Students Staff
University of Essex

March 19, 2019

Brexit: Implications for job applicants and existing EU/EAA staff

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: — Mohammed Alam @ 12:08 pm

Employing staff from other EU/EEA countries – between 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020 (the Implementation Period)

Deal No deal
There will be no change to the immigration status of EU staff who are already resident in the UK, or who arrive before the end of the government’s Brexit implementation period on 31 December 2020. This was confirmed in the government’s Statement of Intent on the EU Settlement Scheme. EU nationals who already live in the UK, or who arrive by 31 December 2020, will be able to apply for ‘settled status’. This will enable EU citizens to live, work and study in the UK for as long as they like, with the ability to leave the UK for up to five years without endangering their settled status. The Settlement Scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019 and the deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021. A pilot of the scheme opened on 21 January. Individuals arriving in the UK after 29 March 2019 in a no-deal scenario will be able to stay in the UK for up to three months, after which they will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain. This will enable them to work, study and live in the UK for up to 3 years. Once their Leave to Remain expires, they will have to apply under the future immigration system (operational from 2021) for the relevant visa.

 

 

Existing staff from other EU/EEA countries – between 29 March 2019 and 31 December 2020 (the Implementation Period)

Deal No deal
EU citizens who have already been in the UK for five years and can evidence that will be granted settled status. EU citizens who have lived in the UK for less than five years will be granted pre-settled status until they reach the five-year residency requirement. Those EU/EEA nationals with permanent residence will be able to convert their permanent residence status into the new settled status free of charge, subject only to verification of identity, a criminality and security check and proof of ongoing residence. The government has published a policy paper on citizens’ rights in the event of a no deal. It confirms that even if no deal between the UK and the EU is reached, the EU Settlement Scheme will continue to be implemented, enabling EU citizens and their family members living in the UK by 29 March 2019 to secure their status and continue to be able to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis after UK’s exit from the EU as they do now. The scheme will be fully open by 30 March 2019 as planned. The planned application deadline will be brought forward to 31 December 2020 in the event of no deal.

The government has reached agreements with governments of EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland about the rights of their citizens. These are broadly in line with those negotiated for EU students and citizens. Nationals of these countries will be able to guarantee their rights in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme once it opens fully at the end of March. The Political Declaration commits to negotiating mobility arrangements for researchers and scientists in a UK/EU trade deal.

 

 

Post Implementation Period

The government white paper ‘The UK’s future skills-based immigration system’ provides details on the proposed system for employing workers from outside the UK following the Implementation Period: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/766465/The-UKs-future-skills-based-immigration-system-print-ready.pdf

After the UK’s exit and following the Implementation Period, there will no longer be one immigration system for non-Europeans, and another for EU citizens. UK Immigration Rules will apply to EU and non-EU migrants alike in a single skills-based system. From 2021 there will be no cap on the number of skilled workers allowed to enter the UK to work. (The Tier 2 cap is a monthly limit on the number of Tier 2 visas that can be granted to skilled workers from outside the EEA and Switzerland. Certain occupations, such as nurses, are already exempt from the cap.)

 

EU/EEA workers who have achieved settled status will be able to continue working in the UK without further checks.

Update – Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced in his Spring Statement on 13 March 2019 that from autumn 2019 PhD level occupations will be exempt from the Tier 2 (General) cap on the number of skilled worker visas that are granted each month.

 

The Chancellor also announced that from autumn 2019, the Government will update the immigration rules on 180-day absences “so that researchers conducting fieldwork overseas are not penalised if they apply to settle in the UK”.  (Previously absences of 180 days or more, even for research purposes, might prevent Indefinite Leave to Remain being granted)

 

 

Recruitment process changes

Employing staff during the Implementation Period

Deal No deal
No change – EU citizens will continue to have a right to work in the UK. They will need to apply for settled or pre-settled status (depending on how long they have been resident in the UK) before 30 June 2021. Additional RTW checks will be required to establish if the applicant is already resident in the UK. If already residing in the UK the applicant will need to apply for settled status.

 

If the applicant will be moving to the UK to start employment they will need to apply for European Temporary Leave to Remain within 3 months of arrival. Contracts will need revising to state continued employment is conditional on Leave to Remain being granted.

 

New reporting/workflows to be developed to advise line managers about requirements.

