Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): college lecturers one-off £400 payment

Published: 15 Sep 2021

Guidance for colleges and lecturers involved in supporting the delivery of National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses in academic year 2020 to 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): college lecturers one-off £400 payment
Application and payment

Application and payment

How to apply

Colleges should complete the attached return form, providing details on the number of eligible lecturers.

Regional Strategic Bodies (RSBs) should return one form for the colleges within their region.  

Completed forms should be submitted to: - by 30 September 2021

When making a decision, we may ask for some more information and additional supporting evidence to validate your claim.

What happens next

Once we have approved an application, we will issue an offer of grant letter to each college or RSB by 8 October 2021. 

You should return your grant acceptance letter to us by 18 October 2021. Once we have received this, we will make the payment as soon as possible.

Telling your staff - employers should contact staff members as soon as possible to provide them with information about the payment. We have produced a standard set of words which we recommend you use. 


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. Employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) on the payment will be paid and 13.8% will be added to each payment to account for this. 

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

Payments should be made to staff through normal payroll to ensure income tax and national insurance are correct, and to and to make sure the DWP or Social Security Scotland is notified. 

Employers should make sure that it is satisfied that the claims being made by its employees are true and in line with governance arrangements for establishing the veracity of such claims. This may mean asking the employee to provide evidence to support audits and other checks.  

If staff members are receiving benefits

Staff who have concerns about the potential impact of the payment on their benefits are advised to seek advice, for example from the Department of Work and Pensions, Social Security Scotland or Citizens Advice Scotland.  

Employers are encouraged to work with these staff to consider options, for example taking the payment in instalments up to 3 months, in order to minimise the impact on benefits.  

We may ask you for the total numbers who have told you of concerns will discuss with you potential alternative approaches to the payment.

Payment calculations 

The payment is capped at £400 per person.

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 a judgement on the part of the Principal/Vice Principal of Curriculum/Director of HR/Director of Finance.

The notes set out under the 'Definitions' in the eligibility section may help.

Recovery of payment due to fraud or error

We may change, withhold or require immediate repayment or any part of it the payment if fraud is detected or if there is an error.   

The Scottish Government and employers must make all reasonable effort to ensure that all eligible staff receive the payment as quickly as possible, subject to returns being received timeously. Those completing the claim form should ensure that all the information they provide is true and accurate and this should be checked by the employer.