Terms and conditions 2021-22

If the institution or local authority is successfully allocated a language assistant they hereby agree to comply with the following terms and conditions.

1. Language assistants must be employed for a specific period of appointment, which the host institution or local authority will indicate in their application. Further information on periods of appointment is detailed here.

  • The host institution or local authority agrees to pay the language assistant the agreed salary rates per month as set by the Government.
  • For long postings, institutions agree to reimburse the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) of £624 to the allocated language assistant.  This payment should be included in the language assistant’s first salary payment. The only exceptions to this condition are for Irish language assistants and retained French language assistants in 2021-22.
  • For short postings, host institutions and local authorities should be reminded that the maximum stay of language assistants in the UK is limited to a period of 6 months overall due to visa regulations. It is the responsibility of the host institution or local authority to ensure that the assistant’s period of appointment falls within the 6-month period and allow for reasonable time for entering and leaving the UK.

2. The host institution or local authority shall comply with any reasonable requests from the British Council in relation to the processing of paperwork for visa purposes, where applicable, to enable the British Council to fulfil its obligations as a Tier 5 visa sponsor. The British Council will pay the Certificate of Sponsorship fee to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). Host institutions and local authorities are required to assist with the validation of relevant documents. Further guidance on these timeframes and processes will be sent to all host institutions at a later date and will also be updated on our website.

3. The host institution or local authority must issue an Offer Letter to the language assistant as soon as possible after they have been allocated a language assistant, and no later than 10 working days after this date to allow reasonable time for visa processes to take place. This document should be signed by both parties and a template will be emailed to all host institutions or the local authority after allocation.

4. The host institution or local authority must issue a Statement of Employment to the language assistant at least 8 weeks prior to their start date. This document should be signed by both parties and a template will be emailed to host institutions or the local authority after allocation.

5. Once an offer of employment has been made, the host institution or local authority should request a copy of the language assistant’s police certificate from their country of origin (if not already included in the language assistant's dossier) which must be received in the UK prior to the language assistant starting their post.

Police checks are usually dated within 6 months of language assistants starting their post, so host institutions and local authorities should make clear in the British Council application form if they require a more recent certificate in order to give the language assistant time to obtain one before leaving their home country.

It is the responsibility of the host institution or local authority to review the police certificate and check for any positive disclosures. The host institution or local authority should also request a copy of the language assistant’s medical certificate, photographic identification (ID) and references, if these are required and were not provided in the application.

6.Once the language assistant has arrived in the UK,the host institution or local authority agrees to carry out the appropriate enhanced criminal recordcheck for each language assistant within four weeks of their arrival, i.e. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check in England and Wales, Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme in Scotland or Access NI in Northern Ireland.

This is a legal requirement for all host institutions and local authorities in the UK. It is the responsibility of the host institution or local authority to apply for this on behalf of the language assistant. The host institution or local authority is also responsible for reviewing the assistant’s enhanced criminal record check for any positive disclosures.

7. The host institution or local authority agrees to pay the language assistant for the full period of appointment as specified above, regardless of whether their enhanced criminal record check has been received.

8. Language assistants must be employed for a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 18 hours per week unless their placement is terminated due to gross misconduct or breach of contract. If the host institution or local authority wishes to terminate the language assistant’s contract for any reason, they should discuss this with the British Council Language Assistantsteam in advance.

9. In the event that the host institution or local authority withdraws from the programme after a language assistanthas been allocated to them but before the host institution or local authority has issued an Offer Letter, no financial penalty will be incurred by the host institution or local authority.

10. If a host institution or local authority withdraws after the language assistant has received the Offer Letter, the host institution or local authority will be liable to pay any costs incurred by the language assistant in either changing or cancelling their placement, including but not limited to travel, accommodation and visa costs.

11. If the host institution or local authority chooses to terminate the language assistant’s contract for any reason other than gross misconduct or breach of contract after the start of the language assistant’s placement, they agree to pay any costs which the language assistant has incurred up to the point of termination and will incur to return to their country of origin.

12.The host institution or local authority shall inform the British Council immediately via email to Languageassistants.UK@britishcouncil.org of any significant change or urgent matter related to the employment or welfare of the language assistant allocated to them (e.g. absence without leave, accidents, and other emergencies). Duty of care towards the language assistant remains the responsibility of the host institution or local authority.

13.If a sharing arrangement is in place, only the host institution or local authority should pay the salary to the language assistant. The partner institutions should reimburse the main host institution as necessary to avoid tax complications for the language assistant(s).

The host institution or local authority agrees to refer to the guidance and advice in the Modern Language AssistantsBooklet which is updated annually. The Booklet for the 2020-21 programme is available for download at the bottom of this webpage.