Frequently Asked Questions

About the temporary assignments

What type of work does the Temporary Staffing Service offer?

The Temporary Staffing Service will eventually offer assignments covering a wide range of support and technical roles. Details of the categories currently being recruited for can be found on the Service’s website.    

How long are the assignments for?

Assignments vary in length, from as little as a day to longer periods covering a number of months. The Temporary Staffing Service will aim to find assignments which match your availability.

What are the expected hours of work?

Many of the assignments offer full-time hours, but there are part-time assignments available and even some ad-hoc shifts.

Can I see a list of all temporary assignments online?

Owing to the quick turnaround of temporary assignments, they are generally not listed on the website. If you contact the Temporary Staffing Service team, they can provide an overview of the assignments that are outstanding.

Where will the assignments be based?

The majority of the assignments are based at the University’s various locations in central Oxford, but there are also opportunities at other University sites around the city, including those in Headington and North Oxford.

Applying to work with the Temporary Staffing Service

Who can apply to work for the Temporary Staffing Service?

Anyone who possesses the relevant skills and experience can apply to the Temporary Staffing Service.

How do I register with the Temporary Staffing Service?

See our Application Process page for details on how to register.

I already work for the University, can I still apply?

Yes, the Temporary Staffing Service can find work for existing University employees or Casual workers, providing you are working part-time, or on a variable hours basis. If you are in a full-time role, you will not be able to work through the Service on your days off, or during any leave periods. 

I am a student at Oxford, can I apply?

Yes, The Temporary Staffing Service encourages Oxford students to register and many of the temporary requirements will fit around study commitments. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have investigated any restrictions on working while studying that the University may apply to students and we suggest that you consult your tutor before you apply.

I am on a student visa, can I still do temporary work?

Yes, providing your visa states that work is permitted, you will be able to undertake temporary assignments which fit with the visa conditions. As part of the registration process the Temporary Staffing Service will contact the institution sponsoring your visa, to obtain confirmation that you are still attending the course and to confirm your term dates/periods of agreed leave.

I am only interested in working occasionally or part-time, can I still apply?

Yes, while many of the assignments are covering full-time posts, there is a need for people who have restricted availability and where possible, the Temporary Staffing Service will encourage departments to be flexible to accommodate those with other commitments.

I have retired from the University can I still work for the Temporary Staffing Service?

Yes, the Temporary Staffing Service welcomes applications from individuals who have taken retirement from the University. Previous experience of University procedures and systems is a huge advantage and there is no upper age limit on working for the Temporary Staffing Service.

I submitted an application online - why have I not heard from you?

We receive lots of applications and during recruitment drives it may be there is delay while processing any backlogs. Please contact the Temporary Staffing Service and we will investigate.

I have previously applied for vacancies on the University’s jobs pages, can I use the same profile to apply for the Temporary Staffing Service?

Yes, you can, this should save you time, but remember to double check that none of your details have changed.

Working for the Temporary Staffing Service

Once I have registered, when can I expect to start work?

The Temporary Staffing Service will need to take up your references, which can be speeded up if you provide accurate contact details and warn your referees they are going to be contacted. Once satisfactory references have been obtained you will be placed in the pool of available candidates and will be contacted as soon as a suitable assignment arises. The type and volume of assignments being issued to the Service is unpredictable, but work could be available immediately during busy periods.  

How often will I be offered work with the Temporary Staffing Service?

This is impossible to predict, but by keeping the Temporary Staffing Service team updated on your availability you will increases your chances of being offered work. 

Are there a minimum number of hours I have to commit to?

No, there is no minimum commitment, the work is issued on an assignment basis and the Temporary Staffing Service will aim to find assignments which fit with your availability.

What happens if I turn down an assignment?

You are not obliged to accept assignments that are offered to you, although the Temporary Staffing Service encourage workers in the pool to experience working for as many departments as possible, as this makes your CV much more attractive to other departments.

Can I apply for substantive posts with the University while working for The Temporary Staffing Service?

Yes, the Temporary Staffing Service can provide an excellent stepping stone to permanent or fixed-term employment and you will be encouraged to apply for vacancies that arise in the department you are working in or others in the University. While working for the Service, you will be able to apply for Internal Only vacancies listed on the University jobs pages.

