Human Resources


The line manager identifies the gap and type of duties required to ensure that the work is adequately covered and ascertains in conjunction with their Assistant Dean / School Manager / Head of Professional Services and their HR Business Partner how the duties may be appropriately covered and resourced, the duration needed and how it may be funded.

The line manager will liaise with the appropriate individual(s) to work out costings and get provisional budgetary approval from the School Manager / Head of Professional Services prior to the work being offered. This may include a conversation with the Research Grants office where it relates to someone on a research grant. If the grant will not cover the costs the School Manager will need to be asked to provisionally approve the paying of any additional costs from School funds.

In the case of Higher Level Duties a written statement of the duties will be produced by the line manager.

Formal approval will be sought from the Executive Dean (in the case of Research staff and Teaching & Scholarship staff) or the College Secretary (in the case of Professional & Support staff).

If approved, the line manager will then, where-ever possible within the time constraints* of business needs, contact those employees in surrounding and related roles to discuss the opportunity with them and ascertain who may wish to act-up/undertake higher-level duties.  

{*There may be occasions where due to time constraints in having someone in place to undertake the duties there isn’t sufficient time to advertise, recruit and select. In such cases any appointment and/or allowance will be for 6 months or under only in the 1st instance in line with College’s Recruitment & Selection Policy and will not be extended beyond that point without advertisement.}

Where more than one individual expresses an interest, fair and reasonable recruitment & selection processes will be applied (particularly relating to equal opportunities legislation and commitments); which will be in line with the College’s Recruitment & Selection Policy but tailored to the specific need and situation.  Human Resources will provide support where needed.

Once the individual is selected, Human Resources will be notified.  Human Resources will then write to the individual confirming the details and associated terms and conditions.

The line manager will identify where the employee acting-up or undertaking higher-level duties has training needs and ensure that these are addressed and that the individual is appropriately supported.  This will be assessed at the outset and revisited in regular review discussions.

The line manager will ensure that the workload is reasonable and will discuss and agree the prioritisation of the work.  In the case of acting-up, the line manager will additionally need to consider how some or all of the employee’s substantive duties will be covered.

Where the undertaking of these duties results in an employee reporting to two or more managers, the Assistant Dean / School Manager / Head of Professional Services will need to be involved from the outset to determine the prioritisation of the work and thus avert conflicts.

In the case of poor performance of the duties, line managers should refer to the informal stages of the Capability (Performance) Policy for guidance on the management of the situation.

Due to the temporary nature of Acting-up situations and Higher-level Duties Allowances, the line manager will need to stipulate from the outset the intended commencement and finishing dates.  It is the responsibility of the line manager to liaise with Human Resources in a timely way concerning any proposed changes to start and end dates to ensure accurate payment. Any arrangement will be deemed to come to an end at the designated end date and no extension/continuation will be considered without an overall review of the business needs and additional authorisation.

Human Resources will monitor and report on Acting-up situations and Higher-level Duties Allowances within the equal opportunities context to ensure compliance with equal pay and equal opportunities legislation.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX