Outside Work Policy

 Outside Work Policy

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions and Principles
  3. Outside Work requiring permission and declaration
  4. Outside Work not normally requiring permission and declaration
  5. Procedure
  6. Monitoring and Review
  7. Register of Interests

Further information for staff:

Further information for managers:

1. Introduction

The University values external engagement and recognises the importance of this in terms of the benefits it brings to the University, the professional development of staff and our contribution to the academic and wider community. 

Undertaking work for external parties can create reputational and liability risks for the University. The aim of this policy is therefore to provide a framework within which to support such activity and manage these risks and any potential impact on the University.

This policy applies to all University staff.

2. Definitions and Principles

2.1 Outside Work

‘Outside Work’ means any work, income or activity (paid or unpaid) undertaken by a member of staff for any external party.

There are five central principles limiting Outside Work:

  1. It must not impair the member of staff’s work at the University
  2. It must not bring the University into disrepute
  3. It must not put the University at financial risk.
  4. It must not involve any other actual or perceived conflict of interest
  5. It must not breach any statutory provision or other rights

The activities listed in Section 3 require prior permission under this policy to enable any potential conflict to be identified, assessed and where possible, resolved prior to the activity commencing.

Some forms of Outside Work are exempt from the provision of this policy. This includes Outside Work which is managed via other routes, as well as other forms of Outside Work which may not require prior permission (See Section 4: Outside Work not normally requiring permission and declaration). This is on the basis that they do not breach, or cannot be reasonably perceived to potentially breach, the above central principles.

2.2 Appropriate Manager

The following definitions of ‘Appropriate Manager’ apply specifically for the purposes of this policy:

2.3 Consultancy

There are two potential routes for undertaking consultancy: 

Consultancy work which is undertaken via this route does not require further permission or declaration under the Outside Work policy. (See Section 4: Outside Work not normally requiring permission and declaration)

Consultancy work which is undertaken via this route requires prior permission and declaration under the Outside Work policy.  (See Section 3).  Staff should also refer to the guidance on undertaking private consultancy on the Research, Enterprise and Development Office’s Research website.

The University Consultancy route is encouraged where possible. This offers benefits to both the University (in terms of risk management, strengthening engagement opportunities and the potential for future partnerships) and the member of staff (in terms of the use of University resources, access to support and reduced personal liability).

3. Outside Work requiring permission and declaration

Members of staff wishing to undertake the following activities must seek prior permission from the Appropriate Manager and, where permission is granted, declare the activity via MyERP (as detailed in Section 5: Procedure).  

Failure to comply with this procedure may result in action being undertaken under the Conduct Procedure.

  1. Holding executive directorships
  2. Holding non-executive directorships
  3. Working for a University spin-out company (one based on the University’s intellectual property)
  4. Undertaking private consultancy (See Section 2.3 for further details). 
  5. Undertaking private clinical medical work
  6. Acting as an expert witness in civil or criminal proceedings
  7. Any other form of Outside Work, including those that are normally exempt (see Section 4), which:

a)    is taking, or is likely to take, a substantial amount of time, such that it may conflict with core University duties or affect the quality of the member of staff’s work

b)    could bring the University into disrepute

c)    could put the University at financial risk

d)    could involve any other actual or perceived conflict of interest

e)    could breach statutory provision or other rights (such as the Working Time regulations)

4. Outside Work not normally requiring permission and declaration

The activities detailed in this section are forms of Outside Work which do not normally require prior approval or declaration under this policy (unless the activity is covered by Section 3, point 7 above). 

It is recognised that some of the following activities may involve payment of modest fees and expenses directly to an individual.  The University does not normally require details of contractual arrangements or payments relating to the following activity, but reserves the right to request such details where a potential conflict of interest may arise.

4.1  Normal Academic Activity

The following external activities are regarded as a normal part of the academic role.  They play an important part in both raising the profile of the member of staff and the University and our contribution to the wider academic community. 

