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Research Funded Permanent Staff Guidelines

Category Human Resources
Type Guideline
Approved by Director Human Resources, 23 April 2010
Date Guideline Took Effect 23 April 2010
Last Approved Revision
Sponsor Director of Human Resources
Responsible Officer HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration
Review Date 30 April 2015

Purpose

The purpose of these guidelines is to outline the requirements of employing Research Funded Permanent Staff.

Organisational Scope

These guidelines apply to all appointments of Research Funded Permanent Staff.

Policy Content

1. What is this category of Employment?

Staff may be appointed to this category of employment where their employment is dependent on the continuation of sufficient research funding, as determined by the University.

Although ongoing funding for the position is not certain, the employment will be permanent i.e. not fixed-term*. However, because both the staff and their Department will be well aware of the inherent uncertainty around continuation of the funding and therefore the role, the procedures for ending or altering employment due to the ending or reduction of funding are simpler and quicker than standard management of change procedures.

This category can apply to academic and general staff.

*Fixed-term appointments are those where the employment is for a fixed term, for a specific purpose, with an end date specified. For more details on fixed-term appointment, please contact the Human Resources Division for advice.

2. Who can be appointed to this category?

People should be considered for this category if at the time of appointment:

  1. They have been performing the same or similar research funded work within the same Department, on fixed-term agreements, for four or more years duration; or
  2. It is the Department’s assessment that the position is expected to be funded for the foreseeable future

3. Are the terms and conditions different for this category?

Terms and conditions such as salary, leave, and superannuation are the same for this category as for other categories of permanent staff. The only differences are around the provisions that relate to funding ceasing to be sufficient to keep the position

4. What happens if the research funding ceases to be sufficient to keep a position(s)?

It is important for Principle Investigators and/or Heads of Department to consult with their Divisional HR Manager or Advisor immediately if they become aware that positions may be at risk due to the cessation of funding. This will enable an appropriate process to be put in place, which generally will consist of the following steps:

  1. If circumstances arise that could result in a research funded position becoming surplus to the University’s needs, staff and the Union(s) will be advised and two weeks will be provided for consultation about the implications of this change.
  2. If, following the consultation period, the University decides it is necessary to end the employment of research funded staff, they will be provided with one month’s notice of this.
  3. During the notice period, options will be explored with them such as retraining and redeployment.
  4. If redeployment does not occur, the person’s employment would end by way of redundancy.

5. Do people employed in this category receive redundancy compensation?

Staff employed in this category, who are made redundant, will receive compensation in accordance with the following schedule:

Continuous service with the University (years)Payment (weeks)
Up to 48
4 years and up to 612
6 years and up to 816
8 rears and up to 1021
10 years or more26

6. What happens if, as a result of a redundancy situation, a person is redeployed to other roles?

Normally if a person is redeployed to another permanent role anywhere in the University, no redundancy compensation will be payable.

If the redeployment is to a fixed-term position and payment of redundancy compensation (at the end of that fixed-term) is reasonable in the circumstances, the HR Director may approve the payment of redundancy compensation and will determine the conditions related to this.

If, as a result of a reduction in funding a person agrees to reduce their hours of work, redundancy compensation will be payable, on a pro rata basis.

7. Who meets the cost of any redundancy compensation?

The “Policy” regarding the funding of redundancy payments for this category is:

  • In the Division of Heath Sciences, the costs will be split 1/3 Division, 1/3 School and 1/3 Department.
  • In the other Divisions, the costs will be split 2/3 Division and 1/3 School.

In the case of redeployment to a fixed-term position (where redundancy compensation has been agreed), that also involves a transfer to another department, the basis for cost sharing for any payments will also be discussed between the Departments at the time and agreed and documented before the transfer is made.

8. How long can a person remain employed in this category?

Technically a person can remain employed in this category indefinitely, however after a period of years it may be reasonable for a person to transfer to permanent employment. This will be by recommendation to the HR Director by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (on advice from the Head of Department). It is recommended that the status of people in this category is reviewed after six years of employment in the research funded permanent category.

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the HR Manager, Promotions & Remuneration at dan.wilson@otago.ac.nz or (03) 479 8092.