Part-time workers

Part-time pay rates are calculated differently depending on the sector and nation in which you work.

However, part-time staff should enjoy broadly the same pay rates, working conditions and rights as their full-time colleagues.

Maintained schools in England and Wales

Since 1 September 2008, part-time teachers in England and Wales are paid in accordance with a standardised method of payment. Research by the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) found variations in how pay was calculated and no standard definition of the hours those on part-time pay should work and this has been addressed.

Under the new, fairer system, a part-time teacher's salary is calculated with reference to the school's timetabled teaching week (STTW). This is the time that pupils could be expected to be in lessons. It excludes registration, breaks and assemblies - however, part-time teachers will still be paid for undertaking these duties.

Each school should determine what the STTW is for a full-time teacher in the school, and then determine the proportion of the STTW the part-time teacher is required to attend. Part-time teachers should be paid this proportion of the full time equivalent salary. If you are employed across key stages and there are different lengths of the school day for each stage, you will need to calculate the STTW and your part-time proportion for each stage.

In addition, you can only be expected to work for the proportion of time expected of your full-time colleagues. Full-time teachers can be directed by the headteacher for up to 1,265 hours over the 195 days of the academic year - but part time teachers can only be expected to work for the appropriate proportion of this.

Part-time teachers should be given a breakdown as to how their directed time (which includes teaching, PPA-time, non-contact time, registration, assemblies, meetings, parents' evenings and any other time you are required to be in school immediately before or after sessions) will be used.

The change means that, if a parent's evening or non-pupil day falls on a day you do not normally work, you cannot be required to attend. If you do consent to attend, with the consent of the headteacher, you must be paid for attending.

Leadership group

The same calculation applies to part-time teachers in the leadership group. Your head teacher will calculate the appropriate proportion of the STTW based on the time you are required to be present in school.

As a member of the leadership group you do not have a contractual annual limit on the number of hours you can be directed to work. You should discuss with your head teacher to ensure that you are only directed to undertake duties for a proportion of the time that a full-time colleague on the leadership group is directed.

Independent schools

In the independent sector, the principle that should apply is that members should receive salary calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Support staff

Part-time salaries for support staff are calculated by dividing the contractual hours required to work by the full-time equivalent working week, generally 37 hours for state sector staff employed in local authority schools (36 in Northern Ireland and London).

Further deductions to salaries are made for support staff employed on a term-time only basis.

Term-time pay for support staff

There are a range of methods of calculating pay for term time workers but whatever method is used, it should be a fair and accurate approach which ensures that term time workers are not disadvantaged when compared to full year workers. Calculation of salary should be made clear in the Statement of Particulars of Employment.

Pay for term time workers should reflect their contractual working arrangements. If term time workers are required to undertake work outside of their contracted hours they must be appropriately remunerated. Any such additional hours should be incorporated into contractual arrangements if they are an ongoing feature of the post.

Schools particularly should take steps to identify the hours required of support staff and to pay for all such hours. Again for school-based term time staff, it is recommended that individuals should be paid if required to attend INSET training days.

Most authorities pay the term time salary in 12 equal instalments over the year. This ensures that the employee is receiving a regular salary throughout the year and makes it easier to calculate average weekly earnings for statutory sick pay and statutory maternity pay purposes (although this may mean that average pay does not meet the lower earnings limit). Recent European Court of Justice rulings on rolled-up holiday pay should be considered when determining contractual provisions for term time only staff.

However, if a term time employee leaves part way through the year, it will be necessary to determine whether he or she has been over or under paid. It is recommended that the contract of employment state the arrangements that will be in place to deal with this.

Information on pro-rating Public holidays and whether or not to add entitlement to annual leave can be found on the Local Government Employers web site, in the factsheet 'Part-timers and public holidays'.

Calculation of term-time pay

When calculating a term time employee's pay, it is necessary to calculate their proportional entitlement, based on the full-time annual salary. Authorities use a range of calculations but these calculations must meet equal pay considerations and must also comply with the Part-Time workers Regulations and the Working Time Regulations.

Failure to do so could result in schools and employers facing a legal challenge.

Employers must ensure that the following key factors are considered when determining the pay formula for part-time workers and are included in the contract of employment:

  • number of days/weeks contracted to be worked/paid for

  • number of hours worked each day/week as a proportion of full time hours

  • contractual leave entitlement (pro-rata)

  • pro-rata bank holiday entitlement/concessionary days

  • number of days paid/worked.

Model term-time pay calculation

To ensure fair pay between full-time and term-time employees, the ratio of working days to days of paid leave therefore needs to be the same for both groups.

Assuming 25 days annual leave, the full-time employees have a total of:

- 25 annual leave days
- 8 public holidays
- 2 extra-statutory days

= 35 days paid leave a year.

Assuming a 261 day working year (52 5-day weeks plus an extra day), this give a ratio of 0.16 days of paid leave to every working day.

So term time employees who have a 195 day working year (38 5-day weeks plus five inset days) and who are entitled to 25 days annual leave per annum should have a paid leave entitlement of 195 x 0.16 = 31.2 days.

Total pay would therefore be for 226.2 days per year, compared with 261 days for a year-round employee. The term time employee should therefore receive 86.67% of their notional full pay (with a proportionate adjustment where they work less than 37 hours per week, or 36 hours in London).

Further education

Part-time staff in further education are often employed on an hourly-paid basis and the employer should inform the employee of the method of calculation of the hourly-rate, and what the hourly rate represents. This will often include an element to pay for marking and preparation and should be equivalent to the rate paid to a comparable full-time employee.

Need further advice?

Your first point of contact is your ATL rep in your school or college. Your local ATL branch is also available to help with queries, or you can contact ATL's member advisors on tel: 020 7930 6441 or email us. Please have your membership number to hand when telephoning and include it with any correspondence - this will help us to answer your query more quickly.


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