BBC Contracts of Employment Policy

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1 The links in this document are being replaced on our new HR Gateway site and will be updated soon. Please bear with us in the meantime if you find broken links. You can go to our new HR homepage and search for the topic you need. BBC Contracts of Employment Policy This policy applies to all employees at the BBC. It forms part of the contract of employment that applies to BBC employees in the UK on Grades 2-11, and is an agreed statement between the BBC and recognised joint unions which may only be varied by joint negotiation at the National Joint Council. Definition This policy sets out the basic elements of the BBC continuing and fixed term contracts of employment. Contents 1. BBC standard contracts of employment 2. Key terms and additional information 3. Issues specific to fixed term contracts Appendix A Salary and Pension provisions 1. BBC Standard Contracts of Employment All written contracts of employment include terms and conditions such as hours, salary, pension, notice and holidays. Employment contracts are also subject to a number of terms implied by law such as the duty of mutual trust and confidence. BBC contracts of employment for Grades 2-11 incorporate the contractual employment policies which are negotiated with the Trade Unions. These cover a wide range of matters including maternity and adoption benefits, disciplinary procedures and redundancy. The BBC s standard contracts of employment are known as employee contracts. They are either continuing or for a fixed term. Both types can be full or part time. Part time is defined as working less than 35 hours a week, exclusive of meal breaks. Pay and benefits are calculated on a pro-rata basis. BBC Continuing contract This contract is suitable when the requirement for the individual is on a continuing basis. The contract is open ended and has notice provisions, so that the employee may end the contract by resignation and the BBC may end the contract by giving notice of dismissal for a potentially fair reason, e.g. redundancy or some other substantial business reason. BBC Fixed Term contract This is a contract of a fixed duration and with a specified expiry date, so is suitable when the requirement for the individual is for a defined limited period. In other respects it is the same as a continuing contract and includes notice provisions which either party can use to bring the contract to an end earlier than the specified expiry date. BBC Contracts of Employment Policy Page 1 of 6 Last updated

2 BBC Guaranteed Minimum Work contracts (also known as flexi contracts ) This contract is suitable when the requirement for the individual is for a defined number of days or hours over a limited period which are to be worked as the business requires (e.g. fixed hours per week/month cannot be predicted or guaranteed). The contract is simply a form of the BBC Fixed Term contract. Managers are required to indicate the realistic minimum number of hours/days which can be predicted over the contracted period e.g. 30 days per year. Managers must review the minimum number of contracted hours/days at regular intervals throughout the year to ensure that the employee is contracted to the appropriate minimum. Where a manager finds that an employee is regularly working in excess of the minimum contracted hours/days, they should seek the employee s agreement to increase the established minimum. The employee may be asked to work additional hours or days above those stated in their contract, however there is no obligation on the BBC to offer the additional hours or days or an obligation on the employee to work those offered. Any additional hours or days worked do not count towards contractual benefits, e.g. redundancy or sickness accrual, with the exception of holiday. Payment for work carried out under a Guaranteed Minimum Work contract may either be spread in equal monthly instalments over the period of the contract or be made on an ad hoc basis when the work is carried out. 2. Key terms and additional information Probationary Periods Employees newly appointed to the BBC will be subject to a probationary period of up to six months. Notice Periods Notice periods at the BBC are standardised across graded roles. Notice periods on the part of the BBC and employees are as follows: Grades 2-11 during a normal probationary period: one month on either side. less than five years service: one month on either side; five or more years service, but less than nine years: two months on either side; nine or more years service: three months on either side; Certain business areas or job roles may require notice periods that are different to those listed above. Any requests to vary the standard notice period should be directed to the BBC Employment Policy Team. No notice is required where there has been a fundamental breach by either party to the contract and/or where the employee is found to have committed gross misconduct. Employees appointed before 1 March 1996 and whose contracts remain in force and who have five or more years of service are required to provide the employer with a minimum of 1 month notice only. Mobility clause BBC Contracts of Employment Policy Page 2 of 6

