TSR: Temporary Staff Reassignment
TSR is a simple, flexible approach that enables the University to reassign staff from their normal duties for a short, defined period, into a new role. This may be part-time or full-time over the defined period.
Schools and Units don't always have the resource they need, with the capabilities required, to meet the immediate demands - either to re-orient aspects of service delivery, deliver short-term projects, or to meet seasonal spikes in workload. This is especially the case when not all staff are available or able to work to their normal capacity.
TSR is an approach which enables specific requirements for temporary staff resource to be advertised, with visibility to all University staff, and to enable any member of staff (with the approval of their line manager) to apply for the opportunity.
This will bring benefits to Schools and Units which need support, and will provide individuals with new experiences and new knowledge, which they can then bring back to their own team. Above all TSR will help the University to make the best use of the resources and to be more agile in response to changing needs and priorities.
TSR (Temporary Staff Reassignment) is a scheme that works for everyone, University staff, line managers, Schools, Units and the whole University.
There will be occasions when a School or Unit has a temporary shortfall in resource or a short term skills deficit - either due to seasonal work patterns, urgent project work, or in response to changing circumstances. At the same time, there may be University employees who are not able to undertake all of their normal duties or who have spare capacity.
TSR enables the University to match such available resource in one part of the University with temporary requirements elsewhere, creating development opportunities for staff, while making best use of University staff resources in a responsive and flexible way.
The School or Unit with the resource requirement will get the help they need. The employee will get valuable new experience and professional development. The employee's line manager will find that they benefit from staff with increased knowledge and understanding of University operations and new skills which they can bring back to the team.
The scheme is 'demand led', and is driven by the short term requirements which are identified by Heads of Schools and Units and which are offered to University staff through this site. The opportunities posted here are browsable by any member of staff, and individuals may then choose to apply for a particular opportunity. The recruiting manager will determine how the recruitment process works and will be responsible for making the appointment.
Obviously it's important that the operation of the scheme is of no detriment to any Unit or School, so staff should only apply for TSR opportunities with the permission of their line manager.
There is no financial arrangement required to move costs nor any requirement to change the terms and conditions for staff undertaking temporary assignments elsewhere in the University. This is a reciprocal scheme that will benefit different parts of the University at different times, and as stated above, we all benefit in the long run.
The process is simple:
- Head of School/Unit (or team member) identifies a short term (up to 12 weeks maximum) resource requirement or skills deficit
- Manager or Head of School/Unit downloads the TSR advert template for managers (Word, 24 KB) from this page
- Advert template is completed with all the required information
- Advert template is signed off by Head of School Unit
- Completed advert is sent to email@example.com
- Advert is reviewed to ensure it matches the eligibility criteria and grade
- Any queries are taken up with the advertiser
- Approved adverts are posted on the webpage (Current TSR Opportunities)
- Opportunities can be reviewed by any member of staff
- Applications are sent directly to the advertiser
- The recruiting manager completes the selection process (which they design) and makes an appointment
- The recruiting manager updates the TSR details of appointment online form so that TSR know the outcome
Download and complete the TSR advert template for managers (Word, 24 KB) providing brief details of the duties, the timescales and who to apply to and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org stating ‘TSR Opportunity’ in the subject line of your email.
Ensure that the completed Advert Template is signed off by the Head of School/Unit.
Once it has been reviewed the TSR team will then post your assignment on the webpage for the specified period.
All TSR opportunities will be posted on our dedicated 'Current TSR Opportunities' webpage.
Please complete the TSR application form (Word, 27 KB) and submit it to the recruiting manager detailed on the advert on or before the advertised closing date.
Before you apply, please obtain approval from your line manager to free you to undertake the TSR assignment.
You may only apply for assignments which are on the same grade as your current post, or one grade above or below.
Advertising TSR work
Once you have identified the need for a TSR in your School/Unit, please complete a TSR advert template for managers (Word, 24 KB) and submit it to email@example.com with a subject header of 'TSR advert'. Adverts must be approved by the Head of School/Unit and cc'd to them when emailed to the TSR team.
The description of duties and the skills/experience should be brief and cover the key requirements. Up to 6 bullet points in each section is suggested but you may add/delete as required. However, due to the short-term nature of the assignment, it is not expected that much more information will be necessary.
The TSR should be for a brief period of work (up to 12 weeks). If you need longer-term support, then you should consider if a more formal secondment is required (please refer to the Secondment policy).
The work can be part-time or full-time and you may make multiple appointments from the same advert if you need more people to cover the work. You may also offer the work as a job share.
Before posting the advert, HR will check the work is commensurate with the suggested grade. If the TSR work is to backfill for an absent employee or is directly comparable to another role in your School/Unit, please detail that in the email when submitting the form.
The advert will be posted on the TSR Current Opportunities list and you will receive notification by email of when it has gone live.
