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Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions about Professional Services temporary staff assignments.

How will I find out if I am to be assigned to a different part of the PS?

You will normally be approached by your line manager who will give you details of the assignment, the start date and the anticipated length.

Do I have to apply for an assignment or will I be selected? 

You will be selected based on your experience and skills – there is no application or interview process. 

How much notice will I be given to move to my assignment?

This may vary but you will usually be given at least one week’s notice except in circumstances where there is a critical and immediate need to begin an assignment.

Is an assignment the same as redeployment?

No, redeployment is either for a longer period or permanent with a transfer of line manager and a change in contractual terms.  During your assignment your contractual terms will remain unchanged, including your grade, pay and job title.

Could I be assigned on a part-time basis while continuing to undertake my substantive role on a reduced hours?


What happens to the work I am doing in my current job whilst I undertake any assignment?

There are various options including deferring or deprioritising some of your current work, passing some of your existing work to colleagues to progress or undertaking a part-time assignment.  You should discuss these options with your line manager.

Will any flexible working arrangements continue in the assignment?

Yes, we will seek to honour agreed arrangements.

Can I be moved from one assignment straight to another without going back to my substantive role?

Yes, that may happen in some circumstances.

Have the trade unions been consulted about this?

Yes, the trade unions have been consulted about the reasons for introducing assignments and the basis of putting these arrangements in place.

How will I access any training that I may need to carry out an assignment?

Any training requirements will be discussed before you start your assignment.  It is likely that training will be provided online for the time being.

Will any assignment be taken into account in my P&DR?

Yes, your contribution and experience should feed into the P&DR process and conversation at the appropriate time.

Should I keep in touch with my line manager during my assignment?

Yes, they will continue to be your line manager so you should agree with them how you plan to keep in touch during your assignment. 

I’m on furlough leave, could I be asked to return to work to carry out an assignment?

Yes, it is possible that staff on furlough leave will be asked to return to work if you have the skills and experience which are a good match to carry out an assignment.

What if I have annual leave booked during the duration of the assignment – can I still take it?

Yes, you can take any annual leave which you have booked.

What do I do if I’m asked to carry out an assignment which I don’t feel I have the skills to do?

You should discuss this with your line manager in the first instance.  You will not be asked to carry out an assignment which you don’t have the appropriate skills to do, although you should  have a conversation with your line manager about the kind of training available to help you carry out an assignment.

Will be my substantive job be at greater risk of redundancy because I am selected for a temporary assignment?

No.  If there is a need to make posts redundant at any point, these decisions will be made on the future needs of our University and not on whether you have undertaken an assignment or not.