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Conditions of Service for Academic Staff

1. Application

These terms and conditions apply to Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers, Senior Clinical Lecturers, Lecturers and Clinical Lecturers. Additional terms and conditions for Clinical Academic staff holding honorary NHS appointments are specified in letters of appointment.

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 expected to observe UCL policies and procedures in the course of their appointment. The main employment policies are summarised in the document Summary of HR Policies, Procedures and Services which is attached to letters of appointment. These policies are updated regularly.

Academic staff are also subject to UCL Statutes and Regulations insofar as they are applicable to their appointment. Professors and Readers are also subject to the Regulations for Professors and Readers as set out in the University of London Regulation 3, copies of which may be obtained from the HR Division. 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. Probation

Appointments are subject to the following probation periods:

Lecturer with substantial teaching experience, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor (including Clinical Academics): 12 months 

Lecturer without substantial experience: 36 months

UCL provides support, guidance and training throughout the probationary period and Heads of Department are responsible for monitoring work during the probationary period and for conducting an annual review of progress and performance.

Further information can be found in the Induction and Probation policy

3. Period of Notice

Employees wishing to terminate their contract of employment must give a minimum of 3 months notice in writing, addressed to the Head of Department.
Staff with teaching or other responsibilities for students are required to give notice such that they leave at the end of a term. The notice period of three months also applies to UCL as the employer, except that in cases of gross misconduct where UCL reserves the right to terminate an appointment without notice, in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.

4. Remuneration

Further information can be found in the Salary Scales.

Salaries will normally be paid on the last working day of each calendar month by credit transfer. Where applicable, deductions are made in respect of national insurance, income tax and pension contributions.

For probationary academic staff, automatic incremental progression will take place on the 1st August following the completion of 9 calendar month's service. All other staff on Grades 1-9 will progress by one increment, within their current grade on 1st August each year until the contribution threshold is reached, unless an increment is withheld as a result of a formal warning arising from the disciplinary or capability procedures agreed with UCL's trade unions.

There are salary progression arrangements for Consultant Clinical Academics and Senior Academic General Practioners.

5. Promotions Procedure

Academic staff will have the opportunity to apply for promotion through the Senior Academic Promotion Procedures.

6. Hours of Work

The average notional working week for academic staff is 36.5 hours.

Full-time staff engaged on Consultant Clinical Academic or Senior Academic G.P. contracts will work ten programmed activities per week equivalent to 40 hours per week.

7. Duties

Academic staff are expected to undertake teaching, research and administrative/enabling duties as agreed with their Head of Department.

Members of staff are permitted to accept External Examinerships and may, with the Head of Department's approval, accept other professional appointments provided that they do not interfere with the duties of the appointment and do not conflict with UCL or University of London policies.

Attendance at meetings, for example Boards of Study, Faculty and Committee meetings, contribution to corporate roles and collaboration across faculties and disciplines is considered an important part of academic life.

8. Pension

Academic Staff, including Clinical Academic Staff, are eligible to join the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the Scheme's rules and eligibility conditions.  Further information about USS and the benefits it provides can be found at  

Participation in USS operates under PensionsExchange for all eligible employees.  Further information about PensionsExchange is available at

A one-off election upon joining UCL can be made to retain previous membership of the National Health Service Pension Scheme (NHSPS) subject to meeting ALL of the eligibility requirements.  Further information about the NHSPS and the benefits it provides can be found at

9. 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). Leave is approved by the Head of Department and normally taken in university vacations. Clinical academic staff are also required to agree periods of leave with their clinical line manager. Time off in lieu of additional hours worked may be taken in addition to annual leave, as agreed with the Head of Department

Staff are also entitled to 8 public and statutory holidays, and additional days (normally 6 per year) on which UCL is closed. Part-time staff will be entitled to the pro-rata equivalent of these days.

For further information you should look at UCL's policy on annual leave.

10. Leave of Absence

Requests for leave of absence should be made to the Head of Department in the first instance. Heads of Department are authorised to grant leave of absence if the arrangements involve no additional financial commitment for UCL and teaching and other commitments can be met effectively from within departmental resources.

