The most significant change, affecting all undergraduate and postgraduate international students, is the lifting of last year’s restrictions regarding Tier 4 visa status, which meant that Tier 4 (general) visa holders had extra restrictions placed on them. Since the new Student Employment on Campus Policy launched at the end of July, all students have the same working opportunities regardless of their visa status. This will significantly improve equality between the UK and International students, ensuring all students will have an equitable experience.
Another development is the switch to a paperless system. Previously, student workers had to sign off paper forms regarding their work assignments and worked hours. However this year the University has introduced the My Working Hours app – an online portal that can be accessed from desktop and mobile devices. The app provides an easy way to track all work assignments, and submit work hours for approval, before being sent to the Payroll department to be paid to the student worker.
There has also been improvements to pay this year. Newcastle University is now a Real Living Wage employer, so new pay rates have been introduced for student jobs, approved by the University’s Executive Board. Real Living Wage is an hourly rate introduced by the Living Wage Foundation and is calculated by taking into account real costs of living. It is paid voluntarily by employers who believe that their employees deserve fair payment for their hard work. The proposed rate is £9 per hour outside London, regardless of the worker’s age; this is higher than the National Living Wage which is currently £8.21 per hour for people aged 25 years or more. Newcastle University has now adopted the Real Living Wage and so the starting pay level for student roles is £10.09 per hour (including 12.07 % holiday pay) which increases for higher levels of work.
The new policy also ensures that no one can be asked to work, or expected to work, for free anywhere on campus.
Newcastle’s Students Union was involved through the whole process, acting as a voice for student interest when discussing new policies with the University.
Questions about working on campus and registering as a student worker should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.