 

 

Employing staff after the Implementation Period

Deal No deal
EU/EAA citizens who do not live in the UK and/or have not achieved settled status will be required to apply for the relevant visa under the new skills based immigration system. Detailed information on the new scheme is not yet available but will likely be similar to current Tier 2 sponsorship. This will mean an increase in workload and extended time to hire for EU/EAA workers into the UK.

 



March 1, 2019

USS/SAUL Pension options for Grades 1 – 6

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 12:58 pm

Pension options for Grades 1 – 6, who joined the University between 1 Feb 2004 and 1 June 2014

Previously our USS deed precluded the University from offering another pension scheme to members who had a contractual right to join USS.  Following on from feedback from members and their concerns over the increasing costs of USS we have worked with USS to challenge this and have now had the exclusivity right waived for this group of staff only. 

What does this mean?

If you were employed between 1 February 2004 and 1 June 2014 and are currently employed on a Grade 1 – 6 contract you now have the choice to cease your USS membership and join the SAUL pension scheme.

What is the difference between the schemes?

The table below outlines some top-level differences between the USS and SAUL schemes.

Feature SAUL USS
Pension accrual rate 1/75th of your annual salary 1/75th of your annual salary
Contribution Rate 6% of your salary 8% of your salary
Lump sum 3 x annual pension 3x annual pension
Death in Service (active scheme member A lump sum of four times your annual salary, a spouses pension and children’s allowances A lump sum equal to three times your annual salary, a spouses pension and children allowances
Is Overtime pensionable Yes No

This is a high-level summary, further details about the scheme benefits are available from the websites below. Please note that from the 1 April 2019, the USS contribution rate will be increasing from 8% to 8.8% of salary, and there are further increases proposed in October 2019 and April 2020.

 

What happens now?

To support members in understanding their options we will be contacting eligible members directly, putting on workshops to help explain the differences as well as providing a take home pay calculator so that you can work out the difference to your take-home pay.

If you require further information please contact pension@essex.ac.uk  who will be able to help. We must, however, reiterate that this is an individual personal choice and that we cannot advise you.



February 22, 2019

Do you know what Essential Training you need to complete?

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 11:34 am

As part of our induction process, you will remember being asked to complete what’s known as our Essential Training. Essential Training is created to ensure that we all understand how we work here at Essex and what is required from us as staff members, both from the university and our own statutory obligations.

Undertaking the training is also a fantastic opportunity to learn more about Essex and the resources available to help support you within your role, providing guidance on how to overcome challenges you may face.

The training includes subjects such as:

  • Equality & Diversity
  • Health & Safety
  • Information Security
  • Financial Regulations
  • Fire Safety
  • Computer Safety
  • Safeguarding
  • Unconscious Bias

All of these topics are fundamental when it comes to creating a safe and more enabling work environment. This training should be completed within the first 6 months of joining. If you have not yet completed your training please speak with your manager to agree a suitable deadline for completion.

To ensure that this training is completed we will shortly be rolling out reports to help staff members and their managers review the training they have completed and what still needs to be done. You will receive an individual report providing your essential training requirements along with links to the training and information on the policy.

Please do keep an eye out for these reports which we hope you will find helpful. If you would like to get a head start, you can find out more about Essential Training on the Essential Training webpage.

If you have any queries in relation to Essential Training requirements, you are encouraged to liaise with your manager in the first instance. Alternatively, you can email ldev@essex.ac.uk.



January 11, 2019

University of the year additional days annual leave

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 12:25 pm

Following the announcement on the 14 December here is some information below on the additional annual leave day and how you can book it.

 

Entitlement

Q: Who is entitled to the additional day’s annual leave?

A: Anyone who was employed by the University on the 14 December 2018 when the notification was released will be entitled to an additional day’s annual leave.

 

Q: Does this extend to UECS as well?

A: UECS, Students Union and The Edge Hotel School will be entitled to the additional day.

 

Q: I am leaving the University in the next few months what will happen to my additional day?

A: Your additional day will still be available for you to take prior to you leaving the University.

 

Q: What does a day’s annual leave equate to?

A: For full-time staff, this will equate to an additional 7.2 hours, for part-time staff the additional entitlement will be pro rata to take into account a working pattern of fewer than 36 hours per week.  How we calculate this is to take the full-time entitlement of 7.2 hours to divide this by the full-time hours and then times this by your actual contracted hours.  E.g. 7.2 / 36 * 25 = 5 hours additional entitlement.