What should I do if I cannot make it to work for any reason?

Your induction pack suggests that you agree the process for communicating any absence with the department where you are working at the start of your assignment. If you are unable to attend work for any reason, please follow the procedure agreed with the department and then contact the Temporary Staffing Service. When you contact your department, it is advised that you liaise directly with a member of the management team and do not rely on a third party passing on the message. It is also suggested that you make arrangements with a friend or family member to contact the Temporary Staffing Service in the event of an emergency which prevents you from communicating your absence. If you do not do this and the Temporary Staffing Service is unable to contact you to establish your whereabouts, there is an increased risk that another temporary worker will be sent to cover your assignment

Is there a dress code for assignments?

Certain assignments may have a particular dress code and this will always be communicated to you when you are offered the assignment. If you are working in an office environment the Temporary Staffing Service asks that you wear formal business attire on the first day of any assignment, particularly if your assignment involves interacting with external customers. This projects a professional image which reflects well on you and on the Temporary Staffing Service. Resist the temptation to dress casually just because other staff in the department appear to be doing so, discuss the department’s dress code with the person you report to, for confirmation of what is expected.

I am not happy with the assignment I am undertaking, what should I do?

If you are not enjoying your assignment, or the duties you are being asked to do are not as expected, you should contact the Temporary Staffing Service to discuss the issues you are experiencing. It may be possible to address the problems, or find another assignment that is more suitable.

How much notice do I have to give if I want to finish my assignment?

Under the terms of your contract, you do not have to provide any notice if you want to finish your assignment. However, the Temporary Staffing Service team asks that you provide as much notice as is reasonably possible, to help coordinate a replacement.

What is my employment status?

You will be engaged under a contract for services and classed as a ‘Worker’ for more information on what this entails, see the Government’s guidance on employment status www.gov.uk/employment-status/worker.

Should you become an employee of the University in the future, your service as a temporary worker through TSS would not count towards continuous service with the University.

Pay

How much will I get paid?

You will be paid the hourly rate confirmed in your Assignment Details Form. The hourly rate will vary depending on the level of skills and experience required by the department.

How will I be paid?

You will be paid through the University payroll on the basis of authorised timesheets that you submit to the Temporary Staffing Service.

When will I be paid?

You will be paid monthly for any timesheets submitted before the Temporary Staffing Service payroll deadline. Follow the link on the right hand side of this page to see the upcoming deadlines.

Who is responsible for submitting my timesheet?

Temporary workers are responsible for submitting hours via the online timesheeting system. This will trigger an email to a representative from the hiring department to log in and authorise the timesheet.

I cannot access the online timesheeting system, what should I do?

Contact the Temporary Staffing Service to investigate the issue.   

When I log into the online timesheeting system I can't see the timesheet I need, how can I create it? 

Contact the Temporary Staffing Service who will generate the timesheet for you.   

What happens if I do not submit my timesheet before the deadline?

If you submit a timesheet after the deadline it will be paid with the following month’s pay run.

Will I be paid less than the University’s employees because I am a temporary worker?

No, the pay rates agreed with Departmental Managers for each assignment will reflect the University’s permanent salary scales to ensure that the Temporary Staffing Service can deliver workers with the required level of skills and experience.

I am not happy with the pay rate, what should I do?

If you feel the pay rate is not appropriate for the work you are being asked to do, please contact the Temporary Staffing Service to discuss your concerns. The Temporary Staffing Service can review the assignment and negotiate a review of the pay rate with the Departmental Manager. 

I have not been paid, what should I do?

Contact the Temporary Staffing Service team who will liaise with the Payroll department to investigate the issue.

My pay appears to be incorrect, who do I contact?

Contact the Temporary Staffing Service team who will liaise with the Payroll department to investigate the issue.

I think I am paying too much/too little tax, what should I do?

Contact the Temporary Staffing Service team who will liaise with the Payroll department to investigate the issue.

Other benefits

What benefits do I receive when working at Temporary Staffing Service?

