Staff handbook
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Staff handbook - York St John University

Staff handbook



Welcome 3

University information 4

Orientation 5

Departments and faculties 6

Communications 10

Facilities 12

Benefits 14

Work, pay and pension arrangements 16

Staff development 18

Equal opportunities 20

Health and safety 21

Employee relations 23

Conduct 24

Abbreviations 25



Dear colleague

You will find this handbook a useful guide to what you

need to know about working at York St John

University. Everyone can benefit from this accessible

pool of information and guidance which is designed

to help us make the most of our experience as

members of the York St John community. If you have

any comments on how we can improve the handbook

then please do not hesitate to give us ideas, either via

your line manager or direct to the Human Resources

department. Meanwhile … welcome to York St John


Yours sincerely

This handbook aims to advise you on your terms and conditions of employment, the

University’s key policies and procedures and the benefits available to you as a member

of staff. Further sources of information on policies, procedures and your terms and

conditions of employment can be found:

• On the YSJ Intranet

• In your Statement of Particulars and offer letter issued on appointment

Please familiarise yourself with the contents of this handbook and associated policies and

procedures so that you understand how they apply to you. If you have any questions

regarding any aspect of your employment, please speak to your line manager or the

Human Resources Department.



University information

York St John University

Serving over 6,000 students, YSJ has a long and proud history as a distinguished

education provider. Our success is based not only on the quality of our academic

teaching, but also on the quality of the professional and pastoral support that

together go to make up the very essence of our organisation.

Our ethos and vision

We are a Church of England University, with a distinctive vision, that secures student

success. We welcome and encourage people of all beliefs continuously to question,

discover and celebrate life through openness, struggle, laughter and reflection. In

the daily life of York St John we express our values and spirituality in a creative and

challenging environment that enables people to develop their potential in a changing


York St John University is committed to the provision of excellent, open and

progressive higher education that embraces difference, challenges prejudice and

promotes justice, and is shaped by the University’s Church foundation.


The Governing Body consists of 13 trustee governors and 12 governors. Our trustees

are responsible for upholding our Mission and protecting and maintaining our assets.

Our governors, together with the trustees, are responsible for:

• upholding the York St John mission

• overseeing all activities of York St John

• overseeing the use of resources and solvency

• estimating York St John’s annual income and expenditure

• appointing the Vice Chancellor and Clerk to the Governors, and appointing and

grading senior staff

• setting the framework for pay and conditions.

The University has a detailed committee structure beneath its Board of Governors

which forms the main decision-making arena for the University. Each committee has

its own remit and terms of reference. The University calendar of meetings is available

on the staff Intranet.

Strategic and Corporate Plan

The University’s Key Strategic Aims and Corporate Plan are provided on the Vice

Chancellor’s pages of the staff Intranet. Details of the senior management structures

and arrangements are also available here.



The University’s main reception is in the Holgate building. This is also where the main

Dining Room, Crush Bar and Staff Common Room are located.

The University’s student residences are located at Lord Mayor’s Walk Campus;

The Grange; The Limes; City; Percy’s Lane and Hull Road.



Departments and Faculties

Vice Chancellor

HR Finance Facilities Registry

Deputy Vice Chancellor



Health & Life Sciences

YSJ Business School

Education & Theology

YSJ International

Learning Development:

Flexible Learning Provision

Opportunities Gateway

Pedagogic Practice Dev’ment

ICT Services


Pro Vice Chancellor

Admissions & Marketing Widening Participation SPACE Centre Development Office



The University has four academic faculties, each offering different areas of study.

These are:


The Faculty incorporates Performance, Film & Television, Literature, Media, History,

American Studies and Art and Design.

YSJ Business School

The Business School provides programmes in Business Management,

Communication, Modern Languages and English Language and Linguistics.

Education & Theology

The Faculty offers programmes in Teacher Education, Education Studies, Theology

and Religious Studies, Theology and Ministry and Evangelism Studies. The Faculty

works extensively through regional and national partnerships with schools, local

authorities, churches and religious organisations.

