Human Resources

Low hours employees

Information for staff working less than 0.2 FTE

All employees should have the opportunity to have meaningful discussions about their objectives, performance and development. However, for low hours staff there needs to be some recognition of the reasonableness of requiring a full Annual Review process.

A low hours employee is anyone working less than 0.2 hours FTE (approximately one day per week).

These suggested approaches are good practice options for guaranteed and low hours employees as a proportionate and flexible way to open up Annual Review to them.

Departments/schools will have flexibility as to the best option for their low hours employees. It is recommended that the decision about whether and how Annual Review should take place is taken by Head of School/Department in consultation with low hours employees within an area. Some employees will have multiple contracts across different subject areas. Reviewer and reviewee should look holistically at the reviewee’s role and incorporate all the key elements into the conversation.

Identifying low hours employees

Ideally, managers would be able to have an individual face to face meeting with all of their staff, but this may not be possible. Therefore, there are a number of elements when deciding the best approach to take in carrying out Annual Reviews for low hours/guaranteed employees:

  • What are the employees engaged to do? What is the impact of their role?
  • How best can you have a proportionate discussion that adds value for you and them?
  • How can you manage their expectations while carrying out an Annual Review?

For example, if someone has a tutor and demonstrator role, even if it is only for a few hours a semester, then this could have a direct impact on the University's Key Performance Indicators because of the direct nature of their work with students.

Reviewing low hours employees

There are a number of options that could be used for carrying out reviews with low hours/guaranteed hours employees:

Peer review

Peer review of teaching is part of the University’s formal approach to enhancement and quality assurance. Participation is therefore a normal expectation for all teaching staff in the University.

A peer reviewer is provided with a broad range of course material, including student questionnaire returns, and evaluates teaching, learning and assessment on the course. An appraisal document for each course is agreed by the course organiser and the peer reviewer.

The purpose of peer review is twofold. It helps teachers to reflect upon their teaching skills with a trusted colleague. It also allows teachers to gain ideas from watching others. The focus is on all aspects of teaching that can contribute to effective learning, not just the technique of teaching or its performance aspects.

If peer review is implemented as part of an Annual Review process, it would no longer be entirely confidential between the 2 members of staff and a disclaimer should be signed.

I have agreed that this peer review process is to be used as part of my Annual Review process, therefore I understand that while the review and associated documentation should be kept confidential, and the information only shared with those who need to see it - - usually the reviewer, reviewee, the line manager and the next level of manager. Some data on learning and development requirements from the review may be shared to assist the University to plan future Learning and Development activity based on collective needs. This would only be in relation to Learning and Development needs and would not include any information about objectives.

In line with the above statement, I agree to note the outcomes including objectives and learning needs.

Team review

This process is carried out for the whole team at the same time. This approach may be appropriate where there is a team carrying out exactly the same role and there are regular scheduled team meetings throughout the year. It is likely that there will be similar development requirements for the team and limited variation in duties throughout the year.

It allows team objectives to be set and reviewed regularly and allows group development needs to be identified and addressed.

This review should take a note of who has attended as individual paperwork wouldn’t be expected for this type of review. There would be a note covering the discussion and any subsequent actions which could be given to each person as a summary of the discussion. An example format is given below.

Sample Team Review

There is an option whereby an individual review meeting could be requested by an employee and this could be offered on an annual or biennial basis (one year team review, 2nd year team review plus option of individual face to face meeting).


Demonstrators in one of the larger Schools are offered the opportunity to attend a review and feedback session that is used as a team Annual Review. This is in addition to an induction session and meetings specifically targeted to the course they are delivering.

The session is used to collect feedback about school support and course feedback. There is an opportunity for participants to reflect on their teaching experience and support provided to them as a demonstrator. The School is also able to get feedback about how well the demonstrators are supported.

Self review

A self review may be appropriate for employees who are providing specialist or expert input. It is conducted by the reviewee using a pre-agreed template document which outlines departmental objectives, and asks the individual to reflect on how they contribute to the objectives.

The reviewee could also be asked to reflect on their development and how any activity has contributed to their ability to undertake the role, followed by an opportunity to suggest other development activity.

The reviewee can also be asked to describe their support requirements, any challenges and any suggestions they would like to make for improvements to their work environment or the delivery of the service.

There is an option for a face to face individual review meeting with a management representative and this could be offered on an annual or biennial basis (one year personal review, 2nd year personal review plus option of face to face individual meeting)