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Teaching Assistants temporary sick pay provisions

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Arrangements for sick pay for Teaching Assistants (TAs) which were put in place throughout the 2020/21 academic year have been extended until the end of Semester 1 in the 2021/22 academic year.

Under the University’s local agreement with the University and College Union (UCU) on the terms and conditions governing the employment of Teaching Assistants (TAs), the sick pay provisions are as follows:

  • If a TA is absent from work due to sickness or injury, no payment will be made unless the TA qualifies for statutory sick pay.  
  • In the event of short-term absence due to illness, TAs should attempt to arrange for a suitably qualified colleague to undertake their teaching on an exchange or swap basis, subject to obtaining verbal approval of their discipline head, in order that contractual hours of work can still be fulfilled and, in these circumstances, the absence will not be treated as a period of sickness absence.

In response to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, these arrangements were changed temporarily in the 2020/21 academic year.  This meant that if a TA was scheduled and contracted to undertake in-person teaching, they were entitled to receive sick pay in the following circumstances:

  • If they had tested positive for COVID-19 and were unable to deliver scheduled teaching as a result;
  • If they were self-isolating because: (i) they had COVID-19 symptoms, (ii) they were waiting for a COVID-19 test result, and it was not appropriate or possible to move the scheduled class online.

TAs will continue to be eligible for sick pay where they are too unwell to deliver scheduled online teaching after testing positive for COVID-19 or while waiting for test results.   

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