The Service provides competitive benefits in comparison to other temporary work opportunities in Oxford. Further details can be found on the Pay & Benefits page, follow the link on the right hand side of the screen.

How much holiday pay will I get?

You will accrue holiday entitlement on an hourly basis, equivalent to 38 days per annum pro rata. Further details can be found on the Pay & Benefits page, follow the link on the right hand side of the screen.

How do I request holiday?

To request holiday you need to complete a holiday request form and submit it to the Temporary Staffing Service. If you are requesting time off while on an assignment you also need to approve the time off with the person you report to. 

How much will I get paid when I take holiday?

Your holiday pay will be calculated based on the amount of hours you have worked and the rate you were paid for them. If you have undertaken assignments paying different rates, this will be based on your average earnings. If you are unsure if your holiday has been correctly calculated then please contact the Temporary Staffing Service.

If I need to finish early, can I request a partial days holiday?

Yes, your holiday entitlement is calculated hourly, so you can request it in 30 minute increments, between 1 and 7.5 hours per day.

Should I record holiday on my timesheet?

No, only record the hours on your timesheet that you actually work.

Can I request holiday while I am between assignments?

Yes, you can request holiday to cover periods while you are not in an assignment, providing you are not undertaking work elsewhere in the University.

Can I get paid for my holiday even if I do not have time off?

No, the holiday entitlement is designed to encourage workers to take time off to rest. You can only request holiday on days when you are not working for the University which do not form part of your statutory rest periods.

Do I get paid for bank holidays and fixed closure days?

Providing you do not work on a bank holiday/fixed closure day, 7.5 hours of your accrued holiday time will automatically be paid for each day (or less if you have not accrued 7.5 hours), avoiding the need to complete Holiday Request Forms. You will be asked to confirm if you are working during these periods and given the option to opt out of the automatic payment, or receive fewer of your accrued holiday hours for each day.  

I do not have any holiday entitlement left, can I still take time off from my assignment

Yes, providing you have received approval from the department where you are working, you can take time off without pay. There is no need to complete a holiday request form and your timesheet for the days in question should be left blank.

How long do I have before I have to use my holiday?

Holiday entitlement needs to be used in the leave year in which it is accrued and you cannot carry any outstanding holiday across to the next holiday year.

When does my leave year start/end?

Your leave year starts on your first day working for the Temporary Staffing Services and finishes one year later. If you cannot remember your start date, please contact the Temporary Staffing Service. 

Whose responsibility is it to ensure I use my holiday entitlement before the end of my leave year.

Temporary workers are responsible for making arrangements to use their holiday entitlement. If the department where you are working cannot accommodate your holiday requests you should contact the Temporary Staffing Service to try and identify a solution.    

What happens to any holiday entitlement I accrue when I leave?

When you finish working for the Temporary Staffing Service, you will be paid for any holiday entitlement you have accrued, providing you are not transferring into other work with the University and there is sufficient time remaining in your leave year.

Does everyone receive a University Card?

No, due to the time needed to generate a University Card, they will be only be granted to temporary workers undertaking longer-term assignments.  

Do I receive all of the benefits listed on the University benefits page?

No, some of these benefits are only available to university employees, for details of the benefits you can access, please contact the Temporary Staffing Service.

I have lost my University Card, what should I do?

Please inform the Temporary Staffing Service immediately, a new card will be requested for you, but you will need to pay a replacement charge. Follow the link to Lost, stolen or damaged cards on the right hand side of this page.

Will I be enrolled in a pension scheme?

Yes, provided you satisfy the qualification criteria, you will be auto-enrolled in the University’s pension scheme for workers, NEST.  Once enrolled, you may opt out.

Will I receive maternity, paternity or adoption pay?

Providing you satisfy the qualifying criteria, you will be eligible for statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay. You should inform the Temporary Staffing Service as soon as you know that you or your partner is expecting a child.  You will not be eligible for employee benefits under the University's enhanced family leave schemes.  

Will I get sick pay?

If you meet the relevant statutory criteria, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) after 4 days’ sickness absence, contact the Temporary Staffing Service to discuss the process for obtaining SSP.  You will not be eligible for employee benefits under the University's sick leave schemes.