Employment policies for our staff

All our employees have a contract of employment. The purpose of the contract is to set out the terms and conditions of their employment, including employee rights and responsibilities.

HR policy informs UKRI terms and conditions of employment. UKRI has agreed a revised HR policy framework with the trades unions, based on legacy research council harmonised HR policy, and including local HR policies.

We harmonised HR policies in January 2014 to ensure that employees across the research councils shared a common HR policy framework. This applied to AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, NERC and STFC. MRC Head Office joined in April 2016. Research England migrated onto the harmonised HR policy framework in April 2019 and Innovate UK joined in September 2019.

Here are our 2020 HR policies:

Notice of revisions to HR policies

These notifications describe revised HR policy, which legacy HR policies have been incorporated and which local policies remain, pending continuing review. Associated policies are also listed, typically information systems, health and safety, pay and reward and governance:

In developing revised policies, we focused on:

  • delegation of decision-making should be to line managers, and the revised HR delegation framework allows for this while recognising differences in structure across UKRI
  • harmonising policy across UKRI while ensuring that there is no detriment to existing employees. Harmonisation across nine research councils presents challenges so a working group representative of HR and trades union colleagues and line managers worked through each policy to ensure that both UKRI and its employees’ interests were considered and protected while ensuring compliance. We are using the same approach and structure to manage the HR policy framework in the future
  • reviewing local policy and incorporating these into UKRI policy where possible. There will continue to be a limited amount of local or research council-specific policy and guidance, either because this is specific to a site or function or because there is a legacy requirement to do so. The revised policy framework has fewer policies with the bulk of local policies integrated into UKRI HR policy.

We also issue other policies that are applicable to employees which employees must have access to, including but not limited to governance, finance, health and safety, and information systems:

Right to work in the UK

Guidance and check if you have the right to live and work in the UK

Further information

We will publish HR policies for UKRI employees only on this page. This is to ensure that our policies are up-to-date at all times. Local news pages will link through to this site. Only research council-specific HR policies will be published on research council websites, and only if these policies are specific to the site or where any legacy arrangements are still in place.

If you are a UKRI employee and have any queries relating to HR policy, contact UKSBS on 01793 867 000 or your local HR team.

Last updated: 28 June 2024

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