Health & Life Sciences

The Faculty has students attending programmes in the fields of Health, Psychology,

Counselling and Sport. The Faculty has extensive contacts with employers across the

region in the NHS, local authority, voluntary and business sectors.

An extensive list of the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees on offer

are available from the online prospectus available on the University’s internet.

Alternatively, staff can contact the Admissions Office at




The University has a number of departments designed to support the student

experience in different ways. These are:

Admissions and Marketing

The department’s Admissions section is responsible for the administration of the

student lifecycle at YSJ from application to enrolment. The marketing function is

responsible for press, publicity, communications, events management,

conferencing, schools and colleges’ liaison, website content and graphic design.


This large directorate includes Accommodation; Domestic Services; Estates;

Grounds; Health & Safety; Maintenance; Media Services; Portering Services and

Reception. The directorate is also responsible for external contracts that the

University has for Catering and Security.


The department is split into Management Accounts, Payroll, Sales Ledger (income)

and Purchase Ledger (expenditure).

Human Resources

Responsible for all matters relating to the employment and management of staff,

HR also incorporates the Staff Development team.

Development Office

The Development Office directs the University activities to raise friends and funds

for the institution. It is also responsible for recruiting and keeping in contact with

former students and staff (the ‘alumni’) and for SPARK fundraising communications

and strategy.

YSJ International

YSJ International is responsible for the Internationalisation Strategy and international

marketing & recruitment. Within this is responsibility for study abroad and

exchange programmes. Through the International Centre the University offers a

range of academic programmes, English language courses and courses for teachers

of English.


Learning Development

This large directorate incorporates Flexible Learning Provision (including Joint

Honours, E-Learning, Higher York Access Centre); Opportunities Gateway (including

Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care, Counselling, Careers, Disability Services, Student

Advice team, Student Finance and Welfare), Writing and Dyslexia Support, CETL,

Timetabling, IT Services (including Print Services); and the Library

Pro Vice Chancellor (External)

The PVC has responsibility for leading and overseeing the local and regional

strategic positioning of the University and within that role has responsibility for

the SPACE Centre (including Higher York, Aimhigher); Widening Participation; the

Development Office; and Admissions & Marketing.

Academic Registry

Responsible for information & student administration, quality & academic standards

and research support.

Vice Chancellor’s Office

The VC’s office incorporates the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor,

supported by the Strategic Analyst, Executive Assistant to the Governors and the

Executive PAs to the VC and DVC. The VC is responsible for the leadership of, and

setting the strategic direction for YSJ. The VC is supported by the DVC who also

has responsibility for leadership and management of the Deans of Faculty.




Staff Intranet

Located through the staff homepage, the Intranet is a significant source of

information for staff at York St John. It is organised into key central departments

and areas of the University and provides information on a wealth of topics from

financial procedures to the University’s key strategic aims and the Corporate Plan.


Each faculty/department has a central drive which is organised to suit local

requirements. This drive is used to store useful and key information for staff within

each department/faculty.


E-mail is one of the main forms of communication within the University. Via global

e-mails, you can distribute key information and matters of interest to all staff and

students as well as using it for standard one-to-one communications.

In using e-mail, staff are asked to adhere to the usual rules of e-mail etiquette, such

as be concise, use proper structure and layout, read the e-mail before you send it

and take care with abbreviations and, especially, emotions.

Staff Open Forum (SOF)

Held once a term, the SOF provides the opportunity for staff to be verbally updated

on University developments and to raise issues for discussion.

YorkTalk and Voice

YorkTalk is a termly newsletter publication for staff. Comments, news and

stories can be included by contacting Voice is the Vice

Chancellor’s newsletter and is published at appropriate times throughout the year.

Agenda 200*

Produced annually, following discussion at staff workshops, Agenda 200* is a

newsletter that articulates the University’s strategic aims in action for the year

ahead, informed by our mission, ethos and brand values.