3 All employees on continuing and fixed-term contracts are required as a term of their employment to attend for work anywhere in the UK as required by the BBC. This is the mobility clause upon which the BBC relies to move employees from one location to another. The clause will be applied reasonably taking into account the relevant circumstances. Continuous employment Any period of service spent or contracted on any basis other than as an employee on a BBC contract will not count towards the calculation of length of continuous employment for the purposes of accruing contractual rights, regardless of whether or not such service would count towards continuous employment for the purpose of accruing statutory rights. As a result, periods engaged or contracted as on any other basis (e.g. a freelancer, agency worker, casual worker etc.) will not count towards continuous employment for the purposes of accruing contractual rights. BBC Benefits The BBC makes a number of benefits available to its employees, such as enhanced redundancy, maternity and adoption pay, leave, long service awards and sickness pay. Entitlement to BBC benefits ceases on the employee s termination date. In relation to Statutory Maternity Pay/Statutory Adoption Pay, payments will continue beyond the date of termination if the employee is qualified to receive them. 3. Issues specific to fixed term contracts When should a fixed term contract be offered? A fixed term contract may be appropriate in the following circumstances, when: The contract is in relation to a specific project (or task), or to provide specialist skills/knowledge for a defined period with a clear conclusion date; The contract is to cover an absent permanent employee (e.g. maternity leave, long term sickness, career break); The contract is to cover a clearly definable peak of work that it can be shown that it was always expected to be for a specific duration. Fixed term contracts will generally be of short duration of less than 12 months, although in exceptional circumstances contracts of 2 or 3 years may be justified for specific business reasons. Employees who are employed on a continuing contract will not be transferred to a contract on a fixed term basis. When should a fixed term employee become a continuing employee? One effect of the Fixed-Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 is that unless the BBC objectively justifies the use of a fixed-term contract, an employee employed continuously by the BBC on either one fixed term contract or a series of fixed-term contracts will be deemed to be a continuing employee upon attaining four years continuous service. In addition to the Regulations, the BBC made a commitment that any employee who has been engaged continuously in the same grade/job for three years on one or more fixedterm contracts will be offered a continuing contract, provided they have a commitment of at least a further one year s work and their performance is satisfactory, i.e. there are no issues under consideration within the BBC s disciplinary or capability procedures. The exceptions to this commitment are where further work is project based or may not continue beyond a further year. BBC Contracts of Employment Policy Page 3 of 6

4 Issues to consider around the expiry of a fixed term contract Non-renewal of a fixed term contract is a dismissal and must be handled fairly. When a fixed-term contract is brought to an end on its due date, notice is not required to terminate it. However, the BBC will endeavour to give advance warning in writing when a fixed term contract is not expected to be renewed. The period of advance warning will normally not be less than the contractual notice that might otherwise be required. In order to cover circumstances where it is necessary to bring a contract to an end before its stated expiry date, fixed-term contracts contain a notice period equivalent to that for employees on continuing contract, which is service related. Terminal payments other than redundancy The below provision does not apply to employees whose employment with the BBC commences on or after 1 January 2013, regardless of whether they have any prior BBC service. Subject to the exclusions set out below, when a fixed-term contract expires without renewal, the employee is eligible for a terminal payment. This payment is calculated as one-twelfth of basic salary on cessation of employment, multiplied by the number of complete years continuous fixed-term service prior to 15 January 1989 and aggregate short-term service thereafter. Employees must have two years fixed-term service to qualify for a terminal payment. The first two years service will be excluded from the payment calculation, therefore employees will only be entitled to a payment if they have completed three years continuous or aggregate short term fixed term service or more. The calculation is as follows: ( ) - 2 X one-twelfth of basic salary on cessation ( ) Number of complete years continuous service or aggregate short term fixed term service of employment The maximum terminal payment is 12 months salary. Notes a. In this context, cessation of employment means a period of four weeks or longer, during which there is no contract of service with the BBC. b. In calculating fixed-term service, no account is taken of: fixed-term service that ended before 15 January 1989 or in respect of which a severance payment has already been paid; or any previous continuous service on a continuing contract of service; or any period of unpaid absence, other than maternity leave; or fixed-term service in respect of which no terminal payment was due by virtue of the exclusions set out below; or any previous service contracted to the BBC as a non-employee (e.g. freelancer, casual worker, agency worker). BBC Contracts of Employment Policy Page 4 of 6

