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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please see the following for any queries you may have, if your query is not listed you can email: tempassignment@st-andrews.ac.uk

How do I advertise a TSR post?

  1. Complete the TSR advert template for managers (Word, 24 KB) providing brief details of the duties, the timescales and who to apply to.

  2. Email the form to tempassignment@st-andrews.ac.uk putting TSR Advert in the subject line of your email.

  3. Your advert will be added to the list of Current TSR Opportunities for the specified period or unless you indicate you wish it removed earlier.

How long does a TSR post last?

The duration of a TSR will depend on the nature of the work but should not last for longer than 12 weeks.  If you require staff for a longer period, you should consider a more formal secondment arrangement.

Does the work have to be full-time?

The work can be part-time or full-time, but you cannot engage a part-time member of staff to work outwith their normal contracted hours ie if someone works in the mornings only, they cannot undertake a TSR in the afternoon in addition to their substantive post. 

You may also offer the option of a job share to candidates. 

How do I apply for a TSR post?

All TSR posts will be published on the Current TSR Opportunities list which includes a link to a short TSR application form (Word, 27 KB).

Details of who to submit the application to and the closing date will be posted on the advert. Before you apply, please obtain approval from your line manager to allow you to undertake the TSR and ensure that you copy them into your application.

Please note that you may only apply for assignments which match or are one grade above or below your current grade ie if you are currently on grade 4, you may apply for assignments at grades 3, 4 or 5.

How do I find my staff ID number for the application form?

Your staff ID number is found on the front of your staff card.  If you do not have that to hand, you can also find it at the top of your payslip (Payroll Ref) via Self Service.

How do I know what grade to put on the advert?

HR will determine the grade of the assignment via a quick HERA analysis of the duties outlined in the TSR advert.  If the work is to wholly backfill for an absent employee or is directly comparable to another role in your School/Unit, the grade will be matched to that member of staff.  In such cases, please specify the name of the matching employee when submitting the form.

I have identified a suitable candidate before the expiry date of the advert – can I close it early?

Yes, you may close an advert early if you have identified a suitable candidate and we would encourage you to review applications as they come in rather than leave to the end date in order to help you fill the opportunity as soon as possible.  Please confirm early closures by emailing tempassignment@st-andrews.ac.uk to request that the opportunity is taken off the webpage.

Who is responsible for the hiring arrangements?

Aside from posting the advert on the TSR webpage, responsibility for all other processes in filling the vacancy sit with the recruiting manager.  This includes gathering applications, interviewing, confirming hiring details and providing feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

Will undertaking an assignment affect my pay?

Due to the short-term nature of TSR work, your pay will not be affected by undertaking an assignment even if it is at a different grade from your substantive post.  Undertaking such work will give you experience of working in a different School/Unit; enhance your own skillset and knowledge; provide help to the University where it is most needed; allow you to bring different skills and perspectives back to your own workplace.

Will I have a different contract for the TSR work?

As there are no changes to your terms and conditions, you will not receive an updated contract.  Instead you will receive an email from the recruiting manager confirming the start and end dates of the assignment and the duties you are to undertake.

Will my line manager change when I am on TSR?

While undertaking TSR work, you will receive instructions and support from the recruiting manager in the School/Unit offering the assignment.  However, all other line management duties (sickness absence, expenses, annual leave etc) remain with your usual line manager. 

Will I need to transfer staffing costs?

Due to the short-term nature of the TSR work, there is no need to transfer monies between departments as the employee’s salary costs remain with the substantive School/Unit.

Must I agree to allow a staff member to undertake TSR work?

You are not obliged to approve a member of staff’s request to undertake TSR work in another School/Unit if this would cause problems in covering work within your own School/Unit.  However, you should, where possible, support colleagues who require urgent help elsewhere as well as supporting the personal development of your team member. 

I have agreed to a member of my team undertaking TSR work in a different School/Unit. Am I allowed to backfill their post?

Due to the short-term nature of TSR work, you are not allowed to backfill employees undertaking work elsewhere.  You should not agree to let them go if you require them to cover urgent work in your own team. 

Can I recall a member of staff undertaking TSR work elsewhere before the end of the assignment?

You should not allow a member of staff to undertake TSR work unless you can cover the work in your own School/Unit for the duration of that assignment.  The nature of TSR work is usually urgent and there will be little room for flexibility on the duration of the assignment for the other School/Unit.  However, if there is an unforeseen crisis in your own School/Unit and you need the member of staff back early, you should discuss this with the recruiting manager to see if this is possible.   It may be that you can reach a compromise such as part-time work in both Schools/Units or an extension to the end date of the assignment once the crisis has passed.  

If I am sick during an assignment will the end date be extended?

It is not envisaged that the assignment will be extended to cover periods of sick leave.  However, depending on how long you are absent from work, there may be some flexibility on the end date.  This should be agreed between the recruiting manager and your substantive manager. 

If you are unable to attend work during an assignment due to illness, please let the TSR manager know as soon as possible on the first day of absence so that they can update your substantive line manager to ensure your absence is correctly recorded.  When you return to work, please follow normal sickness procedures

A member of staff undertaking an assignment for me has called in sick. What should I do?

In order that the employee’s statutory sick pay is correctly recorded, you should email the substantive line manager as soon as possible telling them that the employee is off work so that they can report the absence through the normal channels. 

Am I allowed to take holidays during an assignment?

As the assignment is for a short and focused period of time, it is suggested that annual leave is kept to a minimum and only taken if necessary, to allow for maximum input and development to be achieved. You should indicate any pre-booked holidays on your application form. 

You will continue to accrue annual leave over this period which can be taken as normal once you return to your substantive post. 

My manager won’t approve me applying for TSR work – what can I do?

You must obtain approval from your manager before answering a TSR advert.  While it is hoped that managers will support staff who are willing to help the wider University when there are demands for additional staffing, this may not always be possible due to business needs within your own School/Unit.  In such cases you may not apply for that TSR post. 

If you are continually prevented from applying for TSR work, you should speak to your School/Unit  HR Business Partner.

The TSR hasn’t worked out – what do I do?

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.  The recruiting manager 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.

The recruiting manager can then readvertise the assignment if it is still required. 

Temporary Staff Reassignment Group
E: tempassignment@st-andrews.ac.uk

Advertisers/recruiters

TSR advert template for managers (Word, 24 KB)

Once an appointment has been made please complete the TSR details of appointment online form, and email the candidate (cc. their line manager) confirmation of the appointment.

Apply

TSR application form (Word, 27 KB)

Please read the Guidance for applicants (homepage) prior to completing your application.

Current TSR Opportunites