Telephone Directory

The directory is produced on an annual basis and contains fax and staff telephone

numbers of the University.

Key numbers:

Security - ext 6444

Reception - ext 6624

Useful e-mail addresses

IT Helpdesk:

Facilities Helpdesk:

Human Resources:


Timetable/room bookings:

Data protection

Staff are expected to adhere to the requirements

of the data protection legislation and

University policy in any communications

or in the storage of information.



Catering facilities

The University provides a wide range of catering services on campus including our

main dining room where you can get breakfast, lunch and supper. Coffee bars are

available in Holgate (‘Crush’), Fountains and Temple Hall and all offer a selection

of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, cakes and fruit. The Crush Bar also produces a

selection of hot dishes.

Sports and recreation facilities

Discounted sports and gym facilities are available for staff and include daily health

and fitness classes and a fully equipped fitness suite, which provides a combination

of cardiovascular, fixed and free weight equipment. For more information visit the

YSJ Active website or email sports and recreation services at:


All staff can take advantage of the University’s extensive library services. The Library

has a vast collection of books, video, DVDs, CDs and other specialist materials. The

University’s Staff ID card acts as a borrowing card. More information can be found



IT Services are located in Fountain’s Learning Centre and provide hardware and

software support to staff and students. All staff are able and encouraged to obtain

an IT account. In so doing staff must adhere to the University’s IT Acceptable Use

Policy. Contact your manager for further details

Staff common room

Located in Holgate at the centre of the main campus, the Common Room is open

all day for staff, providing tea and coffee making facilities as well as newspapers.

Chaplaincy and spiritual care

The Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care team provides a rhythm of Christian prayer and

worship throughout the year and contribute to the holistic framework of support

for staff. There is a voluntary spiritual care team representing a range of world

faiths who can be contacted through the Chaplaincy by e-mail: chaplaincy@yorksj. The Chapel has a prayer room available to people of all faiths to come and

pray in seclusion.


Students’ Union

The Students’ Union, as well as being a representative body for students, offers its

own café facilities, serving drinks and food, as well as providing a licensed bar and a

shop that staff can benefit from using.


Situated at the rear of the main campus, Kaleidoscope Nursery is open throughout

the year, with the capacity for 30 children. Staff can register their children although

unfortunately the University cannot guarantee a child a place. Enquiries about the

Nursery should be directed to 01904 654792

St Wilfrid’s Nursery is open for 50 weeks of the year and is situated within 5

minutes walking distance of the University. The Nursery has a purpose built

building, a secure outside area and has 24 places for children aged from 2 to 4

years. The University cannot guarantee a place but York St John employees are

offered a 5% discount. Childcare Vouchers are accepted.

Car parking

Car parking is available on campus and at our student residential sites on a strictly

limited basis. This may be available to you if you satisfy the requirements set out in

the University Policy which is available on the Staff Information Point.




Further details of the benefits mentioned below can all be obtained from the HR

staff Intranet pages unless otherwise indicated.

Cycle purchase scheme

Staff can purchase cycles through a salary sacrifice scheme. You pay monthly

through your salary and are exempt from paying income tax and NI on the

deduction. There is therefore the potential to save up to 40% on the cost of a bike

and equipment.


After completion of one year’s service, staff automatically benefit from a Leeds

Hospital Fund Healthplan. This is paid for by the University and allows staff to claim

back expenses on certain medical treatments including eye and dental treatment

as well as providing a 24-hour Helpline.


Staff can access free counselling through the Healthplan. Further support is

available from the University and can be discussed with the Deputy Director of

Human Resources.

Childcare vouchers

York St John offers childcare vouchers as a flexible way for employees to meet the

costs of childcare. A proportion of salary is sacrificed in exchange for the vouchers,

which are non-taxable and exempt from NI contributions. For further details on the

scheme please contact the provider, Busy Bees, on 08000 430 860 or visit www.

