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Staff record 2019/20 - Coverage of the record

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Version 1.2 Produced 2020-07-01

Contents: General definition | Providers in England and Northern Ireland | Opted In | Opted Out | Interrogation and Blocking | Providers in Scotland and Wales | Exclusions to the coverage | Atypical staff | Academic staff | Non-academic staff | Additonal Data for SOC2010 Major groups 1-3

General definition

The Staff record is collected in line with statutory requirements from all HE providers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and approved (fee cap) providers in England. These requirements are as detailed at https://www.hesa.ac.uk/support/provider-info/subscription

The reporting period is from 01 August in year 1, to 31 July in year 2.

Inclusion of an individual in the Staff record will depend on the existence of one or more contracts of employment between the higher education provider (HEP) and the individual and/or the liability of the HEP to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions for that individual (see the HM Revenue and Customs website for further guidance).

An individual's employment with a HEP will be governed by one or more legally binding contracts, with the details of each contract recorded on the Staff record in the contract entity. Only governors who also hold one or more contracts of employment with the HEP should return the contract entity. A member of staff may be employed under a single contract of employment or a number of separate contracts: this will depend on the HEP's employment practices.

Staff with honorary contracts should only be returned if the honorary contract is deemed to be a contract of employment.

Staff record data is collected in respect of those staff employed by a UK provider. Staff employed wholly overseas, for example those working at overseas campuses, who are not on the payroll of a UK HEP, must not be included in the record. Where a staff member is employed part of their time in the UK and the remainder overseas the record returned should reflect only the time they are employed in the UK. However, where the time abroad is part of their normal UK-based employment, the staff member’s FTE should not be reduced to reflect time spent abroad. Staff employed by a UK HEP and based in a department or unit overseas should not be returned if the primary focus of their activity is not clearly and directly connected to a department or unit based in the UK.

The range of data that is required about an individual and the contract(s) that they hold will depend on the nature of those contracts and also the classification of the activities for which the contract exists.

Providers in England and Northern Ireland

The coverage of the Staff Record for English and Northern Irish providers excludes non-academic contracts except where they are held by a Vice Chancellor/Head of institution (VC) or Governor.

Providers in England and Northern Ireland can choose whether to voluntarily return staff outside the coverage of the Staff record. Those that choose to voluntarily return staff outside the coverage of the record do so based on the legal basis set out in purpose 1 of the Staff Collection Notice. This information will be used for purposes 1 – 4 of the Staff Collection Notice.

Providers that have not opted-in to the voluntary submission of staff outside the coverage of the Staff record are therefore required to return non-academic contracts only where they are held by VCs or Governors during the period they held office. Members of an English HE providers’ governing body must be included in the Staff record, it is optional for Northern Irish Providers to return Governors.

There are further details available on this voluntary submission in the subscription agreement.

Providers who opted in to returning Staff Outside the Coverage of the Staff Record

For providers in England and Northern Ireland, who have opted into the voluntary submission of non-academics, data will be returned as follows:

  • Academic staff; data required to include academic contracts and voluntary submission of non-academic contracts
  • VC/Head of Institution; data required to include all academic and/or non-academic contracts
  • Governors; for providers in England, data required to include all academic contracts and/or non-academic contracts where held but for providers in Northern Ireland, returning governors continues to be optional
  • Non-academic staff; voluntary submission of non-academic contracts

Providers who have not opted in to returning Staff Outside the Coverage of the Staff Record

For providers in England and Northern Ireland who have opted out of the voluntary submission of non-academics, data will be returned as follows:

  • Academic staff; data required to include academic contracts and exclude non-academic contracts where held
  • VC/Head of Institution; data required to include all academic contracts held during the academic year and non-academic contracts held during the period while the member of staff was VC/Head of Institution
  • Governors, for providers in England, data required to include all academic contracts held during the academic year and non-academic contracts held during the period while the member of staff was a Governor. For providers in Northern Ireland, returning governors continues to be optional
  • Non-academic staff (other than those stated above) must be excluded from the return

Interrogation and blocking of files submitted to the data collection system containing non-academic contracts

Files containing non-academic contracts held by staff who are not VCs or governors during the reporting period will be blocked from the data collection system and providers will be asked to remove erroneous records before attempting a resubmission. Files that are blocked will not be validated, stored on the data collection system or in HESA databases.

Providers should not include non-academic contracts for VCs and Governors where they were held while the member of staff was not also a VC or governor. Please note that where such contract information is mistakenly submitted to HESA, HESA will not block the file from the data collection system or apply validation to exclude the contracts from the return and they will be accepted, stored in HESA databases and made available to statutory customers and other users of the data as part of the Staff Record.

More information on this is available in the Non Academic Contracts guidance page.

Providers in Scotland and Wales

There is no change to the coverage of the record for providers in Scotland and Wales. All staff that meet the criteria for inclusion in the record must be returned as well as all governors.

