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Recruitment of Student Help

Recruitment of Student Help


1. This Policy outlines the guidelines and procedures for hiring Student Help.  Traditionally, the University ethos has been to offer occasional work, where possible, to its registered full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students in order to help provide financial support where possible, expand their knowledge and experience of the workplace and develop transferable skills such as teamwork and communication.  These procedures have been developed to comply with legislative requirements, appropriate internal controls and procedures and to provide guidelines to schools/departments engaged in the recruitment of Student Help.


2. This Policy applies to the recruitment of registered full-time and part-time students currently attending an undergraduate or postgraduate Degree/Diploma within the University and carrying out specified duties under the supervision of a Head of School/Department or his/her nominee.  The University has an established pay rate for this category of staff.  This pay rate is adjusted as per the relevant National Wage Increases and is the only established rate to be used when paying this category of staff.



3. An academic year is defined as the start of term in September until the end of the student’s Summer Examinations.



4. The category of Student Help is listed and defined in Appendix 1 as a registered full-time or part-time student (undergraduate/postgraduate) carrying out specified duties under supervision.  Unregistered students should not be considered for these occasional hours.  Likewise, previously registered full-time or part-time students no longer attending the University should not be considered for these occasional hours. Consideration may be given to those full-time or part-time students recently graduated and awaiting registration for a postgraduate course provided this registration takes place within a four month period.

5. Ordinarily, the same Student Help should not be employed for more than 2 years in the same school/department or area in order to encourage a turnover of job opportunity, thereby affording all students the opportunity of occasional employment. 

6. Schools/Departments should make themselves fully aware of the study obligations of the Student Help they hire, particularly coming up to exam times, and should take these into account in allocating hours to the student in question.

7. The University has an obligation to ensure that occasional hours do not compromise students’ studies and therefore, it has been agreed that:

  • Undergraduate students may be hired for a maximum of 16 hours per week during the academic year.  Outside the academic year, the maximum hours of the standard working week should not be exceeded i.e. 32.92 hours.
  • Subject to the exceptional case referred to in the next bullet point, research and taught postgraduate students may be employed for a maximum of 16 hours per week all year.
  • Postgraduate students who have no thesis requirement to fulfil over the summer, and who will be registering for the next year of their programme at the start of the next academic year, are eligible to be hired for up to a maximum of 32.92 hours per week over the summer (provided that they have completed their examinations and the other requirements of their programme for the year).

 8. However, outside of the academic year, under the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996, young people (16 and 17 year olds) may not work for more than 8 hours in any day or 40 hours in any week.  Their permitted hours of work are between 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.  They must receive a 30 minute break if working more than 4.5 hours.  This legislation must be complied with in situations where registered students, under the age of 18, are employed outside of term time.  Schools/Departments who employ young people under 18 years of age (their date of birth may be checked on the Student I.D. Card) must display a summary of this Act and also give a summary of the Act (available in poster form) to the Student Help within one month of the commencement of employment.  These can be obtained from the Department of Human Resources.

9. It is important that a Student Help is engaged to carry out only general duties.  A vacancy where the nature of the work requires a higher level of responsibility, accountability and expertise, at Executive Assistant level or at the level of any other established grade, should be filled through the Department of Human Resources’ standard recruitment policies. 

10. It is advised that schools/departments not engage a Student Help in situations where access to data relating to confidential aspects of a school/department, such as DMIS, is required.

11. Under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, measures must be provided for alleviating monotonous work or isolation (e.g. adequate rest breaks), in addition to normal health and safety requirements.

12. This procedure involves the hiring school/department, the Students’ Union and the Payroll Office.

13. All documentation must be completed as set out in this Policy to ensure that the University meets its statutory obligations to Student Help and to allow payment to be made in a timely and appropriate manner.

14. Failure to comply with documentation requirements or payment deadlines by employing schools/departments will result in the student not receiving correct payments.

15. An Occasional Staff Contract (OSC) must be issued to each Student Help working occasional hours in the University.  This is a legal requirement – The Protection of Employees (Part-Time Workers) Act, 2001 and  The Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 & 2001 stipulate “that an employer must provide his/her employee with a written statement of the particulars of the employee’s terms of employment”.  This is an entitlement of the Student Help.  Terms and Conditions of Employment are built into this contract.

16. Student Help payments should be processed as hourly returns on a monthly basis.  This method of payment must be based on the established pay rate for Student Help, see  

17. Under the Working Time Act 1997 and in compliance with other employment legislation, the number of hours any Student Help is expected to work should be identified in the Contract of Employment (OSC).

18. Copies of all relevant documentation MUST be kept by the hiring school/department and will be audited on an ongoing basis by the University’s Internal Auditor and the Department of Human Resources.