Quit smoking support

The University has NHS-trained smoking advisors available to provide support,

encouragement and motivation to anyone wanting to stop smoking. They can

provide information on the various forms of nicotine replacement therapy and offer

practical tips to quitting.


Family friendly policies

The University has a wide range of Family Friendly Policies, which include generous

annual leave entitlements, Maternity, Adoption, Parental, Dependant and Paternity

leave provisions. You can also request a change in working hours through the

Flexible Working Policy.


The University operates a flexi-time scheme for support staff on Grades 1 to 6.

Staff discounts

Preferential rates and discounts are often available for a range of external services,

including personal legal advice from one of York’s largest law firms and car

breakdown cover from the Environmental Transport Association (ETA). University

employees can also benefit from discounts from a number of local organisations

offering complementary therapies and beauty treatments and certain gym

providers around York (eg Fitness First, Courteneys and Oaklands Gym). They

should be contacted directly for further information.

YSJ Alumni Association

YSJ staff can join the YSJ Alumni Society (free) and take advantage of various

benefits and discounts, including reduced rates for hotels in the UK, car breakdown

cover, car hire and attractions in York. For further information please visit the

alumni web pages:; or e-mail

Public lectures

Staff are able to benefit from YSJ’s distinctive Town & Gown lecture series, which

welcomes our local community and guests from further afield to experience

presentations on a range of themes from high profile and academic speakers.

The University also runs a series of Ebor Lectures, which are a response to the

growing need for theology to interact with public issues of contemporary society.

This series of lectures aims to promote public conversation and to contribute to the

formation of personal decisions and collective policy-making in economic, political

and social spheres.



Work, pay and pension arrangements

Working time

Core working hours are 37 per week. Normal office hours are 8.30am to 5.00pm,

Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm Fridays. One hour is normally

allowed for lunch. In addition to lunch, subject to the working demands in your

department/ Faculty and your working hours, you may take a 15-minute break in

the morning and one in the afternoon.


The University operates flexi-time arrangements for support staff employees. Staff

are expected to be at work during the core periods of 10.00am to 12.00noon and

2.00pm to 4.00pm, unless taking authorised absence, however you can be flexible

with working hours outside of these times. The full policy is available on the HR

Intranet pages.

Term/semester dates

A summary of dates and key committees are available from the University calendar

and Intranet.

Pay arrangements

Salaries are paid on the last Friday of every month, with the exception of December

where, due to the Christmas break, salaries are paid early. Payroll deadlines are

published on the Finance staff Intranet pages. Any pay queries should be directed

to the payroll office at

The University’s Tax Office is York 1 District. Should you need to contact them, you

will need to quote the University Reference 585/NY1858.

Sickness Absence Reporting

On the first day of absence you should contact your manager or nominated person

by 9.00am to let them know you will not be at work. It is helpful to keep your

manager informed of progress and on or by day four you should contact them to

discuss, wherever possible, your likely length of absence. A medical certificate is

required from day eight, which should be sent to your manager. More information

is available on the HR Intranet pages.



The University provides staff with the opportunity to join a final salary pension

scheme, which offers pension and tax free lump sum benefits on retirement as well

as life assurance benefits. Further information is available from the HR Department.

Pension Scheme Contacts

Academic Staff - Teachers’ Pensions Scheme

T: 01325 745745

Support Staff - Local Government Pension Scheme

T: 01609 780780



Staff development


York St John University is committed to the ongoing professional and personal

development of its staff. Through the dedicated Staff Development team and

committee, it is possible to deliver appropriate development activities tailored to

meet individual needs as identified by managers.


All new York St John staff are supported by an induction programme. There are

three integrated elements to the process; pre-arrival induction, faculty/department

local induction and the York St John central half-day induction programme. Further

information and a detailed explanation of the induction process are available on

the Staff Development Intranet pages.

Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP)

We offer the PCAP course for all academic staff who are new to Higher Education

(HE) or who do not have any formal HE learning and teaching qualifications.