5 c. Basic salary includes London Weighting, when that is paid. It does not include any other additional allowances or payments. d. A terminal payment is subject to income tax and no relief is available to spread the payment over tax years. e. A terminal payment is reduced by any other terminal payments such as severance pay or terminal gratuities. f. No terminal payment will be payable when employees on fixed-term contracts: resign; refuse a valid written offer to renew or vary the end date of their existing fixed-term contract. For an offer to be valid it must be made at least one calendar month before the existing fixed-term contract expires and must not involve less favourable terms and conditions of employment; are dismissed on grounds of capability or conduct; retire; transfer to a continuing contract of service without ceasing to be in employment with the BBC. Such a transfer does not affect statutory or contractual rights that depend on continuity of service; or die in service, when the provisions for Life Cover come into effect; dismissed on the grounds of redundancy. Employees whose employment with the BBC commences on or after 1 January 2013 will no longer be entitled to rely on any previous BBC service for the purposes of calculating aggregate short term fixed term service Where an employee on a fixed term contract is redundant, i.e. the legal definition of redundancy is met; they qualify for the level of redundancy payments set out in the BBC Reorganisation and Redundancy Policy. Appendix A - Salary & Pension Provisions Pension Automatic Enrolment The Government requires employers to provide a workplace pension arrangement for its workers; this is called pension automatic enrolment (PAE). The BBC has currently chosen NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) as its PAE provider for eligible employees who are not a member of an existing qualifying BBC pension arrangement. The BBC reserves the right to use an alternative provider other than NEST in respect of PAE at any time in the future. If you are not a member of a qualifying BBC Pension arrangement you will (provided that you meet certain criteria regarding your age and earnings) be automatically enrolled into NEST three months after starting at the BBC further details regarding the pension benefits which will be available to you will be provided to you separately after you begin working for the BBC. You can choose to opt out of NEST but only after you have been automatically enrolled. You can find out more about NEST by visiting BBC Pensions BBC Contracts of Employment Policy Page 5 of 6

6 The BBC Pension Scheme (the Scheme) which is a defined benefit pension arrangement, closed to new joiners on 30 November Existing members of the Old Benefits, New Benefits or Career Average Benefits 2006 remain in these Schemes, or, prior to January 2012, were able to join the Career Average Benefits 2011 section of the Scheme. The definitive provisions of the Scheme are set out in the Trust Deed & Rules. A summary of the main provisions of the Scheme can be found on From 1 December 2010 employees (including existing employees) are eligible to become a member of LifePlan which is the BBC's defined contribution plan. Membership of the LifePlan is subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan. Life Assurance For employees who are active members of either the Scheme or LifePlan, life cover is four times life cover pensionable salary (inclusive of any other lump sum payable from the Scheme in respect of current period of employment). For employees who are not active members of either the Scheme or LifePlan, life cover is two times life cover pensionable salary (as determined by the BBC). If you are a member of the Scheme you should read the note BBC Pension Scheme death in service provisions for more information details can be found on Salary Continuing contract The salary will be that appropriate to Grades 2-11 in the job evaluation system. The Guide to Salary Ranges for Days Conditions and Hours Conditions and Guide to Salary Progression can be found on Gateway. Fixed term contracts The salaries of employees employed on fixed-term contracts will be set within the established pay structures and employees will be eligible for pay increases appropriate to the structure, subject to performance and conduct. A fixed term employee may not receive the annual pay increase or other terms where the overall salary package taken as a whole results in no less favourable treatment than if the individual were employed on a continuous basis. The conditions of service and terms of employment for employees on fixed-term contracts are the same as for other employees in the same pay structure, unless stated otherwise. BBC Contracts of Employment Policy Page 6 of 6

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