19. Employing schools/departments and the Students’ Union will be circulated with updated pay scales as increases occur or are available at anytime from the Department of Human Resources’ website at

20. Membership of the Group Personal Accident Scheme shall apply to all employees, including Student Help, subject to the terms, exclusions and conditions of the insurance policy.  The salary quoted is subject to a deduction from salary at the rate of .06 of 1%.  Signature of the Occasional Staff Contract authorises deduction of same.  Please see .

21. An Annual Leave entitlement of 8% of total hours is applicable to hourly occasional staff, in this instance Student Help.  Unused annual leave entitlement will be paid on termination of the contract and should be calculated on 8% of total earnings with a school/department.  Earning figures are displayed on monthly Pay Reports issued by the Finance Department.  In the month of payment of annual leave, please return 8% of total earnings to the Payroll Office on the monthly Timesheet, highlighting this as an ‘Annual Leave Payment’. 

22. Hourly occasional staff, who have worked at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks ending on the day before the public holiday, are entitled to public holiday benefits. 

  • Hourly Occasional Staff rostered to work on a public holiday:
    If an hourly occasional  member of staff has worked at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks before the public holiday and is rostered to work on a public holiday, he/she is entitled to that day off as paid leave. 
  • Hourly Occasional Staff not rostered to work on a public holiday:
    If an hourly occasional member of staff has worked at least 40 hours in the 5 weeks before the public holiday and is not rostered to work on a public holiday, he/she is entitled to one-fifth of his/her weekly pay as compensation for the public holiday. This is calculated as follows: Pay for a public holiday is equivalent to the average daily earnings for normal working hours, calculated by reference to the earnings over the 13 week period ending on the day before the public holiday, divided by one fifth.  The public holiday entitlement for the staff member should be entered on the Monthly Timesheet, on the line following their hourly returns, and clearly identified as Public Holiday Entitlement.  This Timesheet should be sent to payroll before their advertised deadline, in order to ensure payments can be made in a timely and appropriate manner.  Please see  for further information”.

23. As an employee of UCC, the Student Help is governed by the University’s employment policies and procedures as detailed in the Human Resource Manual and Staff Handbook.



24. Any occasional work available during the academic year and outside of the academic year, and which would be suitable for the recruitment of Student Help, may be advertised by e-mail with Student Development & Employability at  They will liaise with students and put them in touch with the hiring school/department.  Hiring schools/departments have also the option of sourcing Student Help from within the student population of their own school/department or area.  The recruitment, administration and supervision of Student Help will continue to be undertaken by the hiring school/department.  Schools/departments should ensure that candidates have the necessary skills required before recruitment.  Students seeking advice on employment opportunities should be directed to Student Development & Employability for further information. 

 25. An Occasional Staff Contract (OSC) (please see  must be completed on commencement for each Student Help (both school/departmentally funded and research funded) by the hiring school/department.  The Student Help must produce his/her valid Student I.D. Card to the hiring school/department who will check the information on the card, photocopy same and keep a copy of this card with the Student’s correspondence.  The Student Number must be put on the Occasional Staff Contract.  The Head of School/Department or his/her designate must sign the contract.  The Student Help must sign the contract.  The original contract must be kept by the Student Help and a copy kept at school/departmental level for at least ten years.  All details must be completed on this form.

 26. The objective ground for hiring Student Help must be stated in the contract and must be the following –


            Support by Registered Student

  • The nature of this employment contract is Fixed Term due to the purpose of this post being to support an academic and/or administrative requirement during the period of registration as a student with the University.  This contract is, therefore, issued on such objective grounds.

 27. In exceptional circumstances, payment for additional hours worked (in 1 month only), over and above those indicated in the Occasional Staff Contract, should be processed via the monthly Timesheet and returned to the payroll office before their advertised deadline.  However, please note that if a change in hours is necessitated beyond a month, a new Occasional Staff Contract must be issued.

28. Hiring schools/departments must complete a PAYROLL AUTHORISATION FORM (Form PAF) see  for all Student Help they are hiring.  This form (PAF) is the initial authorisation to Payroll that payment of the listed Student Help has been sanctioned by the Head of School/Department and it should be returned to Payroll before the payroll deadline of the first month for which payment is required.  The Student Number must be put on the Payroll Authorisation Form.  All details in this form must be completed in full and returned to Payroll before their advertised deadline.    Non-completion will result in the payment not being processed.

29. A PaypathForm (please see ) should be completed by each Student Help and returned to Payroll before the payroll deadline of the first month for which payment is required. 

30. Detailed Hourly Timesheets (please see )  must also be completed on a monthly basis and returned to Payroll before their advertised deadline for the Student Help listed on the Payroll Authorisation Form.  For research funded hourly paid employees, this Timesheet must be returned to the Research office before the 8th of the month.  Copies of these forms are kept at school/departmental level.

31. Hourly Timesheets must not be forwarded to Payroll unless the Occasional Staff Contract (OSC) is issued and the Payroll Authorisation Form (PAF) is completed.

