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Conditions of Service for General Staff (Research and Professional Services)

1. Application

These terms and conditions apply to all General Staff (Research Assistants and Professional Services Staff) at UCL Australia. These conditions are compliant with the National Employment Standards (NES) and the Higher Education Awards (General Staff) 2010. 

Appointments are subject to the current terms and conditions set out in this document, in letters of appointment, and any amendments which are subsequently notified to staff.  Members of staff are also expected to observe UCL policies and procedures in the course of their appointment.  The main policies are summarised in the document 'Summary of HR Policies, Procedures and Services', attached to letters of appointment, and also available at: Australia/sum_emp_pol.php

Should any variation exist between the terms and conditions set out in the letter of appointment and those set out below, those specified in the letter of appointment or notified amendments to it, will take precedence.

2. Grades

General staff positions are graded according to UCL criteria. This has been mapped across to the Higher Education Industry - General Staff - Higher Education Worker (HEW) definitions as follows:

UCL GradeHEW Grade
2 + 32
87 + 8

3. Probation

Appointments are subject to the following probation periods:

UCL Grades 1 - 6 (HEW 1 - 5): 6 months
UCL Grades 7 - 10 (HEW 6 - 10): 9 months

4. Period of Notice

Employees wishing to terminate their contract of employment must give the following notice in writing and addressed to the Chief Financial Officer :

UCL Grades 1 - 6 (HEW 1 - 5): minimum of 4 weeks

Grades 7 - 10 (HEW 6 - 10): minimum of 3 months

The same notice period (which can be made through payment in lieu of notice) applies to UCL as the employer, except:

  • For UCL Grades 1 - 6 (HEW 1 - 5), the notice period provided by UCL will after 4 years increase by 1 week per completed year of service up to a maximum of 12 weeks notice.
  • In cases of gross misconduct, UCL reserves the right to terminate an appointment without notice in accordance with the current Disciplinary Procedure. 

5. Remuneration

The current salary scale can be found on the HR web pages at: Australia/salary_scales.php

Annual incremental progression will be effective from the anniversary date of start of employment and is subject to satisfactory performance confirmed at the annual appraisal review.

6. Grading Reviews

The current procedure for the grading review of Professional Services Staff posts can be found at: 

Research Staff have the opportunity to apply for promotion through the Senior Research Promotion Procedures which can be found at:

7. Hours of Work and Overtime

The working week for full-time members of staff is 36.5 hours per week excluding meal breaks. Employees must take a 30 minute meal break for every five continuous hours worked. This break is unpaid and will not count towards hours of work.

The working arrangements are determined by the Chief Financial Officer .  Where work involves regular working outside normal office hours, such conditions will be specified in the letter of appointment. 

At certain times, reasonable additional hours of overtime working will be needed by UCL Australia.  In such cases, as much warning as practicable will be given but it is unavoidable that some overtime may occur at short notice due to sickness and/or emergencies. 

Time worked in addition to the contracted working week by staff in all grades will be compensated as follows:

  • UCL Grade 8-10 (HEW 7-10) - equivalent time off in lieu.
  • UCL Grade 1-7 (HEW 1-6) - overtime

Where overtime is applicable, it will be paid (in arrears) at the following rate after the working week of 36.5 hours has been completed:

  • Additional hours worked on Mondays to Saturdays: 150% for first three hours and then 200% for rest of rate of pay thereafter.
  • Hours worked on Sundays and during closure periods: 200%
  • Hours worked on Public Holidays: 250% ordinary rate of pay.

Where overtime is worked, a minimum of 10 hours rest break will be provided between one period of duty and the next. Where overtime is not continuous from working hours, a minimum of 2 hours overtime will be paid.

Regular monitoring of overtime usage will be undertaken by UCL.  UCL retains the right to terminate overtime worked on a regular basis; as much notice as practicable will be given.

8. Duties

Members of staff will carry out duties as may be determined by the Chief Financial Officer and will be responsible to the Chief Financial Officer for the performance of those duties.  In exceptional circumstances, staff may, following consultation, be transferred from one post to another within UCL.  

9. Pension

Professional Services Staff on UCL Grades 1 - 6 (HEW 1 - 5) and MCT are eligible to join the Superannuation Arrangments of the University of London (SAUL), subject to the Scheme's rules and regulations, which is a final salary scheme with a current employee contribution rate of 6% and a current employer contribution rate of 13% of salary.

All Research Staff on grade 6B and Professional Services Staff on UCL Grade 7-10 (HEW 6 - 10) are eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), (subject to the Scheme's rules and regulations), which is a defined benefit scheme

In addition, UCL is required to make payments to an Australian Guaranteed Pension scheme.  Employees at UCL Australia should elect a compliant fund of their choice and UCL will make compulsory employer contributions to this fund. The current employer contribution rate is 9% of salary.

or UK/overseas appointees, it is a condition of your appointment that if you return to the UK/overseas and request a refund of these contributions, any such refund will be paid over by you to UCL.

For employees who do not wish to contribute to the SAUL or USS scheme, you may instead elect to join Unisuper. The current employer rate is 17%.

10. Annual Leave

The leave year runs from 1 October to 30 September. Staff are entitled to 27 days annual leave per year (pro rata for part-time staff).  Annual leave must be approved by the Chief Financial Officer and approval is subject to service requirements. There may be times of year when annual leave cannot be taken due to the nature of the work undertaken and service provided.   

In addition, staff are entitled to a total of 14 days comprising South Australian public holidays, and UCL closure days with pay per year. Part-time staff will be entitled to the pro-rata equivalent of these days. 

