Frequently Asked Questions

Created on: 25 Jun 2020 | Last modified: 28 Feb 2022

Q1. If I am employed part-time, do I get a discount on my EIS subscription?

Q2. If I am employed on short term supply am I obliged to accept any work offered?

Q3. If I am employed for more than 2 days of supply, should I be offered a contract?

Q4. Can I be employed for two hours in the morning and one hour in the afternoon?

Q5. Why are there wide discrepancies in pay between authorities (how many hours paid) and between schools in the same authority to EIS members recruited on a short-term supply basis?

Q6. What is the national position on the recruitment and retention of teachers? There has been concern over variations in practices around recruitment in contradiction of SNCT agreements.

Q7. When should I be issued with a fixed term temporary contract? Members are communicating a widespread failure to issue written contracts for long term work and/or instances of keeping staff on short term supply arrangements when work is clearly long term.

Q8. For probationer teachers following the flexible route, can the completion period be extended if this is affected by the COVID pandemic?

Q9. In contractual terms, what constitutes a ‘break in service’?

Q10. Why have I not been given a GLOW password or Council email address? This is making it more difficult to for me to access professional learning and access resources in school. It also means that I cannot access GLOW or CPD opportunities over summer.

Q11. Why are supply staff not being routinely included in or paid for INSET days?

Q12. What is the professional status of supply teachers or those on fixed term contracts? Sometimes I feel like I have been employed simply to provide childcare.

 

Q1. If I am employed part-time, do I get a discount on my EIS subscription?

Yes!  A member employed for 50% or less of the normal working week or a supply or occasional teacher, who may be called upon at any time and at short notice to teach for periods, can pay a Half Subscription.

You can find how much you pay at How much will I pay? (eis.org.uk)

 

Q2. If I am employed on short term supply am I obliged to accept any work offered?

In every short term supply engagement there can be no mutuality of obligation; there is no duty to offer work and no requirement to accept work. Engagement should be on a daily basis.

 

Q3. If I am employed for more than 2 days of supply, should I be offered a contract?

Where it is known at the outset that the requirement for cover is likely to extend beyond 2 days a fixed term temporary contract (in accordance with the SNCT Code of Practice on the Use of Fixed Term Temporary Contracts Appendix 2.8 - SNCT Handbook) and any relevant LNCT Agreements should be issued.

 

Q4. Can I be employed for two hours in the morning and one hour in the afternoon?

If you are employed for less than a complete working day, you should not be employed for more than one discrete block of time in any day. A discrete block of time is a full day or half a day.

 

Q5. Why are there wide discrepancies in pay between authorities (how many hours paid) and between schools in the same authority to EIS members recruited on a short-term supply basis?

There should be no discrepancies in pay between authorities on how pay is calculated and paid. The rate of pay will be the incremental point on the Main Grade Scale for which the teacher qualifies in accordance with paragraphs 1.19 to 1.26 of the SNCT Handbook. Short-term supply teachers are engaged for periods of work of 2 days or fewer.

Pay is calculated on the hourly rate as defined in paragraph 1.8 and applied to the daily hours worked in accordance with Section 2, paragraph 3.3 of the SNCT Handbook. The hourly rate of pay will be calculated on the basis of 1/1645 (1645 hours = 235 days x 7 hours) of the annual rate of salary. 

All those engaged in short-term supply receive a 10% uplift in their pay for preparation and correction time

 

Q6. What is the national position on the recruitment and retention of teachers? There has been concern over variations in practices around recruitment in contradiction of SNCT agreements.

For example, supply teachers being excluded from internal recruitment drives, not converted to permanent or not able to apply for permanent posts or given short hour permanent contracts. 

In some cases, full time probationers who failed interview were offered one-year contracts while supply staff were not able to interview at all.

Recruitment is not an SNCT matter. The SNCT allows certain devolved matters to be negotiated at local level through Local Negotiating Committees for Teachers (LNCTs).

Three of the most important ones are appointment procedures, particulars of employment and transfer of temporary teachers to permanent staff.  Because these matters are determined and agreed locally, any deviation from agreed practice, or any examples of bad practice, have to be resolved locally with the EIS Local Association Secretary in the first instance.

