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Departments employ temporary staff due to vacancies in permanent positions or for non-permanent supplementary staffing. Departments have three ways to hire temporary employees at the University:

  • Through UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University’s joint University Temporary Services (UTS) service
  • Through an outside temporary employment agency
  • By hiring temporary staff directly onto the department’s payroll (Direct Hire Temporary)

This policy applies only to temporary SHRA employees hired directly onto department payrolls.

  • For information on EHRA Non-Faculty temporary employees, contact the EHRA Non-Faculty HR unit.
  • For information on part-time or adjunct faculty, contact the Academic Personnel Office.
  • For information on Federal Work-Study student employees, contact the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.
Regular Temporary Appointment

A “regular temporary” SHRA appointment is an employment status of limited duration, normally not to exceed three to six months. Initial temporary appointments will be for no more than 6 months and may be extended for up to an additional 6 months on request; but in no case shall the temporary employment period exceed 12 consecutive months. When a temporary employee has worked for 12 consecutive months at the University, the employee’s appointment must be terminated without exception. The employee cannot be hired into another temporary appointment of any kind with the University for at least 31 calendar days.

Because the University as a whole is considered one employer, a 31 -day break in service must be from the University, not just from one department. Likewise, individuals on this mandated break may not be re -employed by the University through an outside temporary agency or through any other third-party entity. Any variance from this requirement will result in the employee being required to take an additional 31-day mandated break in service.

Notice should be given to the temporary employee by the department when a 31-day break becomes necessary by using the Notice to Temporary Employees of 31-day Break form. The last entry on duty date is used for purposes of calculating duration of employment, regardless of type or combination of temporary appointments. A new temporary employment period will commence if the individual returns to work as a regular or intermittent temporary employee following the 31-day break in service.

If you anticipate that your need for temporary staffing will possibly last beyond 12 months, contact your Classification and Compensation Consultant in the Office of Human Resources to discuss options for establishing a time-limited, part-time, or full-time permanent position with applicable benefits or other appropriate options.

In addition, if your department’s business needs require the services of a replacement temporary employee during the 31-day break in service, please consider contacting University Temporary Services (UTS) at 843-9454 for assistance.

Intermittent Temporary Appointment

An “intermittent temporary” SHRA appointment may be made to positions needed only for occasional periods of time. This type of appointment shall not exceed a total of 1,500 hours during any continuous 12-month period. If an intermittent temporary exceeds this hour limitation, the employee must be designated as a regular temporary employee and is immediately subject to the 31-day break in service rule.

Notice should be given to the temporary employee by the department when a 31-day break becomes necessary by using the Notice to Intermittent Temporary Employees of 31-day Break form. The last entry on duty date is used for purposes of calculating duration of employment, regardless of type or combination of temporary appointments. A new temporary employment period will commence if the individual returns to work as a regular or intermittent temporary employee following the 31-day break in service.

State of North Carolina Retiree Temporary Appointment

A “retiree temporary” SHRA appointment is an employment status for individuals who are drawing a retirement income and/or social security benefits. State policy allows retirees in temporary appointments to work beyond 12 consecutive months so long as the employee certifies on the Conditions of Employment that he/she is not available for or seeking permanent work and has benefits through his/her retirement plan or Social Security.

Employees who retire from the State of North Carolina and receive a pension through the State are limited in the salary amount they can continue to receive as a temporary employee for the State. State retirees should contact Benefits Services in the Office of Human Resources for additional information on income limits.

A “retiree temporary” who is hired at a FTE of 75% or greater is no longer eligible for the retiree health coverage and must be placed on the active group plan at the department’s expense. A department is strongly encouraged to limit the hours worked by a “retiree temporary” to less than 30 per week.

See “Exclusions for Student Employees” below for additional information relevant to student employment status.

Consistent with federal and State law and University policy, the University does not practice or condone age discrimination. Even so, there are certain circumstances under which age limitations may lawfully apply for employees (including temporary employees), such as:

  • Persons must be at least 16 years of age in order to be considered for temporary employment.
  • Law enforcement officers must be at least 21 years of age, as required by State law.

Importantly, there is no maximum age for employment.

For employees under the age of 18, the specific duties to be performed must comply with the Child Labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employees under age 18 may not work more than nine hours per day, 4 8 hours per week, or six consecutive days per week; nor may they work before 6:00 a.m. or after 12:00 midnight.

Additionally, employees under age 18 may not work in occupations declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor. Of particular interest to all departments are the “Hazardous Orders” prohibiting the employment of minors 16 and 17 years of age in such activities as:

  • truck driving (operator or helper);
  • roofing operations;
  • operating any hazardous equipment or machinery; or
  • handling, storing, or being exposed to radioactive substances or ionizing radiation.

Violations may result in penalties or fines from the Federal and/or State Department of Labor.

The following provisions of this policy are not applicable to temporary SHRA employees designated with a student status, as described below:

Appointment Length: Student employees are not limited to a 12-month appointment and can retain student employee status for the duration of their academic program. Student temporary employees must be placed in one of the following appointment types:

  • A “UNC-CH Student Assistant” SHRA appointment is an employment status for individuals who are currently enrolled as a student at UNC-CH. Students in this appointment type are not subject to the 12 consecutive month maximum employment limit.  If a UNC student graduates or does not re–enroll in the Fall and the department wishes to continue his/her employment, the temporary “Student Assistant” assignment must be terminated, and he/she must be hired as a regular or intermittent temporary employee and regular background check requirements will apply.
  • An “Other Student Assistant” SHRA appointment is an employment status for individuals who are currently actively enrolled as a high school student, community college student, or student at a college or university other than UNC-CH. Students in this appointment type are not subject to the 12 consecutive month maximum employment limit.  However, it is expected that the hiring department will obtain confirmation from the student assistant that he/she is currently enrolled, and that this certification will be re-checked every six (6) months using the Other Student Assistant Enrollment Status form.  Upon completion this form is to be maintained in the hiring department’s files.

Minimum Wage: The minimum hourly rate of pay for student employees is $7.25 per hour (the Federal minimum wage rate for all workers as established by the Federal Department of Labor).

Background Check: Please refer to the Background Check Policy for more information.

For policies applicable to Federal Work-Study student employees, contact the Office of Scholarships & Student Aid.