£400 payment for Teachers

On 8 December 2020, in acknowledgement of the additional workload of national qualifications assessment in the absence of 2021 exams, John Swinney, the former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, announced an exceptional one-off payment for teachers and lecturers to support delivery of the Alternative Certification Model (ACM) that is replacing National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher exams in
session 2020/21.

This is a one-off exceptional payment in recognition of the additional workload for teachers and lecturers who will have supported the delivery of the ACM in the unique circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The People and OD service are working with Education and Families to confirm details of all eligible staff in line with the criteria set out by the Scottish Government. Following this, all eligible staff will receive an individual email confirming their eligibility and next steps.


The one-off payment should be paid to teachers who have supported the delivery of one or more of the following functions: assessing, marking or quality assuring National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher courses in academic session 2020/2021, and who were employed between 1 January 2021 and 25 June 2021 for the initial window and, where relevant, between the start of the new school year in August and 3 September 2021; these are the qualifying periods.

Payment should be made to those who contributed as above and includes:

  • Those who work full-time or part-time and are subject to a permanent or
  • temporary contract are eligible.
  • Those who were shielding; on sick leave; on maternity, paternity, adoption leave; or furloughed are not precluded from qualifying for this payment if they have had a role in supporting the delivery of the ACM.
  • Those who have since left or retired are also eligible.

Payment Calculations

The payment is capped at £400 per person and will not exceed this amount.
For eligible staff, the payment will be based on average contracted hours and reflect the degree to which the employee’s individual work has supported the delivery of the ACM. This will require judgement on the part of the Head Teacher.

The notes below set out guidance on how to arrive at this

  • Any member of staff who worked full time hours as defined by their employer and is eligible based on the criteria above should be counted as 1 FTE and receive £400, subject to the paragraph on multiple employers below.
  • The calculation for part-time staff is based on a judgement taking into consideration their average contracted hours worked over the qualifying period as a percentage of a full time week and the degree to which delivering the ACM has had a disproportionate effect on their workload in comparison to the average additional workload of their full-time colleagues. Where this is the case, headteachers have the flexibility to consider any payment above the pro rata equivalent based on their contracted hours, up to a maximum of £400.
  • The rationale behind this approach is set out in the Equality Impact Assessment, but seeks to provide greater equality of approach in recognising all those teachers who have supported delivery of the ACM, being mindful of the individual teacher variations in terms of workload. There is headteacher discretion to enable them to avoid the potential disparities at a local level in terms of proportion of work associated with delivering the ACM for part-time workers, in comparison with their full-time colleagues, which can be reflected in the payment claimed

Payment dates

It is our intention to pay this payment to all current eligible staff on the below payroll dates:

0410 Monthly Teachers                              23rd September 2021

0411 Monthly Temporary Teachers          8th October 2021

Multiple Employers

If you work for more than 1 employer, you should notify one of
your employers and ask for their payment to be reduced or disregarded from that employer. Your maximum payment will be £400 in total.


Staff who have since left or retired but who were employed between 1
January 2021 and 25 June 2021 are eligible – they would be expected to
contact their former employer with any queries directly.

If a member of staff has been summarily dismissed (instant dismissal for
gross misconduct) they are not eligible to receive the payment and should not be included in payment numbers submitted. If a dismissed employee has their dismissal overturned or found to be unfair they will be eligible to receive the payment.

Tax and Benefits

These payments made to staff are regarded as earnings and will be liable for tax, national insurance contributions, student loan repayments, and tax
credits, where appropriate.

The payment is considered as “non-consolidated”. Therefore it is not
pensionable and does not create a new baseline for future pay calculations.

13.8% will be added to each payment for employer National Insurance
contributions (NICs).

Anyone in receipt of benefits should seek advice.

Complaints process

The payment is being paid in recognition of the specific additional burden
associated with delivering the ACM and is being paid by NLC on
behalf of the Scottish Government.

The payments are made in accordance with the eligibility criteria set by the Scottish Government. If you are unhappy with the initial determination on the payment, NLC will be able to provide the grounds on which the payment has been determined, including the relevant aspects of this guidance. The full complaints process will be included in the letter you receive from NLC noting you are eligible for payment.

More information on this can be found in the Frequetly Asked Questions section.

Updated on 6th August 2021

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