Policies & Contracts

203 - Temporary Employment

Subject: Temporary and Seasonal Employment

Section: U203

Date: July 2017


Term Definition
HR Partner Unit or divisional liaison who serves as the representative in all human resource activities; includes processing HR staff transactions in multiple systems (i.e. Workday and UChicago Jobs).
 University HR The central human resources body for the university made up of Centers for

Expertise (COE).
 HR-Talent Acquisition The COE responsible for oversight of the university's staff talent acquisition policy and processes.
 Hiring Unit Campus unit to which a new or vacant position reports.
 Hiring Manager The individual requesting the new or vacant position be filled. Generally, the position being filled will report to the hiring manager.
 Temporary Position A position that is expected to continue for less than twelve months.
 Seasonal Position A position that is for a temporary need that is defined by the time of year and service is not continuous.
 Temporary Pool Administrator Role in University HR responsible for administering the University's temporary pool. Includes recruiting, hiring and coordinating ERISA hours for positions in the temporary pool (limited to job profile 4000-00).
 HR Operations Role in University HR responsible for the evaluation process in Workday of the temporary assignment. Includes the tracking of ERISA hours limit, termination reason (if applicable) and assignment limit for positions in the temporary pool (excluding job profile 4000-00).


Employment of temporary and seasonal positions is the mutual responsibility of the hiring unit in which the positions exist and University Human Resources (HR).  University HR provides temporary employees via the temporary pool as well as expertise in organizational and position design, position-related qualifications, and compensation.  The table below describes the roles and responsibilities of each group for temporary and seasonal employment.

Hiring Unit University HR
  • Understand the definitions of temporary and seasonal employment and ensure the needs of the unit match these definitions
  • Clearly define the position and the unit needs that this position will meet
  • Submit the Temporary Employment Form to HR if utilizing the University temporary pool
  • If hiring a temporary employee directly, follow the appropriate posting and hiring process in Workday
  • Follow the appropriate process for posting a permanent position if that is the desired next step after temporary time has been exhausted
  • Complete all interviewing, testing, reference checking, and the hiring process for Temporary Pool Request Forms submitted (Temporary Pool Administrator)
  • Provide guidance on inquiries related to temporary employees (HR-Operations) and temporary or permanent job postings (HR-Talent Acquisition)
  • HR-Talent Acquisition does not provide guidance on Temporary Employees outside of job profile 4000-00



A job is considered temporary if the position is expected to continue for less than twelve months.

A job is considered seasonal if the position is for a temporary need that is defined by the time of year and service is not continuous.

A temporary or seasonal employee, excluding University of Chicago students, cannot work for the University for more than 1,000 hours within a year from the anniversary of their initial date of hire.  Once a temporary employee has reached the designated time limit specific to the job profile, or the 1,000 hour limit, whichever comes sooner, the employee must be terminated and remain off payroll for twelve months. Seasonal employees may not be required to take a full twelve month break, however the 1,000 hour limit still applies.

Temporary and seasonal employees are ineligible for paid time-off (e.g., holidays, personal holidays, or vacation) except for sick leave in accordance with Policy 512, and are ineligible for participation in the University's benefit plans.

All temporary employees need to have cleared a background check. Please refer to Policy 204-Reference and Background Checks for additional details.


If the duration of assignment is expected to continue for less than twelve months and less than 1,000 hours, a hiring manager may hire a temporary employee through one or more of the following options:

A. Through the Temporary Pool Administrator:

Email the Temporary Pool Request Form to Temporary Pool Administrator who will select and place a qualified temporary employee into a temporary position. The Temporary Pool Administrator will complete all interviewing, testing, reference checking, and the hire process. There is an additional 25% administrative charge to departments in addition to the hourly wage and fringe rate. This covers the sourcing, hiring and testing costs for Temporary Pool employees. Units hiring a temporary pool employee will need to pay any required associated fees required to obtain a Campus Card.

B.  Hiring a temporary employee directly

If recruitment assistance is needed, the HRP and/or hiring manager may request a position to be posted by HR-Talent Acquisition on the online employment site. The HR Partner and/or hiring manager should conduct a search for a temporary employee using the same procedure as stated in policy 202 Talent Acquisition.

Hire a temporary employee directly by following the appropriate process in Workday to create a position and either hire or transfer the employee in the supervisory organization in which they will work. The temporary assignment will be evaluated by HR-Operations. Approval of temporary assignment will be based on 1,000 hour limit status, termination reason (if previously terminated) and assignment limit.

C.  A temporary employee’s assignment ends and the hiring manager wants to fill the position permanently:

If, prior to expiration of a temporary employee’s assignment, unit wishes to fill the assignment permanently, the unit must follow the procedure as stated in policy 202 Talent Acquisition to fill a regular, benefits-eligible position. This includes advertising the open position for at least seven calendar days through UChicago Jobs.

The pay rate of a temporary employee may change upon being transferred or promoted into a regular benefits-eligible position. The job profile, department budget, the level of the position, internal equity, provisions in collective bargaining agreements, and the applicant's credentials (e.g., certifications test scores, relevant experiences) will determine the appropriate pay. 

If a temporary employee is hired into a regular benefits-eligible position, the service for ERIP enrollment eligibility purposes only, will be bridged to the date the temporary assignment began provided there has not been more than five years between the end date of the temporary assignment and the start of the benefits-eligible position.

Employees represented by a union may be governed by the appropriate bargaining unit agreement.