearest half day)

Full-time Entitlement on Joining the University


Month Started






































Leave Due


























If an employee commences work on or before the 15th of a month, the entitlement is given for that month.


9.         PROBATION

All new entrants to the academic staff of the University will serve a period of probation normally of twelve months duration.



a)         If you were employed before 1st April 1989 and have not had a break in service, your period of continuous service dates from the commencement of your continuous service as recognised by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.


b)         If you are joining Kingston University without a break in service from another institution within the HEFC sector, or from a post which gave eligibility to join the Teachers' Pensions Scheme, service with that institution will count for the purpose of continuous service. Verification of the service will be required from your previous employer.


c)         No period of employment with any previous employer other than in 10(a) and (b) above shall count as continuous with your employment with Kingston University.


d)         In the event of redundancy you may be entitled to count relevant service with a Local Authority for the purposes of redundancy payment, in accordance with the Redundancy Payments (Local Government) (Modification) Order 1983 amended.



Members of academic staff are automatically entered into the Teachers' Pensions Scheme (TPS) however staff currently contributing to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) are able to continue their membership with USS.  Staff not wishing to join the Teachers' Pensions Scheme must sign and return the opt-out form to Human Resources.


The normal retirement age is 65. Staff will normally be required to retire at the end of the teaching term during which they reach the age of 65.



All staff will normally be subject to an annual appraisal, the primary purpose of which will be for staff development reasons.



You are required to read and comply with the Health and Safety Policy of Kingston University. Details of this Policy are attached and entitled 'An extract from Safety Policy'.  Your attention is drawn, in particular, to your responsibilities as an employee.  You may be required to act as a safety manager or safety adviser in the normal course of your duties.



Details of the University's maternity and paternity entitlements can be seen in the Staff Handbook or accessed on the intranet.



a)    If you are absent because of illness you must inform your manager on the first working day, ie. Monday if you become ill on a Saturday or Sunday, and submit a Self Certification Form as soon as practicable, normally on the day you return to work.  For absence in excess of seven consecutive days including Saturdays and Sundays you will be required to submit a national health doctor's or hospital medical certificate.  All sickness absence must be fully certificated or pay will be deducted.


For statutory sick pay purposes, your qualifying days will be deemed to be Monday to Friday inclusive, irrespective of the days you would normally expect to work.  If you become ill during a period of leave you are also required to complete the full certification requirements otherwise you may lose annual leave entitlement.


b)   Your entitlement to sickness allowance is:


During 1st year of service:

3 months of full pay and 3 months of half pay.


After one year of continuous service:


6 months of full pay and 6 months of half pay



c)   For the purposes of calculating sick leave the year shall be deemed to begin on 1st April of each year and end on 31st March of the following year.  A member of staff whose service commences on a date other than 1st April shall receive entitlement to sick leave with pay pro-rata to the completed months of service prior to the 31st March after commencement of service.


A member of staff who is absent owing to illness on 31st March of any year shall not begin entitlement to sick leave in respect of the following year until s/he has returned to work. The period from 1st April until the return to work is deemed to be part of the preceding year for the purpose of this Scheme.


In the case of a member of staff who has entitlement to continuous service any sick pay paid during the current year by the previous employer shall be taken into account in calculating the amount and duration of sick leave payable in this employment.


16.       INJURY AT WORK

If you sustain an injury at work you must report the fact immediately to your supervisor who will require you to complete and sign an Accident Report form.  If you are seriously incapacitated your supervisor will complete this form on your behalf.  All serious accidents must be reported immediately they occur to the University's Health & Safety Office.



Your rights of freedom of speech are detailed as a Code of Practice which is available in the Staff Handbook.



Details of your rights and responsibilities under the Data Protection Act, 1998 are contained in the Staff Handbook.



The Management of the University is aware of the role that Trade Unions play in representing staff interests.  Certain Trade Unions are, therefore, recognised for consultation and negotiation, and the University encourages the solving of industrial relations problems by discussion and agreement.



You are subject to the Disciplinary Procedure of the University.  A copy of the Procedure can be seen on request to the Human Resources Office or in the Staff Handbook.



Any grievance should be raised in the first instance with your immediate supervisor unless it concerns him/her, in which case it should be raised with the Human Resources Director using a Grievance Form which may be obtained from the Human Resources Office. Please refer to the Grievance Procedure for any subsequent steps.  A copy of the Procedure can be seen on request to the Human Resources Office or in the Staff Handbook.



If your contract is terminated prematurely you are required to give 3 month of notice in writing, and are entitled to receive not less than 3 month of notice, depending on the length of your continuous employment. Otherwise your employment will terminate on the expiry of the fixed term without renewal.