 

Q: If I don’t use my additional day’s annual leave can this be carried forward?

A: The additional day is to be used between now and the end of November 2019. There will be no facility to book this additional day beyond November 2019.

 

Q: I started my employment in January 2019, will I receive the additional day’s entitlement?

A: Our University won the prestigious title of the University of the Year as a result of the hard work and dedication of every member of our community, therefore the award is to recognise and reward those who were employed in the period leading up to the award being given.

 

 

How to book

Q: Will the additional day be available through HR Organiser?

A: The day will be available through HR Organiser to book, this day will be easily identified on HR Organiser as it will be called ‘University of the Year’ and hold your entitlement ready for you to book.

 

Q: When can I book this day through HR Organiser?

A: We are currently setting the scheme up and expect it to be available by mid-January, we will, of course, ensure we notify you when it is available on HR Organiser.

 

Q: What happens to my entitlement to the day if I do not book it before November 2019?

A: We will send reminders to Managers of annual leave that is still to be booked, however, the entitlement will automatically be removed after November 2019.

 

Q: I still have unanswered questions, where do I go for help?

A: If you still have questions please contact staffing@essex.ac.uk and we will be happy to help.



November 12, 2018

Your Profile Counts!

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 9:05 am

We’re proud of our global community, and we work hard to create a working environment which recognises and harnesses the contribution of every member of the University.

In order for us to do this we need to be able to identify groups of people who are under-represented, who are not progressing as quickly as others or who are less successful and then change things for the better.

Through our Athena SWAN work we have been able to identify and take steps to address disparities in pay and progression in relation to gender and we want to do the same for ethnicity. However, a significant proportion of our staff have not disclosed their ethnicity, and therefore we are unable to draw any conclusions from the data we hold.

What can you do to ensure your profile counts?

Update your sensitive information on HR Organiser. This means that you are directly contributing to ensuring that the University is a fair and inclusive place to work.

The sensitive information you provide is considered to require particular care, known as ‘special category data’ and we can only hold this data if you consent to share it, by updating it on HR Organiser.

The information you provide will be held securely and treated as strictly confidential in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

More information about how we protect your privacy and how long we hold your data can be found in our Privacy Notices.

Other initiatives to further race equality

The Government’s Race at Work Charter, launched on 11 October to coincide with Black History Month, is a ‘call to action’ for leaders and organisations across all sectors and several high-profile organisations have already signed up.

The government has also published a consultation, open until January 2019, which looks at whether organisations should be required to report how people from different ethnic backgrounds are paid.

Advance HE’s Race Equality Charter, of which the University is a member, aims to improve the representation, progression and success of minority ethnic staff and students within higher education.



October 11, 2018

Brexit Session – Simon Kenny, Principal Associate, Eversheds Sutherland

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: , — Mohammed Alam @ 3:14 pm

31 October and 14 November, LTB 8   1.30pm – 4pm

There are two sessions being delivered by the legal firm, Eversheds Sutherland, on the 31 October and 14 November covering Brexit for our EU colleagues.  These sessions will help us to understand the immigration implications of Brexit and the practical steps which could be taken now in relation to remaining in the UK. Whilst the rules and requirements are still subject to change, the session gives an opportunity to find out more information and ask questions.  A provisional agenda for each session is given below:

  • an explanation of the provisions currently determined regarding citizens’ rights and those yet to be agreed;
  • a detailed guide to the applications which are relevant to you and could confirm your right to live in the UK.  The intention is that this would provide the information needed to make the applications or, alternatively, highlight potential problems which might require further legal help;
  • a summary of the processes used by UK Visas and Immigration to determine such applications, practical issues such as timing and documentation necessary, and how this is envisaged to change between now and December 2020;
  • a practical explanation of how British citizenship applications can be made and the relevance of these to the relevance of dual nationality;
  • a discussion of queries raised.

The session will not be a guide to individual applications but will deal with the points mentioned above and leave at least 1 hour 30 mins for questions.

After the sessions, Simon is happy to pick up queries in private discussions which directly relate to clarification of something which has been discussed, but he will not be able to advise in detail about individual applications and whether they qualify.

