08 December, 2017
Q. There has been some confusion that has arisen as to the exact salary of a part-time worker. The contract does not state the salary but only refers to it being pro-rated to the full time equivalent. How can we ensure certainty in the future?
A. Whilst it is common practice to state that a part-time salary is pro-rated to the full time equivalent, this can lead to uncertainty where an employee may have been verbally promised a different salary to the actual calculation on paper. It may also prove to be a challenge where there has been a disagreement relating to salary, but no paper trail as to the exact figure.
It is advisable to be clear and consistent by setting out the exact calculation with the contract of employment. For example "The full-time equivalent salary is…but the pro-rated salary is …" this ensures consistency for the employee and also clarity if the salary is ever brought into question at a later date.
S4 Employment Rights Act 1996 states that any changes to the terms of employment must be confirmed in writing as soon as possible and in any event within one month. This can be dealt with by writing to the employee to set out the material changes and attaching a copy of the letter to the Contract of Employment.
Q. A teacher has been off sick for a long time and we now wish to dismiss in line with our Sickness Policy. Are we required to give paid notice?
A. Where a dismissal is considered for anything other than gross misconduct, paid notice is usually required. In regards to the notice pay point particularly, this would generally be governed by the Contract of Employment, the Burgundy Book or the STPCD, dependant on the type of school and any collective terms and conditions that would apply. The Burgundy Book in particular states that in the event of a teacher exhausting in part or full his/her entitlements to sick pay above and being given notice of the termination of his/her contract without returning to work on the ground of permanent incapacity or for some other reason related to the sickness absence, he/she shall be paid full salary for the notice period with normal deductions only.
Therefore in most cases, regardless of when termination takes place, notice pay should be paid at the full salary.
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