There is provision within the Disciplinary Procedure for summary dismissal without notice in the case of dismissal for gross misconduct.



You are required to inform the Human Resources Office and your faculty or department immediately of any changes to your personal circumstances e.g.:



Marital Status (if you are in the pension scheme)

Qualification Level

Immediate person to contact in emergency

Home address or telephone number



This contract may be varied by the agreement of both parties.  Furthermore, terms and conditions for all academic staff may be varied from time to time by Governors in the light of a joint agreement of the recognised negotiating body for academic staff .



Kingston University recognises the requirement for the free exchange of information in the life of the University, especially in teaching and research, and affirms that academic staff have freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges.


The University has, however, an overriding interest in protecting the confidentiality of information where necessary and staff must not disclose any information that would breach their duty of confidentiality in law.  Staff must not therefore disclose to any person or organisation information held by the University without express permission, unless required by law.



Details of other terms and conditions of employment, as agreed from time to time, are available from the Human Resources Office.



MAY 2006


                                                                                 ANNEX TO ACADEMIC STAFF CONTRACT





1.         PURPOSE


These guidelines seek to achieve the following objectives:


(a)       to provide a high standard of educational provision;


(b)       to recognise the professional contribution which lecturers make to higher education;


(c)       to ensure lecturers do not undertake unreasonable workloads;


(d)       to enable the distribution of work to be carried out fairly within the University.


2.         PRINCIPLES


(a)       The Dean may delegate responsibility for agreeing the duties of a member of staff to the Head of School.


(b)       The duties and responsibilities of a lecturer are inherently of a professional nature and are wide ranging.  They include direct teaching, tutorial guidance to students learning, research and other forms of scholarly activity, curriculum development, educational management and administration, participation in the decision-making processes of the University (committee membership etc), participation in quality assurance procedures, recruitment and admission of students, staff appraisal, income-generating activities, and representing the University on or to appropriate external bodies/activities.


(c)       Both staff and management jointly have a responsibility to seek to enhance the quality of educational provision, but at the same time to increase access to higher education for all sectors of the population.  To this end there is mutual concern to improve flexibility and to bring about changes in working practices and methods of delivery, supported by a commitment to the development of staff.


(d)       Workloads which damage performance and which are detrimental to the lecturer, students and the service must be avoided through good management practice.




(a)       The specific responsibilities of an individual lecturer are a matter for discussion between the individual and his/her Head of School (which includes a Manager in a non-Faculty unit) and will be such as to enable the lecturer to be effective in the overall discharge of his/her professional responsibilities.  The discussions should take place within the context of a standard maximum scheduled student contact time of 550 hours per annum.  Each School/Faculty should consider the development of a model appropriate to the teaching and learning requirements of the School/Faculty.  The following factors should be taken into account in allocating workload:


(i)         the full range and extent of actual duties to be performed (see para.2(a));


(ii)        the current practice for recognising duties other than teaching and research;


(iii)        personal and professional development needs;


(iv)       teaching experience;


(v)        the number of students for whom there would be overall responsibility;


(vi)       teaching group sizes, with particular regard to methods requiring interaction (e.g. seminars) and the assessment implications;


(vii)      differing subject needs;


(viii)     the teaching methods appropriate;


(ix)       the number and range of the curricula to be taught, with particular consideration given to the development and delivery of new (for the lecturer) and innovative courses;


(x)        the desirability of achieving a reasonable balance of activities;


(xi)       wider internal and external responsibilities.


(b)       Regard for the implications in lecturers' workloads should be had at the appropriate stages of course and institutional planning, particularly in relation to the balance of evening and daytime duties.


4.         PROCEDURE


Determination of a lecturer's duties will be achieved by consultation between a Head of School and the individual lecturer.  This will be linked to a process of staff appraisal which will provide for feedback to the Dean on work allocation and loads.  There must, however, be fairness in the allocation of overall duties and with equal opportunities for all staff to develop their professional skills.


The outcome of the process for allocation of work should be open within each School or Faculty so that both the process and outcome are seen as fair and equitable.  Deans have a responsibility to maintain an overview in their Faculty through both the appraisal system and the planning process, and to ensure a measure of consistency both in terms of process and outcome.  The Vice-Chancellor has overall responsibility through the planning process to ensure that, across the University as a whole, the processes and procedures for allocation of work are fair and workloads are kept at acceptable levels.


The procedures for dealing with individual grievances and collective disputes may be used for resolving problems relating to the allocation of duties and the recognised teaching unions have a role in both procedures.





JUNE 1999