The advert will remain open on the TSR webpage until the expiry date is reached unless you confirm that you wish to close it early. You may do this if you no longer need additional staff or if you have identified a suitable candidate before the expiry date. Staff are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and are aware that, due to the pressing need to cover the work, the TSR may be filled on a ‘first come first served basis’.
You may also request the expiry date to be extended if you have not filled the assignment.
Applications and Interviewing
All applications will be submitted directly to the person stated on the form and the School/Unit will be responsible for collating these and contacting successful and unsuccessful applicants.
You should thank unsuccessful applicants for their interest and provide brief feedback to them as to why you are not taking their application any further.
You should invite successful applicants for a short informal interview to explain the TSR work in more detail and ascertain their suitability for the assignment. This can be held face to face, via MS Teams or by phone. Two people from the School/Unit should be involved in the appointment process to ensure transparency and fairness.
If you have interviewed more than one person, you should notify unsuccessful candidates and provide brief feedback to them.
Appointment of successful applicant
Once you have identified the successful candidate, you should complete the online TSR Details of Appointment form and confirm the appointment with the candidate by email, cc'ing the candidate’s line manager.
While the start date and duration of the assignment will normally match those specified on the advert, these may be subject to change and should be agreed at the outset between you, the substantive line manager and the successful candidate.
All pre-booked holidays (as indicated on the application form) should be honoured even if they fall within the period of the assignment. You should discuss planned leave with the candidate at the interview. However, if this causes issues in terms of being able to undertake the work to your deadlines, you may not be able to offer them the assignment.
If the successful applicant works part-time, then you must ensure that the TSR can be carried out in the normal contracted hours - you cannot hire someone to work additional hours in order to undertake the TSR. The hours of work and working pattern for part-time staff should be clearly stated on the Details of Appointment form.
As there is no change to the employee’s substantive terms and conditions or additional payment for the TSR, HR are not required to issue any paperwork, nor do you need to arrange transfer of salary costs.
You should arrange the necessary access to buildings, systems, equipment etc for day one of the assignment so that the temporary member of staff is able to start work straight away.
You may appoint more than one employee to the assignment if a job-share is appropriate or you have more work than can be undertaken by one person within the duration of the assignment. A separate Details of Appointment form must be completed for each employee.
Failure to appoint
If you are unable to find a suitable candidate for your TSR then you can ask the TSR team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to readvertise the assignment with an extended closing date. In addition, you should review your advert to ensure that it is clear what the work entails as well as the level of experience required. You may wish to amend the remit slightly to make it more attractive to candidates. Providing some context about the work may also help as well as indicating if you would be prepared to consider part-time hours or appointing more than one candidate to undertake the work.
Ending a TSR
While it is hoped that the interview process will have resulted in a good match between assignment and employee, sometimes things don’t work out as expected. In such cases, you should clarify requirements with the employee offering additional training if necessary. If this does not remedy the situation, then the employee should return early to their substantive post.
You may then readvertise the assignment, if it is still required, following the advertising instructions above.
Assuming everything works out, the employee will return to their substantive post the day after the assignment ends.
Guidance for applicants
All Current TSR Opportunities will be posted on the webpage and you should check it regularly for new openings. There will also be a link to TSR opportunities in In The Loop.
Rules for applying
You are only eligible to apply for TSR work which matches or is one grade above or below your current grade ie if you are currently on grade 4 you may apply for opportunities at grades 3, 4 or 5.
If you work part-time, any TSR work must be undertaken within these contracted hours ie if you work Monday to Friday mornings only, you cannot undertake TSR work in the afternoons.
You must obtain approval from your line manager before applying for each TSR as due to demands in your own School/Unit, it may not be possible for you to be released to undertake work elsewhere (even within the same School/Unit).
How to apply
Please complete and email the TSR application form (Word, 27 KB) to the manager specified on the form copying in your line manager.
Due to the short-term nature of these assignments, managers may not wait until the expiry date to fill the vacancy and may appoint a suitable candidate as soon as they have applied. Therefore, you should apply for suitable assignments as soon as possible in order to be considered.
If your application meets the needs of the recruiting manager, you will be invited to a short informal interview with them and a colleague to explore the TSR work in more detail and confirm if it is a good fit for you and them. This can be face to face, via MS Teams or by phone.
If you are successful in securing the assignment, the recruiting manager will confirm, via email, start and end dates, hours and duties to be undertaken. You will not be issued with new terms and conditions as there is no substantive change to your main contract with the University and no additional payment for undertaking the assignment.
While the start date and duration of the assignment will normally match those specified on the advert, these may be subject to change and should be agreed at the outset between the recruiting manager, your substantive line manager and yourself.
If you are unsuccessful in securing the assignment at application or following interview, you will receive brief feedback from the recruiting manager.
End of assignment
The TSR will normally finish on the specified end date and you will resume your normal duties within your usual School/Unit on the following working day.