Guidance for College Christmas Closure 2023
The College will be closed for the Christmas and New Year period from close of business on Friday 22 December 2023 and will reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2024. This closure will have an impact upon our services and deadlines, and we wanted to give you as much notice as possible to assist your planning.
What impact will this have?
Payroll and Pensions
Payday is Friday 22nd December and payslips will be available to view on Thursday 21st December.
It is vitally important that you check your payslip promptly and submit any salary queries to the payroll team by 18.00 on Thurs 21st December. Payroll queries received after 18.00 on Thurs 21st December will be dealt with in January.
For current staff with time-limited visas expiring
The Staff Compliance Team will:
- Send Right to Work (RTW) visa expiry reminders as normal (at approximately 4 months, and 2 weeks prior to visa expiry), except for those whose visas expire between 23 December - 2 January, who will be contacted additionally in advance of College Closure.
- Review and approve contract extension requests (CCR) in the HR Portal (Freshservice) regularly in the weeks leading up to the College Closure.
Please would departments assist by:
- Making requests for Global Talent Visa support or Skilled Worker/Temporary Worker contract extensions/Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) extensions (including VCCs) as early as possible.
- Highlighting urgent requests due to imminent visa expiry over the College Closure period to the relevant approvers and the Recruitment/Staff Hub, so that ticket approvals/processing can be prioritised.
- Being mindful that the Staff Compliance Team will need to prioritise work related to immediately urgent visa expiries and January 2024 new starters, and this may impact upon email responses/request processing for later start dates and visa expiries.
Please would staff assist by:
- Responding to visa expiry reminders, submitting and providing evidence of corresponding visa applications, and providing permission to use the Employers Checking Service (ECS) to the Staff Compliance Team as early as possible, to ensure that the College holds suitable evidence of continuing right to work.
- If applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) following a Tier 2/Skilled Worker visa, requesting a support letter from the Staff Compliance Team as early as possible, ensuring that your Teamseer record is up to date, and attaching a list of any other absences/overseas work not recorded in Teamseer; or
- If applying for ILR after holding another visa category or applying for a Global Talent Visa extension, requesting an employment confirmation letter from the Staff Hub as early as possible.
Please note that staff with pending visa applications should not travel outside the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands (Common Travel Area) until they receive a decision on their application and either a BRP card or online status confirming successful outcome.
For new staff holding or requiring time-limited visas
For new staff with start dates 18-22 December and 2-5 January, the Staff Compliance Team will:
- Undertake pre-employment RTW checks as normal once the contract is issued and the individual holds the required UK visa status and is present in the UK.
- Confirm to the new employee and hiring department once checks are complete and the individual can start work.
Please would departments assist by:
- Making new hire/contract requests and/or providing any completed assessment forms/supporting documents for Global Talent Visa support or Skilled Worker/Temporary Worker CoS (including VCCs) as early as possible.
- Ensuring that work start dates are not set during the College Closure period.
Please note that we continue to experience significant delays with ATAS certificate applications and some visa application processing. If it is not feasible to meet a proposed start date due to visa processing/RTW check delays, the team will advise accordingly. Please refer to (and bookmark) our UKVI visa, ATAS processing and RTW Check updates page for regular updates.
Where essential DBS checks need to be in place for the College Closure, please would departments and staff assist by making requests for DBS checks, submitting online applications and completing ID verification by Friday 15 December.
Overseas Working Requests
Overseas working requests submitted by Friday 15 December will be reviewed by the International Mobility Team as normal the following week. However, requests received after this date will not be considered until the College reopens in January after the Christmas College Closure.
If you are considering making an overseas working request, please first review our guidance.
If you wish to submit a request, please follow the Process for making a request to employ staff to work overseas (on pages 1-2 of the Overseas Working guidance), completing the Overseas Working Request Form (and any associated forms) along with authorisation from both Line Manager and Head of Department prior to submission.
Please note where insufficient notice is provided of proposed start dates, or additional information is required to progress requests, the International Mobility Team is unlikely to be able to carry out a full assessment or ensure arrangements are in place until after the Christmas College Closure.
Payroll deadline for December 2023 is Friday 1 December 2023. Please ensure any requests for additional payments, contractual changes, parental leave, unpaid leave and leavers for the month of December 2023 are received before 5pm on this date.
Any requests after this date will be processed for payment in time for the January 2024 pay run.
Payroll deadline for January 2024 is Friday 22 December 2023. Any requests received after this date will be processed for payment in February 2024.
Please also note that any for new starter contract requests, which have a proposed start date between 2 and 12 January 2024 must be submitted to the HR Staff Hub with all the necessary pre-employment information required no later than Monday 11 December 2023 so they can be processed before College Closure.
If you require a job to be advertised or employment contracts issued before the College closes for the Christmas holiday, please contact the Recruitment Hub before 18:00 on 4th December. This should allow us enough time to process your request without being impacted by external deadlines e.g., media, payroll cut off, college closure.
To ensure the best possible response for your recruitment advertising we strongly recommend that vacant roles are not advertised over the Christmas period, and instead you should wait to advertise until week commencing 8th January.
Please remember it is not possible to issue backdated contracts of employment and it is a legal requirement that all employees must receive a contract of employment before their start date with the College.
The last JE panel will take place on 12th December and the deadline to submit a role for this panel will be 5pm 8th December.
The next JE panel will take place on 16th January and the deadline to submit papers for this will be 5pm 12th January.
Casual Worker Team
Casual Worker Payments
The payroll deadline is 17:00 on Friday 8th December 2023. All timesheets must be Level 1 and 2 approved in the Casual Worker App before this deadline in order to be paid in December. Payday will be the 22nd December.
There will be no supplementary payment run in December, therefore any late timesheets will be processed in the January payroll.
Casual Worker Requests
Please send Requirement Schedule entries for new Casual Workers by 19th December 2023 at the latest, in order for workers to begin on 2nd January 2023. As usual, Casual Worker setup is subject to the individual booking a Right to Work check with our team.
We will endeavour to contact all individuals submitted in Requirement Schedules before the College closure period. Please note that new Casual Workers cannot begin work until our team have confirmed that registration has been completed.