Annual leave should be taken within the respective leave year; no payment will be made in lieu of leave not taken. A maximum of 20 days annual leave will be carried forward to the next leave year if not taken. Where an employee accrues annual leave of 30 days or more (pro rata for part time staff), UCL Australia can require him/her to take 20 days of the leave by giving two months notice.

Where a member of staff is leaving UCL’s employment, outstanding leave should normally be taken before the termination date.  However, where this is not possible, payment may be made in lieu of leave accrued but not taken. 

Annual leave loading will be paid at the rate of 17.5% of the ordinary rate of pay paid relating to the first 20 days leave period, up to the limit of payment equal to the Australian Statistician's average weekly earnings for all males (Australia) for the preceding August quarter. This payment will be made once a year in December.

Further information on annual leave can be found at:

11. Leave for Personal and Domestic Reasons, and Family Reasons

UCL’s policy on leave for personal and domestic reasons relates to medical appointments, bereavement/ compassionate leave, leave for urgent and domestic crisis, religious and cultural observations and time to visit relatives abroad. This can be found at:

12. Personal Leave

Personal leave covers the statutory provision of sick leave and carer’s leave.  10 days of personal leave will be accrued progressively through a year with a maximum of 10 days being carried forward to the following leave year or indefinitely if not taken. Personal leave carried over each year will be less any sickness or carer’s leave taken in that respective leave year. 

Carer’s Leave

An employee is entitled to carer’s leave if a member of their immediate family or household requires care or support because of a personal illness or injury or an unexpected emergency. If the statutory entitlement has been exhausted, additional requests for paid and unpaid carer’s leave will be granted in line with UCL Policy Leave for Domestic and Social Reasons. Any carer’s leave taken will be offset against accrued personal leave. 


Staff unable to attend work due to sickness should contact their manager as soon as reasonably practicable, ideally within 30 minutes of the time that they are expected to commence work (or as early in the day as possible if they work a flexible or irregular work pattern). Any departmental arrangements for reporting absence must be followed.

Further details of UCL’s current procedures relating to sickness absence can be found in the Sickness Absence Policy:

Staff following the Sickness Absence Reporting Procedure set out in the Sickness Absence Policy, are entitled to sick leave as follows:


Full Pay

Half Pay

During first 3 months service 2 weeks 2 weeks
3 months service or more but less than 12 months service 9 weeks 9 weeks
12 months service or more but less than 3 years service 13 weeks 13 weeks
3 years service but less than 4 years service 22 weeks 22 weeks
Service of 4 years or more 26 weeks 26 weeks

Occupational sick pay takes into account the number of days of sickness absence already taken within the previous 12 month period and is determined by length of service on the first day of a period of sickness absence. Any sick leave taken will be offset against accrued personal leave.

13. Maternity

Staff employed at UCL Australia are entitled to a maximum of 12 months maternity leave and 18 weeks occupational maternity pay. 

Employees must provide notice of their pregnancy no later than 10 weeks prior to their expected birth date. A medical certificate from a medical practitioner should be provided, which states that she is pregnant and the expected date of birth.

UCL’s Maternity Policy can be found at:

14. Grievances

The UCL Australia Grievance Procedure can be found at:

15. Disciplinary

The UCL Australia Disciplinary Procedure can be found at:

16. Financial Regulations

Compliance with UCL's Financial Regulations is a requirement for all members of staff. Financial Regulations includes UCL's Gifts and Hospitality policy and UCL's Anti-corruption and Bribery policy. A copy of the Financial Regulations is also available from the Finance Division.

17. Financial irregularity

All staff are required to comply with UCL’s Policy for Investigating and Resolving Allegations of Financial Irregularity which can be found at. 

18. Communication with the media

A member of staff contacting the media on a matter closely concerned with UCL or departmental policy should inform the Chief Financial Officer or UCL Australia Head of Department before despatch, and also UCL’s Media Relations Office. The staff member should state that the views expressed are personal to the author and staff should write from their home address.

Staff contacted by the press should observe the following guidelines:

  1. Inform the Media Relations Office that contact has been made. The media relations team can advise on handling the media, and may also be aware of the context of an enquiry that an individual may not;
  2. Ensure that they identify themselves with UCL and their specific department, according to UCL’s corporate identity guidelines, in all dealings with members of the media

The media relations team can advise on all aspects of interacting with the media (

19. Public Interest Disclosure

Staff should make themselves aware of UCL’s Policy on Public Interest Disclosure with additional regard for relevant South Australian legislation; the Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993 and the Corporations Act 2001. This policy and guidance can be found at:

20. Data Protection

Whilst the Data Protection Act 1998 is not applicable in Australia, the principles of the UCL Data Protection Policy will still apply at UCL Australia. Information held in the UK relating to employees at UCL Australia will be held in accordance with UK Data Protection legislation and the UCL Data Protection Policy. This policy can be found at:

21. Community Service Leave

Employees will be granted reasonable time off in consultation with the Chief Financial Officer , in order to undertake certain community service duties including jury service and voluntary emergency management agreement (e.g. dealing with a natural disaster).

Members of staff will be granted paid leave of absence whilst carrying out jury service (minus any pay received from the jury service). UCL Australia management may ask for evidence of the service.

22. Amendments to Terms and Conditions

UCL may vary these conditions without consultation, where this is necessary to comply with legal requirements.  UCL will notify staff in writing of any amendments.

HR Policy and Planning
August 2015