Decisions on leave of absence from Heads of Department, for periods of one session or longer, or in the case of appeal against a Head of Department's decision will be made by the Provost.

Where a member of academic staff is granted leave of absence (with pay or a proportion of pay) to take up a post at another institution for six weeks or more in term time, the cost of replacement, if any, should be taken into account and the applicant is required to supply details of salary and commitments to the Head as requested.

The Head of Department shall report to the HR Director the names of staff to whom they grant leave and the dates of leave in each case, as well as any financial arrangements.

11. Sabbatical Leave

Academic staff should be aware UCL's Sabbatical Leave Policy.

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

UCL's policy on leave for personal and domestic reasons, and leave related to ante-natal care, parental leave, paternity/partner's leave, adoption leave, carer's leave and time off to visit relatives abroad can be found by clicking here .

13. Sickness

Staff who are unable to undertake their duties due to sickness must contact their Department as early as possible on the first day of sickness. Any departmental arrangements for reporting absence must also be followed.

Further details of UCL's 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 pay 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 pay1 takes into account the number of days of sickness absence taken within the previous 12 month period and is determined by length of service on the first day of a period of sickness absence. UCL's sick pay scheme incorporates the provisions of the SSP Scheme. No combination of payments will exceed normal contractual pay.

14. Maternity

Academic staff should be aware of UCL's Maternity Policy.

15. Grievances

Academic staff should be aware of UCL's Grievance Procedure.

16. Disciplinary

Academic staff should be aware of The Procedure for Discipline, Dismissal and Removal from Office is set out in Statute 18, 3(1), of UCL's Charter and Statutes.

17. 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.

18. Financial Irregularity

All staff are required to comply with UCL's Policy for Investigating and Resolving Allegations of Financial Irregularity.

19. Consultancy Work

Academic staff should be aware of UCL's current guidelines relating to Consultancy Work.

20. Copyright

Academic staff should be aware of UCL's current Copyright Policy.

21. Misconduct in Academic Research

UCL is committed to maintaining the integrity and probity of academic research. To this end, UCL considers that the conduct of research and the dissemination of its results must be truthful and fair, and has adopted a procedure for the investigation and resolution of any allegations of misconduct in research.

The current procedure can be found in the Academic Manual.

22. Criminal Convictions

All staff are required to disclose criminal convictions acquired during employment at UCL which may be relevant to their position or that related to violence, assault or damage to property.

The DBS checks and criminal convictions policy can be found at

23. Communication with the Media

A member of staff contacting the media on a matter concerned with UCL or departmental policy, using the address of UCL, should inform their Head of Department before despatch (or the Provost in the case of a Head of Department), and also UCL's Media Relations Office. The staff member should state that the views expressed are personal to the author. On non-academic matters, staff should write from their home address.

Academic staff contacted by the press and media to comment or advise on topics in their field should observe the following guidelines:

a) 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 academic may not;

b) 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 Office can advise on all aspects of interacting with the media. Staff should also make themselves aware of UCL's Policy on Public Interest Disclosure.

24. Time Off for Public Service Duties

Members of staff who hold public office (e.g. as councillor or magistrate) will be granted reasonable time off, in consultation with their Head of Department, in order to undertake certain public duties.

Members of staff will be granted paid leave of absence whilst carrying out jury service.

Members of staff may seek permission to attend annual camps and similar training in the armed forces of the United Kingdom. The permission of the Head of Department must be obtained before such service is undertaken, and each case will be considered on its merits.

25. Amendments to Terms and Conditions

UCL, in consultation with its recognised trade unions, may vary these conditions from time to time provided that the amendments are not at variance with any statutory and legal requirements. UCL may also vary these conditions without consultation, where this is necessary to comply with legal requirements. UCL will notify staff of any amendments.

Updated October 2011

1If participating in PensionsExchange your Occupational Sick pay is based on your 'Reference Salary' i.e. your salary before any pension exchange reduction. This ensures that your Occupational Sick pay is not affected by either participating or not participating in PensionsExchange. For more information about PensionsExchange at UCL see our Pension web pages.