32. All of these forms are available on the Department of Human Resources website at, under the heading ‘Hourly Occasional Staff’.



Occasional Staff Contract (Ref. OSC)

Payroll Authorization Form (PAF)


CONTACT: Department of Human Resources and Organisational Development, University College Cork, Block E, Food Science Building, U.C.C.  Tel. 4903690. 


Guidelines for Schools/Departments Hiring Student Help

  • Schools/Departments should make themselves fully aware of the Student Help’s schedule, both in terms of study obligations and also other commitments he/she may have and should take these obligations into account in allocating working hours to the student.
  • Give the Student Help a short ‘job description’ of the tasks he/she will cover during their placement – itemise the days he/she will carry out specific tasks if this is relevant.
  • Re-assess the student’s knowledge of tasks as tasks are allocated and provide training where necessary (consideration should be given to the fact that the Student Help may have a very limited experience of working.  Some may have Saturday or evening jobs but for many, this may be their first experience of working – even opening and distributing post can be a new ‘skill’).
  • Appraise the Student Help of the obligation to respect the confidentiality of the business of your school/department.
  • Go through a checklist of health and safety issues, especially fire drill, first aid, hazardous areas e.g. laboratories and manual handling.  Further information on this can be obtained on the Health and Safety website at
  • Introduce the Student Help to work space, where to put personal items (handbags, coats etc.), bathrooms, times of work breaks and where refreshments can be obtained.
  • It is useful to provide a ‘buddy’ for the placement period who will be the student’s supervisor.  Check the ‘buddy’ is fully briefed about the student before they are introduced to each other.
  • Introduce the Student Help to key people so

(a) He/she does not feel isolated and

(b) He/she is known to other staff.

  • Give the Student Help some useful documents:
    • A map of the campus/building if he/she will have to ‘run errands’ from one school/department to another – give a short tour around the building if appropriate.
    • A timetable for the shuttle bus.
    • A short list of contacts and telephone numbers of people he/she is likely to have to phone.
  • Encourage the Student Help to ask questions whenever he/she is in doubt about anything.  He/she may well be shy and reluctant to ask which can lead to mistakes and a ‘knock’ to the student’s self confidence.  Make sure you ask ‘open questions’, using what, when, why, where.  This gives a better idea of the student’s understanding.
  • Encourage the Student Help to browse the web-site of your school/department to familiarise themselves with the work of the school/department and its staff.



A.      Tutor/Demonstrator

Qualified/professional engaged to provide expertise and support a course or members of academic staff in the performance of their teaching/lecturing duties.  Responsible for setting up and demonstrating experiments/systems/methods to students, normally in a laboratory context.

Normal contractual duties include:

Preparation (in consultation with the relevant lecturer as appropriate);

Consultation with students;


Occasional seminars;

Coursework Correction;

Associated required administration.       


§  Undergraduate Tutor and/or Demonstrator

Registered undergraduate student tutoring/demonstrating to undergraduate students

  • Postgraduate Tutor and/or Demonstrator

Ordinarily registered postgraduate student tutoring and/or demonstrating to undergraduate students.

  • Senior Demonstrators

Ordinarily postgraduate student or non-registered hourly occasional Senior Demonstrator demonstrating laboratory practicals to students.

§  Senior Medical Demonstrator

Ordinarily postgraduate student or non-registered hourly occasional Senior Demonstrator working in a medical discipline within the College of Medicine and Health.

  • Non-registered Tutor and/or Demonstrator (non-registered students)

Non-registered hourly occasional  qualified/professional staff employed to provide expertise and specialist tutoring and/or demonstrating.

§  FoReign Language Demonstrator

A Foreign Language Demonstrator or Language-Teaching Assistant, (written and oral classes) assists in ensuring that students are phonetically correct when speaking the particular language they are studying.  They can be appointed on an exchange basis with partner universities.

B.       Hourly occasional Assistant Lecturer

Hourly occasional Assistant Lecturer, engaged at an hourly rate primarily to lecture, and to conduct seminars and examine.  Rate to incorporate teaching, preparation and student consultation.

C.      hourly occasional Evening Lecturer

Engaged at an hourly rate to undertake teaching/examining at evenings or weekends where relevant.  Rate to incorporate teaching, preparation and student consultation.

D.      Visiting/guest Lecturer

Engagement of specialised expertise from an external source to provide ‘guest lectures’, seminars, tutorials on an ad–hoc basis, usually on a sessional basis, although this may not always be the case.

E.       hourly occasional Supervisors

Hourly occasional  professional supervisor engaged to provide specialist student supervision as a requirement of the course.

F.       Student Help

Registered full-time and part-time students (undergraduate/postgraduate) carrying out specified duties under supervision, student help rate of pay.

Human Resources

Acmhainní Daonna

Ground Floor, Block E, Food Science Building, UCC