New commitment to on-demand workers

  • Date

    Thu 26 Nov 20

Aerial shot of the University of Essex's Colchester Campus

The University’s on-demand workforce plays an essential role in helping the University respond quickly and flexibly to varying needs which cannot necessarily be predicted, planned or anticipated.

The University aspires to be an exemplary employer and our new ‘University of Essex Commitment’ follows a comprehensive review of on-demand workers commissioned by the Vice-Chancellor. This will ensure that we are delivering the best possible experience for on-demand workers while they are working at the University.

The on-demand workforce is made-up of individuals with diverse needs and expectations. This ranges from students looking to supplement their income in a way that is fully flexible around their studies, to people who are retired and looking for ways to contribute their skills and experience while retaining flexibility to suit their lifestyle.

The Commitment

On-demand workers will:

  • Receive an induction to the University (including its vision, mission and core values) and the department in which they are engaged, online essential training and a local induction relevant to the specific role;
  • Be paid for mandatory training;
  • Have the right to request a review of their contract if they think the arrangements have evolved into a more regular and mutual arrangement;
  • Have a named line manager to whom they can direct any queries about their role;
  • Be compensated for any shifts offered and which they have accepted but which are subsequently withdrawn at short notice (if no alternative shift can be offered). This will be subject to visa restrictions.
  • Be able to decline or accept shifts to suit their circumstances without consequence to future engagements;
  • Have access to development opportunities to enhance their skills, both “on the job” within the area they are working in and for personal development through the University’s learning events;
  • Receive a fair rate of pay at an equivalent grade to any permanent staff, where the work is directly comparable.
  • The commitment covers the University and its subsidiary companies UECS Ltd and Wivenhoe House Hotel Ltd. The University consulted with its three campus unions to develop the commitment.

    Director of People and Culture Susie Morgan said: ““We want our on-demand workers to feel a fully valued part of our diverse community and to fully benefit from the training, support and development opportunities we can offer them.”.”