Term Time Working

Term Time Only (TTO) Employment

TTO employees working in Schools are principally employed to work only during periods when schools are open. The contractual requirements of term time employment can differ and depending on these specifics you might be employed most commonly to work 38, 39, 40, 41 or 42 weeks per year. This differs from an all year round (AYR) employee who would be employed to work 52 weeks per year but, unlike TTO, has the ability to take paid leave during the course of the year.

As a TTO employee, you still have continuity of employment. This means that you are still employed during periods of school closure even though you are not required to work these periods, and you also accrue continuity of service for all employment purposes such as redundancy, maternity and sick pay entitlements. For example, if you are a TTO employee working 39 weeks per year with 10 full years of service, then any redundancy payment, sick pay or maternity entitlements would be calculated on the basis of 10 years’ service.

But are term time only staff paid only for the weeks in which they are expected to work?

No. In fact, staff employed on a term time only basis are legally entitled to receive an amount of paid leave at least on a pro- rated, or proportional basis, when compared to their all year round (AYR) counterpart. The most common way in which TTO employees are paid is by calculating how much would be earned over one year, diving this by 12 and then paying a salary in 12 equal monthly instalments. This means that TTO employees are paid over 12 months but are not paid for 12 months of work.

In addition to the weeks worked over the course of a year- let’s say 39 weeks- an employee is entitled as a minimum to a pro-rated proportion of annual leave, public holidays and additional statutory days that would be provided by the employer to all its employees.

Under The Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, TTO staff have the legal right not to be treated any less favourably than a full time equivalent- someone who is employed on an all year round (AYR) contract of 52 weeks per year. So, if your employer is not paying you at least the minimum pro-rated leave entitlement then they are breaking the law.

Employers must also ensure that TTO staff have access to the same maternity/parental leave with a minimum of the proportionate amount when compared with an AYR employee. TTO employees on maternity/parental leave and sick leave must also accrue any annual leave, public holiday and additional statutory days owed during this time.

Greenwich Unison recently settled a landmark case against Greenwich Council because of the authority calculating TTO employees pay incorrectly. This all came from one member calling her branch with a query. If you do have any doubts or questions, then pick up the phone!

Different local authorities use different formulas to calculate TTO pay. However, the legal minimums which must be adhered to in all TTO formulas are a proportion of an AYR counterparts:

  • annual leave, public holidays and additional statutory days that would be provided by the employer to all its employees
  • The right to accrue these entitlements whilst on Maternity/parental leave and sick leave
  • AND continuity of employment

If you have any queries about how your TTO pay in calculated, please contact your branch or your employer. The NJC has recently issued guidance on lots of aspects of TTO working, with more guidance due shortly. Please see the guidance below.

NJC TTO Guidance- Part 4

Employers must be able to explain clearly how your pay is calculated and it must be calculated in a transparent, consistent and fair way which treats TTO employees no less favourably that an AYR employee.