The EIS Local Association Secretary sits on the Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (LNCT) in every authority across Scotland. The LNCT is an essential mechanism that ensures policy is adhered to in each local context. You should contact the LA Secretary for your area and raise these concerns. If you know other colleagues in your area in a similar position, make contact and raise this collectively.

 

Q7. When should I be issued with a fixed term temporary contract? Members are communicating a widespread failure to issue written contracts for long term work and/or instances of keeping staff on short term supply arrangements when work is clearly long term.

Where it is known at the outset that the requirement for cover is likely to extend beyond 2 days, a fixed term temporary contract (in accordance with the SNCT Code of Practice on the Use of Fixed Term Temporary Contracts) and any relevant LNCT Agreements should be issued.

A fixed term temporary contract will have a clear end date which relates to:

  • a specified expiry date;

  • the completion of a specified task;
  • the occurrence of a supervening event;
  • The use of a fixed term temporary appointment may be made in a number of circumstances including the following:
  • maternity leave;
  • parental leave;
  • adoption leave;
  • career break;
  • long term sickness absence;
  • secondment;
  • sabbaticals
  • staffing from time limited funding; and
  • pattern of recurrent work

The EIS would require further information in such instances so they can be considered on a case by case basis. However, as outlined in the answer to question four above, this is a local matter, thus requiring a local solution.

  

Q8. For probationer teachers following the flexible route, can the completion period be extended if this is affected by the COVID pandemic?

Lat year, due to periods of school closure, the GTCS had reduced the number of days that probationer teachers had to complete in order to reach the Standard for Full Registration (SFR). However, this has returned to the normal 190 days for those completing the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) and 270 days for those following the Flexible Route.

Please note that teachers following the Flexible Route have 5 years in which to complete the SFR requirements.

If a probationer feels that exceptional circumstances (such as those related to the pandemic) have prevented their completion of SFR requirements in this time, they can contact GTCS individually with a view to extending.

For further information, please contact the GTCS directly or visit its website

 

Q9. In contractual terms, what constitutes a ‘break in service’?

A week’s qualifying service comprises any week, regardless of the number of hours worked, in which an employee is employed by a council. This includes periods of annual leave, public holidays, sickness absence, maternity leave or other special leave. Continuity of qualifying service is deemed to be broken where a break exceeds two weeks.

Unless you are on the permanent supply contract with a Local Authority, each period of short-term supply, or each short-term contract you finish working, will mark an end to your contractual rights and responsibilities, thus if there is more than a two week break between your short-term contracts this will be deemed a break in service – such is the nature of this type of employment. 

However, an NQT will have until 1 November of the year following their entry to the Induction Scheme to secure a first teaching appointment, without having to requalify for sickness allowance.

 

Q10. Why have I not been given a GLOW password or Council email address? This is making it more difficult to for me to access professional learning and access resources in school. It also means that I cannot access GLOW or CPD opportunities over summer.

This matter must be raised locally as access to Glow accounts and Council intranets and email systems vary across the 32 Councils. Speak to your EIS Rep, if you are based within a school, or raise with the Local Association Secretary for the Authority you are working in.   

 

Q11. Why are supply staff not being routinely included in or paid for INSET days?

This matter should also be raised locally as procedures will vary across the 32 Councils. However, as a rule, supply staff or staff on fixed term or temporary contracts should not be routinely excluded from staff development, INSET days or CLPL opportunities owing solely to their contractual status with their employer. 

Raise this in the first instance with the school rep, who will support you in advocating participation in INSET days with the Head Teacher or Senior Leadership Team in the school.

  

Q12. What is the professional status of supply teachers or those on fixed term contracts? Sometimes I feel like I have been employed simply to provide childcare.

The SNCT recognises that Councils may need a teacher to work other than on a permanent basis. It is for these reasons that the SNCT has produced a Code of Practice on the use of fixed term temporary contract (Appendix 2.8 of the SNCT Handbook) and a Code of Practice on the Engagement of Short Term Supply Teachers (Appendix 2.8A of the SNCT Handbook).

The purpose of both these Codes of Practice is to enhance the principles of a professional service by helping Councils to manage their staffing requirements in a co-ordinated and structured way.  Any deviations from these Codes of Practice should be reported, in the first instance, to the EIS LA Secretary.