Additional paid work

Who needs to seek permission?

Full-time members of academic, academic-related and research staff (grades 7-11) may undertake additional paid work only with the permission of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor.

The same condition is placed on all Professional Services staff (grades 7-11) [where the permission of the Registrar on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor must be sought], as stated in contracts of employment. Applications for permission to undertake such work should be made by completing the additional paid work form (.rtf) and submitting it to the head of your department/section in the first instance. 

When you need to seek permission

The lists below give an idea of the circumstances in which the permission of the Vice-Chancellor must be obtained before undertaking paid outside commitments.

  • The lists are not intended to be either mutually exclusive or collectively exhaustive.
  • Paid work undertaken whilst on research leave requires permission in the same way as paid work undertaken at other times.
  • If you are in doubt about whether a item of paid work counts as requiring permission, we recommend you still apply.
  • If you are sponsored by the University under a Skilled Worker/Tier 2 visa, please ensure you are familiar with the Home Office rules relating to 'supplementary employment' and 'secondary employment'.  Please email prior to agreeing to any additional work to ensure that the conditions of your visa are met. Should you hold any other visa type, please ensure that your visa conditions allow you to undertake the additional work.

Permission criteria

  • Will the work enhance the academic career and reputation of the member of staff and thus indirectly benefit the University?
  • Will the work interfere with the member of staff's duties in the University?
  • Will the work benefit another institution to this University's disadvantage?

Staff are reminded that they have a contractual duty to inform the Registrar and Secretary of potentially patentable inventions. Staff are also reminded that the University accepts no liability in respect of work that they may undertake for third parties.

Examples of when permission must be sought

  • Fellowships, research and advisory appointments for industrial or commercial, public or private, national or international organisations.
  • Directorships of companies.
  • Any form of self-employment.
  • Any type of direct employment by another employer.
  • Giving a course or series of lectures elsewhere, Open University tutoring, writing or assessing materials for other universities, including the OU.
  • Preparing and/or appearing in a series of radio or TV programmes or writing a regular column in a periodical (ie appearances or periodical writings that are not one-off).
  • Checking or preparing for the press other person's material, on the instructions of a publisher, other than a one-off editorial basis.
  • A-level or GCSE examining and marking.

Additional 'inside' paid work

Where a member of staff is invited to undertake 'inside' work which is additional to normal duties and in return for additional payment - for example, to undertake teaching duties for the Essex Summer School - approval for the activity should be sought, using the application to undertake additional paid work form (.rtf).

When permission is not necessary

  • Regular editorship of the work of others (e.g. as editor of an academic journal), permission is not required but notification is appreciated.
  • Single articles and reviews, occasional appearances on TV or radio.
  • Royalty payments for your own work arising from publication of research in your field (i.e. authorship of a work of scholarship).
  • External examining for other universities (first degree or above).
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