HPL Action Toolkit



The aim of this document is to provide practical strategies and arguments for UCU reps who want to take action against casualisation and campaign for the fractionalisation of Hourly Paid members and in Higher Education, to negotiate for HPL assimilation to the national pay spine under the Framework Agreement.

This document is an initiative of London Region UCU.

Almost every FE, HE and ACE institution employs staff who are paid by the hour to do much the same work as their permanent, salaried counterparts. Very often these employees are paid less, have little or no job security and are treated less favourably in terms of most other conditions.

According to UCU’s Survival Guide for Hourly Paid staff, there are almost 17,000 HPLs in FE nationally and in 2009-10 there were up to 77,000 academic / lecturing staff working in HE on ‘atypical’ contracts. The numbers for ACE are unknown.


  1. Less favourable treatment of staff on casual contracts
  2. Challenging casualisation – possible outcomes
  3. Contracts – different types
  4. The legal status of different contracts
  5. Challenging ‘worker’ contracts
  6. Collecting information about your institution’s use of HPLs
  7. Building solidarity at branch level – persuading members
  8. Campaigning for fractionalisation – a possible cross sector process
  9. Agency Staff
  10. Putting the case for fractionalisation to management – the arguments


  1. Case studies
  2. Samples of anti-casualisation campaign materials
  3. Example branch motions
  4. Reports presented to SMT
  5. HE single pay spine
  6. Calculating holiday pay
  7. The Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002
  8. The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations
  9. Template letters 
  10. Further Reading



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