There is the option of attending this session via webinar using the software Zoom.  We will also be recording the sessions via Zoom and they will be made available online.  For colleagues attending from the Southend and Loughton campus, you can attend via webinar from your PC, and you will also be able to submit questions via the webinar.

If you would like to attend please email brexit@essex.ac.uk indicating which date you would like to attend and whether you would like to attend in-person or via the webinar.  If you are attending via webinar you will be sent a link with details of how to attend closer to the time.



September 17, 2018

New Adobe Courses Available:

Filed under: Advice & Support,Developing Excellence — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 11:38 am

IT Training is offering three exciting new Adobe courses this term for all members of our University community. Whatever your role, you’ll likely need to use images or digital media to explain concepts. Whislt you don’t necessarily need to be an Adobe power user, understanding how to work with the core tools can both empower you and help you to produce more compelling content.

Photoshop for beginners,  22 & 23 Oct, 3 & 4 Dec

An introduction to this industry-standard image editing software that allows users to manipulate, enhance, crop, resize and correct colour on digital images. You’ll analyse how an image can be improved and then edit it in order to improve it.

InDesign for beginners, 29 & 30 Oct, 10 & 12 Dec

Learn how to create and edit multi-page documents for publication and screen use. You’ll learn how to build a document layout; create documents in various sizes and page lengths; add, import and edit text as well as place and manipulate photographs and graphics.

Creating digital content with Adobe , 5, 6 & 7 Nov, 7, 8 & 9 Jan

In the first part of this course you will use Photoshop to edit, fix and augment your images to make them look striking and prepare them for web and print. Then you are introduced to Illustrator and vector graphics for logos and infographics. Lastly, you will concentrate on InDesign where you will put together brochures, banners and other materials using the media which you created previously.

For more information and to book these and other digital skills courses, visit the IT Training web page



April 30, 2018

HAN Drop-in session

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: — Mohammed Alam @ 11:13 am

The Harassment Advisory Network offers a drop-in session each Tuesday, 1pm-2pm in 4N.6.2. No appointment is necessary, just turn up for a confidential 45minute chat with one of our Harassment Advisers, who will help “signpost” you to routes to solution and support for any harassment or bullying issues you may have.



April 18, 2018

Employee Relations is back!

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: — Mohammed Alam @ 3:12 pm

The refurbishment of the Employee Relations (which also includes Payroll, Pensions and Resourcing) space of the HR Department is now complete and we have moved back from our temporary location.  The reception is now situated in 4SA.6.8; to find us you will need to go in through the 4SE entrance and up the stairs toward the HR training rooms.

All phone numbers and email addresses remain unchanged so please continue to contact us in the same way.

Thank you to our colleagues who gave us shelter during this time, also a huge thank you to the teams that undertook the upgrade and moved us seamlessly back into our new offices.

Susie Morgan, Director of HR and Lyn Aldridge, her PA, have also moved back into that space.

 



March 5, 2018

HR Organiser and People Manager are changing

Filed under: Advice & Support — Tags: , , — Mohammed Alam @ 2:20 pm

The current HR Organiser and People Manager are undergoing some changes to improve the user experience and implement some additional features. From 6 March 2018 the new look and feel will be in place. You don’t need to do anything; the changes will be there when you next log in.

HR Organiser:

What’s new?

–       New look and feel

–       You can now view your grade, scale point and salary under the employment tab

HR-Blog-1

Hints and Tips

–       Moving home? You can change your address or add a secondary address

–       Keep an eye out for news, updates and tips on the home page

–       Did you know you can log into HR Organiser from your smart phone?

 

People Manager

What’s new?

–       New look and feel, fewer clicks to navigate

–       Can view an absence/leave calendar for your whole team (click on the “out of office today” box on your homepage)

–       Can see details of maternity/paternity and adoption leave

–       Easier to approve timesheets directly

–       A new summary page where you can see all your employees’ information in one place, including their annual leave balance and sickness history

hr blog 2

Did you know?

– You can redirect your approvals when on leave by selecting “redirect your tasks” on the homepage

– You can check probation and fixed-term end dates under the personal information tab on each employee’s information page

 

If you have any queries please email hrorg@essex.ac.uk who will be able to assist you. If you have any queries on the information held within HR Organiser or People Manager please contact staffing@essex.ac.uk/


 

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