New Human Resources website

The Human Resources website has recently been redesigned to better meet the needs and expectations of users. Changes include:

  • More direct access to the most popular web pages following research into why users visit the website.
  • A new format for the presentation of policies and procedures, meaning that key information can be viewed at a glance.
  • A new section for HR notices, providing up-to-date information on changes to employment law and policy updates. Answers to frequently asked questions about HR matters will be added there in due course.

Visit the new website here

USS reform – update on consultation

The national USS Joint Negotiating Committee, which includes the University and College Union (UCU) and employer representatives, confirmed the final changes to the USS pension scheme at its meeting on 10 May 2011, following consultation with USS members at the end of 2010 on the revisions which aim to ensure that USS remains a sustainable and attractive pension scheme.  These changes incorporate the concessions made by employers on the transitional period given to deferred members rejoining the scheme and promotions from support staff schemes.   The draft amending deed executing the final proposal was submitted to the USS Trustee Board on 9 June 2011, and was approved with consequent changes being implemented with effect from 1 October 2011.  Further information on the confirmed amendments can be found here.

UCU continue to be discontent with the amendments to the USS pension scheme and at their recent Congress meeting decided to hold a fresh ballot in Pre-92 Higher Education Institutions for ‘a programme of sustained and disruptive industrial action targeting such areas as admissions, assessments and examinations’ for the next academic year.  It is their intention to ballot members from 20 June to 14 September.

Staff will be kept informed of developments. Questions on the implications of the ballot for industrial action should be sent to Louise Lindsay, Director of HR.

Assistant Wardens vacancies – Clayponds Village, Silwood Park and Orient House

The College invites applications to the positions of Assistant Warden of Clayponds Village, Assistant Warden at Silwood Park Campus and Assistant Warden of Orient House, all available from August 2011. These positions are open to all staff and the Silwood Park post is also open to postgraduate research students.

Wardens and Assistant Wardens are responsible for the smooth running of the hall of residence and will receive rent-free accommodation there in return for pastoral and administrative duties. The Assistant Warden should be a good organiser with a desire to help students to have a balanced approach to their studies and to develop broader life skills.

Clayponds Village is a collection of houses and flats which are home to 325 postgraduate students in South Ealing, approximately 10 km from the South Kensington Campus. The closing date for applications to the position of Assistant Warden there is 24 June. For further information, please contact the Warden, Dr Paul Green

Silwood Park is home to 110 postgraduate students living in single and couple accommodation. The closing date for applications to the position of Assistant Warden there is 27 June. For further information please contact the Campus Administrator, Mrs Diana Anderson

Orient House is a purpose built hall of residence which is owned and managed by UNITE. 125 rooms are arranged in cluster flats along with 25 in self contained studio flats – all rooms are ensuite. The hall is located within the Chelsea Harbour development in Fulham, two minutes walk from Imperial Wharf train station. The closing date for applications to the position of Assistant Warden there is 1st July. Please note, this post will only be for one year. For further information, please contact the Warden, Dr Daniel Balint or the Asst Warden, Dr Finn Giuliani

For a copy of the terms of reference and an application form for any of the posts, please e-mail Mrs Mickie Turner-Goble

Director of Student Recruitment – applications sought from senior academics

The College is seeking to appoint a senior academic to the post of Director of Student Recruitment. Reporting to the Pro Rector (Education and Academic Affairs), the postholder is responsible for academic oversight of the strategic direction of all aspects of undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment. The post is initially 0.5FTE, the remaining 0.5FTE to be spent in the Home Department

Staff Survey Presentations

The Rector will be presenting the feedback from the 2011 Staff Survey at the South Kensington, St Mary’s and Hammersmith Campuses during the summer term. For a preview of a selection of the results, see the recent Reporter article.

To register your attendance please email us, clearly stating which session you wish to attend;

  • South Kensington Campus – Pippard Lecture theatre 15.00 – 16.00, Tuesday 24 May (passed)
  • St Mary’s Campus – Cockburn lecture hall 15.00 – 16.00, Monday 20 June
  • Hammersmith Campus – Lecture Theatre 1, Wolfson Centre 10.30 – 11.30, Tuesday 28 June

If you are unable to attend but have comments about the Staff Survey results that you would like to feed in, please email Louise Lindsay

Additional paternity leave and pay

New Government regulations have been introduced to give parents of children due, or matched for adoption, on or after 3 April 2011 greater flexibility in how they use maternity and paternity provisions through the introduction of Additional Paternity Leave and Pay. This is an interim piece of legislation which is likely to change in the future.

The Human Resources Division has updated their Maternity/Paternity Support Leave Policy to reflect the new legislation.

Access the policy here

Childcare vouchers and tax relief

Tax relief on childcare vouchers is being restricted for higher rate tax payers from 6 April 2011. The monthly limit for tax-free vouchers will be reduced from £243 to £124 for higher rate (40%) taxpayers and to £97 for additional rate (50%) taxpayers. There is no change for basic rate taxpayers.

The change applies only to new joiners to the childcare voucher scheme after 5 April 2011. Anyone already registered with the scheme before that date can continue to claim at the existing monthly rate of £243, even if they are higher rate taxpayers.

It is in the interests of staff who are higher rate tax payers and have a child born before 6 April 2011 to register for childcare vouchers as soon as possible, even if they do not immediately intend to claim these. Provided that staff begin claiming for childcare vouchers before 5 April 2012, their tax position will be protected for subsequent tax years. Managers should pass on this information to any staff currently on maternity leave who could benefit.

More information on maternity pay, childcare vouchers and income tax is available here

Removal of the default retirement age

The default retirement age [DRA] of 65 years will no longer apply from 6 April. The removal of the DRA by the Government is being phased out over a transitional period and means that the College’s normal retirement procedure will be followed for the final time in 2011. Members of staff who will be 65 or over on or before 30 September 2011 have been made aware of their options to retire or request to work beyond that date.

Following the transitional period, the removal of the DRA means that the College will no longer set a date when members of staff retire. Members of staff will be able to choose when they enter retirement. Where a member of staff is considering retirement they should discuss their intentions with their line manager in good time. They may choose to take full retirement or – where the pension rules allow it and operationally it is in the College’s interests — retire and, following a short break in service of normally one month, be re-employed whilst in receipt of their pension in a part-time capacity.

College procedures and processes will be updated to reflect the changes in legislation and staff are invited to comment on the proposed changes to the College’s retirement procedure here

Find a copy of a managers’ briefing note about the changes here

Find out more details of the change in government policy here