Whilst this is aimed primarily at new academic staff, all academics are welcome to


Performance Development Review (PDR)

The University operates an annual PDR process, its aims being to provide a

constructive two-way discussion of activities, achievements and areas for

improvement, agree objectives and a development plan to allow staff to achieve

their full potential. This could include linking personal development to the

Professional Standards Framework and following an accredited CPD programme.

PDR Guidance Notes and information on accredited programmes are available on

the staff intranet.


Ongoing development

There are a variety of development opportunities that can be accessed by staff.

Centrally-allocated courses and workshops are detailed in the Staff Development

Options brochure available on the SD intranet pages. This provides opportunities

under the following headings:

• Development for All

• Diversity

• Personal and professional development

• Technical skills

• Management Development

• Essential

• Optional

• Academic Development

• IT Staff Development*


• Netskills

• Microsoft Office

• Blackboard VLE

• Internet and Developing a Website

• Searching and Information Skills

* the University has a dedicated IT Trainer who can facilitate bespoke group and

one-to-one training, as required.

Fee remission

Some funding is available for staff wishing to pursue undergraduate or

postgraduate qualifications as part of their professional development, with

agreement from their manager. Full details are given in the Fee Remission Policy



Equal opportunities (EO)


The University is dedicated to providing an environment which supports a diverse

range of staff and students, promotes equality and diversity and which is free

from all forms of unfair treatment, discrimination and harassment. It is committed

to encouraging and enabling individuals to achieve their full potential and no

one should receive less favourable treatment while working or studying within

the institution on the basis of gender, colour, racial or cultural grounds, disability,

age, class, marital status, carer responsibilities, any medical condition unrelated

to function within the University, political and religious beliefs, sexual orientation,

appearance, trade union activity, criminal background or any other category

The University has specific duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2001

to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote equality of opportunity. The

Gender Equality Duty also provides that the University fulfils its legal obligation to

promote gender equality and eliminate sex discrimination. The University fully

supports the Government’s aims for Disability Equality. We aim to play our part

in attracting and retaining more disabled students and staff and in promoting

disability equality issues in the wider community

Dignity at work

The University is committed to securing equal opportunities in the workplace and

seeks to ensure that all employees are able to work in an environment of mutual

respect, free of harassment and intimidation. Harassment is unacceptable.

Full details of the University’s EO Policy and associated Action Plans are available

from the HR pages of the staff intranet. Details of our team of Harassment

Contacts are also available here. All staff are expected to adhere to, and support,

the University commitment to equal opportunities.


Health and safety

The University has a number of health and safety policies, procedures and

guidelines, all of which can be found on the Health & Safety pages of the staff


Policy statement

It is the University’s policy to promote the health, safety and welfare of employees,

students and visitors and the University seeks the co-operation of all these groups

in implementing this policy. The University will:

• Provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace

• Provide information, instruction, training and supervision

• Provide and ensure the use of safety procedures and any protective equipment

that may be necessary

• Encourage the active interest of all staff, students and visitors in the health and

safety of themselves and others.

Individual responsibility

Every member of staff has a responsibility to:

• Work safely with due regard for the health and safety of themselves and others,

including other staff, students and members of the public

• Report accidents and incidents that may lead to injuries or loss making

conditions, and any unsafe or unhealthy conditions

• Comply with workplace health and safety rules.

Risk assessments

Staff responsible for risk assessments should apprise themselves of the University

policy. Assessments must be undertaken in accordance with the Management

of Health and Safety at Work Regulations using the University’s risk assessment




Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

The University has a number of competent and trained DSE Assessors who will

ensure that all staff who work with Display Screen Equipment (‘DSE’) will be

assessed against the requirements of the Health and Safety (Display Screen

Equipment) Regulations 1992 (amended 2002). Any employee who uses a

workstation for University purposes should request an assessment through their line


Eye Tests

The University may reimburse the costs of an eye test (up to a certain amount) if an

employee uses DSE as part of their role.


