Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Guidance on issues relating to the Burgundy Book

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Qualifying service under the Burgundy Book

The statutory basis for teachers' pay and conditions is the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD). However, in schools where the local authority is the employer, the Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (or Burgundy Book) agreement also applies and offers a number of benefits for which there are various qualifying periods of service. These conditions of employment transfer where a school becomes foundation or voluntary-aided.

However, the qualifying period is only for service in schools where the local authority is the employer. So a teacher transferring from a school where the employer is not the local authority (either independent, including academies, or foundation or voluntary aided) may not count their service under that employer for Burgundy Book purposes.

Schools may choose to count these other years of service but members would be well advised to check if they are moving from one category or sector to another or employing a teacher from another category or sector, to ensure that all parties are quite clear about their duties and entitlement.

If previous service in a school where the LA is not the employer is to be counted, a school should check with the LA's human resource department before promising this to the candidate.

Industrial injury

Members will be familiar with the idea that an employer may be sued by an employee who suffers injury as a result of the employer's negligence.

However, it is not so well known that the Burgundy Book makes allowance for sick pay for accident, injury or assault that has arisen out of, and in the course of, a teacher's employment, without any need to prove liability on the part of the employer. This is an additional benefit to the national sick pay and Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit.

This means that if a teacher on Burgundy Book conditions is injured s/he can claim six months' statutory sick pay and is then entitled to further payments on the Burgundy Book scheme.

An interesting case has recently been heard in Wales where a tribunal ruled that the feedback from an Estyn inspection has been held to have caused industrial injury, in this case a mental breakdown. There was no need to prove that the inspector had been negligent. The fact that the incident occurred in the course of employment was enough.

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