Employment Policy

  • Introduction

    This document is intended to be a statement of general principles to guide the Governors and managers in determining HR policies and procedures and taking HR decisions. It will also inform staff and their representatives.

    This policy takes account of the fundamental objectives of the institution as defined in the mission statement. It also reflects the culture and ethos of the University as an organisation which values participation by all staff in decision making within the relevant areas of their responsibility and recognises all staff as stakeholders in the success of the University. It recognises that human resources are the most valuable asset of the University.

    The staff individually have a personal investment in the collective endeavour and a specific responsibility to give effect to this policy as far as they are able to do so. Senior staff have a particular responsibility for implementing this policy.

    Overall aim of the policy

    To enable the University to achieve the objectives in its mission statement and strategic plans by ensuring the most effective use of its human resources and enabling and encouraging staff to maximise their contribution to the University.


    1. To recruit and retain the highest possible quality of staff.

      The University will advertise its vacancies to attract the widest appropriate range of applicants, and conduct recruitment and selection procedures that are designed exclusively to select the person most suitable to undertake the duties of the post without regard to irrelevant criteria.

      The University will adopt HR policies to retain staff by giving opportunities for personal and professional development, maintaining and improving social and sporting facilities, improving the quality of working life, providing welfare services and adopting equitable and competitive pay structures.
    2. To reward all staff equitably.

      The University will participate in any national negotiating machinery established for the sector and apply national recommendations on remuneration and conditions of service so far as financial circumstances permit. A decision not to implement national recommendations on terms and conditions of service will be taken only by specific resolution by or on behalf of the Board of Governors. Local agreements on conditions of service may be made in areas not covered by the national recommendations.

      Remuneration policies will be designed to ensure that all staff are rewarded appropriately for their responsibilities and their contribution to the success of the University.

      All staff will be able to participate in the relevant superannuation scheme subject to the admission regulations.

    3. To treat all groups of staff alike as far as practicable in the determination and application of HR policies and practices.

      The University will devise and apply its HR policies so that all staff, irrespective of conditions of service or working patterns, will have the same employment policy principles applied to them. Thus there will be policies and procedures that embody the same principles but result in differing practices, but they will vary only if it is appropriate to the circumstances of the case concerned.

    4. To act and to be seen to act as a good employer and to foster and maintain good employee relations.

      The University will strive to be regarded within and outside the institution as an employer that it is desirable to work for, an employer that treats its staff reasonably and acts compassionately, and an employer which contributes to the life of the local community. The University will provide facilities and support mechanisms for employees who may require assistance in resolving personal issues that affect their work.

      In order to maintain good employee relations, the University will recognise the appropriate trade unions and encourage membership of them, provide the necessary facilities for representatives to undertake their industrial relations duties effectively, provide a “check off” facility, and consult staff representatives on the University's intentions. Employee relations policies and procedures will be clear, consistent and equitable, and decisions will be public to all members of staff.

      All managers have a responsibility as part of their job to promote these aims.

    5. To communicate openly with staff with the maximum amount of information and to minimise that which is kept confidential.

      The University will inform its staff and their representatives of the University's plans and intentions at the earliest possible opportunity. Deans of Faculties/Directors will inform and discuss with their staff all matters affecting them.

    6. To involve staff and their representatives in decision taking as far as is consistent with effective processes.

      The authority to take decisions will be devolved as far as possible from the centre consistent with efficiency and equity. Managers will be given responsibility for managing their staff within the necessary framework of institutional policy. They will be trained and developed effectively to undertake their managerial role.

      One of the ways in which the University will involve staff in decision taking is by having staff as members of Committees which are responsible for deciding areas of the University's activities. It will consult with staff representatives in joint committees on proposed courses of action. The joint committee system will negotiate and/or consult on conditions of service, and significant organisational change. The University will actively seek the views of staff before decisions are taken, and aim to reach consensus.

    7. To achieve genuine equality of opportunity for all staff and potential staff in all aspects of the University's employment activities.

      The University will take measures actively to discourage all forms of undesirable discriminatory behaviour, by taking measures to encourage best practice in all its activities, monitoring procedures for recruitment and promotion etc., incorporating equal opportunities considerations into training courses, and by publicly disavowing all undesirable discriminatory behaviour.

    8. To maximise the employment potential of individual members of staff by training and development.

      The University's policy is to train and develop all its staff through training and staff development measures in order to ensure that they can undertake their current responsibilities as effectively as possible, to fit them for promotion and to enable them to develop to their full potential. The University accepts its wider responsibility to plan jointly with its staff their careers inside and outside the institution and recognises that the process will be most effective when staff are fully involved.

    9. To implement strategies to make the most efficient and effective use of staff.

      The University will ensure that its staff are enabled to maximise their contribution by reviewing working practices and procedures, introducing new technology and investigating and promoting improved methods of teaching and learning.

      All staff will have the opportunity to participate in a jointly operated system of staff development and performance appraisal in order to provide effective opportunities for open discussion and identify action needed.

    10. To secure the future employment of staff to whom the University has a continuing responsibility.

      Security of employment can only be ensured provided the financial future of the institution is secure.

      Corporate strategic planning will be undertaken to ensure that the future of the University can be predicted and planned for as far as possible and that any staffing changes required can be managed. Staff will be redeployed where practicable and compulsory redundancies will be the last resort when reductions and/or changes are required.

    11. To maximise the self-fulfilment of staff while at work.

      The University will assist individuals to achieve self-fulfilment at work by designing jobs to be as interesting and varied as possible, by giving staff a variety of work experiences, by providing a stimulating and challenging working environment and by accommodating the personal preferences of staff as far as possible consistent with institutional needs.

    12. Corporate responsibility
      Corporate responsibility is about the behaviour of Oxford Brookes and how we manage our responsibility for our impact on the societies in which we operate. Being proactively responsible to our stakeholders enables the University to show categorically that we are working for the common good.


    The implementation of these principles will be achieved over a period of time. This policy will be supplemented by detailed plans for each of the specific issues, which will be the subject of consultations with staff and their representatives. It is recognised that resource constraints may require priorities to be set in achieving the aims of this policy.

    updated Nov 2010