Exclusions to the Staff record coverage

The following types of staff should be excluded from the Staff record because they do not meet the coverage criteria (they do not have a contract of employment with the HEP, nor is the HEP liable to pay Class 1 National Insurance):

  • Agency staff
  • Self-employed staff
  • Honorary contracts where the contract is not deemed to be a contract of employment
  • Staff employed not by the HEP, but by a company consolidated into the HEP's accounts
  • Staff working for a provider through an intermediary, such as a personal service company, where the provider will be liable for secondary Class 1 National Insurance contributions

For providers in England and Northern Ireland, non-academic staff (excluding Governors and the VC/Head of Institution) are considered to sit outside the coverage of the record.

However, such staff can continue to be returned on a voluntary basis. Providers can opt-in and voluntarily submit staff outside the coverage of the record or opt-out in which case, staff outside the coverage must be excluded from all submissions.

In addition, non-academic atypical staff are excluded from the coverage of the record, therefore all contracts that have Contract.TERMS 3 'Atypical' and either all Activity.ACTSOC is in SOC2010 Major Groups 4-9 or Contract.ACEMPFUN 4 'Not an academic contract' must not be returned.

If the organisation consolidated into the HEP's accounts is considered to be a campus of the HEP where the primary purpose of the organisation is the delivery of HE or FE, the campus previously existed in its own right, and the organisation is now part of the HEP as a result of a merger or takeover, then if the contract of employment is with the organisation and/or the organisation has liability to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions, the staff of that organisation should be included in the Staff record as if they are employed by the HEP and are therefore outside the list of exclusions.

Atypical staff

Atypical staff are defined as individuals with contracts of employment and/or for whom the HEP is liable to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions, and whose relationship with the HEP during the reporting period would meet the following definition:

'Atypical' should include staff whose working arrangements are not permanent, involve complex employment relationships and/or involve work away from the supervision of the normal work provider. These may be characterised by a high degree of flexibility for both the work provider and the working person, and may involve a triangular relationship that includes an agent (source: DTI Discussion Document on Employment Status, July 2003, paragraph 23).

In addition to this definition, some HE specific guidance has been devised by HESA in consultation with HEPs. Atypical contracts meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Are for less than four consecutive weeks - meaning that no statement of terms and conditions needs to be issued.
  • Are for one-off/short-term tasks - for example answering phones during clearing, staging an exhibition, organising a conference. There is no mutual obligation between the work provider and working person beyond the given period of work or project. In some cases individuals will be paid a fixed fee for the piece of work unrelated to hours/time spent.
  • Involve work away from the supervision of the normal work provider - but not as part of teaching company schemes or for teaching and research supervision associated with the provision of distance learning education.
  • Involve a high degree of flexibility often in a contract to work as-and-when required - for example conference catering, student ambassadors, student demonstrators.

Academic staff

Academic staff are defined as staff at least one of whose contracts of employment relate to an academic function and whose contract activity can be categorised as 'Managers, directors and senior officials', 'Professional occupations' or 'Associate professional and technical occupations' as defined by the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) major groups 1, 2 or 3. This may therefore include vice-chancellors and other senior academic managers, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals whose contract of employment includes an academic function.

The academic function may be teaching, research, teaching and research or neither teaching nor research (where an academic professional that has taken up a senior administrative responsibility but there is no change to the academic function in their contract of employment).

In the HESA return this is defined as:

  • Staff with at least one contract where Contract.ACEMPFUN is 1,2,3 or 9.

The full SOC2010 listing (.xls), indicating the major, sub-major, and minor groups can be downloaded from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Non-academic staff

Non-academic staff are defined as staff whose contract of employment does not relate to an academic function, irrespective of the categorisation of their contract activity. This may therefore include managers, non-academic professionals, student welfare workers, secretaries, caretakers and cleaners, or any other staff whose contract of employment does not include an academic function.

In the HESA return this is defined as:

  • Staff only with contracts where Contract.ACEMPFUN = 4 or Null.

The range of data that is required about an individual and the contract(s) that they hold will depend on the nature of those contracts and also the classification of the activities for which the contract exists.

For those individuals whose relationship with the HEP, for one or more of the contracts held during the reporting year, cannot be defined as 'atypical' there is a requirement to return data relating mainly to salary information as well as start and end dates of contracts and employment.

Additional data for SOC2010 Major groups 1-3

When individuals have contracts to undertake activities classified in SOC2010 Major groups 1-3 there is a requirement for additional data relating to qualifications, previous employment and leaving information. This information is required as many in this area are likely to have careers within the higher education sector that involve moving between HEPs (e.g. in planning, libraries and registries).

This additional information will continue to form part of a minimum dataset for staff with a non-academic employment function (Contract.ACEMPFUN=4) submitted voluntarily by providers in England and Northern Ireland that opt-in. This approach, supported by UCEA and Advance HE, will assist providers in continuing to meet their statutory reporting obligations (e.g. equality and diversity reporting, responding to freedom of information requests etc.) and for other legitimate interests such as benchmarking or internal reporting.

For the subset of those with activities classified in SOC2010 Major groups 1-3 who are defined as academic, additional data relating to subject and teaching qualifications are required.

For those academics identified in the record as 'Clinical' then further additional data relating to their clinical status and specialism are also needed.

For those individuals whose relationship with the HEP, for one or more of the contracts held during the reporting year, cannot be defined as 'atypical' there is a requirement to return data relating mainly to salary information as well as start and end dates of contracts and employment.

The improved Data items page now allows providers to filter different staff groups to obtain the fields required.


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