Smoking is strictly prohibited in all buildings and around the entrances to buildings

and open windows. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas on the campus

and the grounds of student residences. These are clearly indicated and shelters

provided. Failure to comply with this policy is a serious matter and may lead to

disciplinary action being taken.


The following require reporting immediately

• Fire

• Accidents, dangerous occurrences and near misses

(a standard reporting form exists)

• Serious safety hazard

If working alone at unusual hours then employees should let Security know (ext

6444) of their presence on site.

If in doubt about how to report an incident then contact the University Health &

Safety Officer on ext 6613.


The University is committed to providing health and safety training, as required.

Staff should discuss their needs with their line manager and the University Health &

Safety Officer, as appropriate.


Employee relations

Trades Unions

The University recognises, and works in close partnership with both the UCU and

UNISON trades unions. Joint Consultative Committee meetings between members

of the unions and senior management are held each term. There are UCU and

UNISON representatives on campus and details are available on the staff intranet.

Grievance Procedure

The University has a formal Grievance Procedure to enable an employee with an

employment related grievance to seek redress. The aim is to settle grievances fairly

and promptly.

Disciplinary Procedure

A formal Disciplinary Procedure exists to ensure fairness and consistency in handling

cases of alleged misconduct. The University provides guidance on the standards of

conduct it expects of its employees, which are set out in the Code of Conduct.

Capability Procedure

Where performance concerns arise the University has a Capability Procedure to

ensure that employees are given the necessary support and guidance to encourage

and enable them to perform effectively and to the best of their ability.

The Grievance, Disciplinary and Capability Procedures are all available

from the HR pages of the staff Intranet.

Public interest disclosure

This Policy contains clearly defined routes for disclosing relevant information inside

and outside the University. Details are available from the HR pages of the staff





Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Rules provide guidance on the standards of

conduct the University expects of its employees. It is important that all employees

carefully read the Code and Rules, which are available on the HR pages of the staff


Financial regulations

Compliance with the regulations is compulsory for all staff. Any employee who has

responsibility for financial management or budgetary duties is required to familiarise

themselves, and act in accordance, with the relevant regulations. Details of the

regulations are available from the Finance pages of the staff information point.

Exclusivity of service

All staff are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the

standards of professionalism and quality that the University wishes to provide. It

is expected that staff, unless with the consent of the University, will not engage

in other work that might interfere with their performance or create a conflict of

interest. Consequently, before an employee enters into an obligation to undertake

any external work, including consultancy, they must inform the University and seek


IT Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

In using any University computer or accepting any University network account, all

employees are expected to accord to the requirements of the AUP. The Policy is

available from the staff Intranet.

E-mail and telephone use

University telephones are for business use and incoming personal calls should be

discouraged where possible. Outgoing personal calls should not be made unless

vital. Access to e-mail services is given as part of an employee’s IT account. Staff

should use their University e-mail address for business purposes only.



The University commonly uses abbreviations that will be unfamiliar to new

members of staff. A list is shown below, however this may not be fully

comprehensive due to the changing nature of the work environment.


SMT Senior Management Team

HLS Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Educ Faculty of Education & Theology

DLD Directorate for Learning Development

CETL Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

SU Students’ Union

HR Human Resources

WP Widening Participation

SPACE Sustainable Partnerships and Community Engagement

SPARK Securing Potential and Releasing Knowledge (annual fund)


HRMG Human Resources Management Group

JCC Joint Consultative Committee (Unions and mgmt)

AP&RC Academic Planning & Resources Committee

SP&RC Strategic Planning & Resources Committee

ASC Academic Standards Committee

QEC Quality Enhancement Committee (within Faculties)

CEC Community Engagement Committee


HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for England

TDA Training and Development Agency

UCEA Universities & Colleges’ Employers Association

HEIF Higher Education Innovation Fund






York St John University, Lord Mayor's Walk,York Y031 7EX

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