Staff are encouraged to seek and accept opportunities to undertake these activities, provided they do not adversely affect their overall performance in their role.    Staff should discuss the level and nature of such commitments with their line manager.

  1. Presenting academic papers outside the University
  2. Giving lectures and seminars outside the University
  3. External examining
  4. Editing academic journals or a book series
  5. Reviewing books
  6. Refereeing academic articles
  7. Acting as a QAA assessor, member of a REF panel, or as a REF consultant for other institutions
  8. Acting as a member of a research council
  9. Acting on the board of a research charity
  10. Serving on a research committee of a government department
  11. Acting on QUANGOs or similar bodies
  12. Sitting on the governing body of another educational institution
  13. Serving a learned or professional association
  14. Writing popularising books within the relevant discipline
  15. Writing text books in the relevant discipline
  16. Providing information and interviews to the media on topics within the discipline
  17. Writing and presenting a television or radio series
  18. Writing regular articles for newspapers or magazines
  19. Curating, or advising on, a temporary exhibition or permanent collection 

4.2  University Consultancy

Consultancy work which is undertaken via the University Consultancy Procedure (and has therefore already been approved by the Head of School) does not require further permission or declaration under the Outside Work policy. (See Section 2.3)

4.3  Public Duties and Volunteering

The University recognises that it has a civic responsibility to enable staff to take on public duties (e.g. acting as a Justice of the Peace, Local Authority Councillor or School Governor). Staff are able to take up to 18 days’ paid absence per year to undertake such duties. The University also provides an additional day’s paid leave for staff to participate in general volunteering activities.  For further information, please refer to the Public Duties and Volunteering Guidelines.

4.4  Trade Union Duties

Elected representatives are entitled to reasonable time off to carry out duties as a trade union representative.

4.5  Other Paid Employment

It is recognised that many staff work both for the University and other organisations.  Staff undertaking paid employment for other organisations are not normally required to seek prior authorisation or declare such work unless the volume or nature of the work is such that there could be a potential breach of one of the central principles governing Outside Work.  (See Section 2 and Section 3 above)

It is particularly important to ensure that in undertaking other paid employment, the member of staff’s combined hours comply with the  Working Time Regulations.

5. Procedure

5.1 Request Permission

Members of staff wishing to undertake any of the outside work activities listed in Section 3 should seek prior permission from the Appropriate Manager by completing an Outside work request form (Office document, 50kB)

5.2  Considering Requests

Requests should be assessed against the five central principles governing outside work outlined in Section 2.  

Managers should also refer to the further Outside work guidance for Managers (PDF, 169kB)‌ and seek advice via their Head of HR Business Partnering where appropriate.

5.3 Confirming Outcomes/Declarations

The Appropriate Manager will confirm the outcome to the employee.   Where permission to undertake Outside Work is granted, this will be subject to annual review to ensure the decision remains appropriate. 

Where permission is granted, the member of staff must make a formal declaration of outside work against their staff record through MyERP to enable future monitoring and review.

It is the member of staff’s responsibility to declare any outside work activity.   Where no declaration is made, it will be assumed that no Outside Work activity is being undertaken.

5.4 Appeals

If an employee wishes to appeal against a decision they should write to the HR Director within 14 days of receiving the written notification of the decision, setting out the reasons for the appeal.

The HR Director will then arrange for the appeal to be considered by an Appropriate Manager who has had no prior involvement in the case, supported by HR. 

The decision may be given at the appeal hearing and will in any event be confirmed in writing within 14 days of the hearing.

The decision following the appeal shall be final.

6. Monitoring and Review

Outside work declarations will be reported annually via the Heads of HR Business Partnering and Deans/Registrar/Chief Operating Officer to Heads of School/Division who will review cases to ensure decisions remain appropriate.

7. Register of Interests

The requirement for members of staff to submit requests and declarations under this policy is totally separate from and additional to the requirement for Board members and members of senior staff to complete and submit an annual register of interest form to the Governance Office.