Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for employers on one-off £400 payment for teachers

Published: 22 Jun 2021

Guidance for employers on the one-off exceptional £400 payment for teachers. Those eligible are teachers who are supporting the delivery of the Alternative Certification Model for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications in 2020/2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for employers on one-off £400 payment for teachers


The payment is for teachers employed in:

  • education authority schools
  • independent schools
  • grant-aided school

who have supported the delivery of assessing, marking or quality assuring National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher courses in academic session 2020/2021.

To be eligible, you need to have been: 

  • employed between 1 January 2021 and 25 June 2021 for the initial window 
  • employed between the start of the new school year in August and 3 September 2021 (where applicable)

 You are eligible if you are of have been: 

  • employed full time
  • employed part time
  • a permanent member of staff
  • a temporary member of staff
  • if you have since left the institution
  • if you have retired

You may still be eligible if you were/are: 

  • shielding
  • on sick leave
  • on maternity or paternity leave
  • adoption leave
  • furloughed

as long as you had a role in supporting the delivery of the ACM.  


Full-time staff definition

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. 

Part-time staff definition

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.

Example of how a payment may work 

For example, in the case of an individual teacher working 0.5 FTE, a pro rata payment would be £200. However, in instances where an individual teacher has been required to spend a greater proportion of their time supporting delivery of the ACM when compared to the average full-time teacher, the Scottish Government will accept a request for a higher level of payment up to the full amount 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.

If a staff member has more than one employer 

If a staff member has more than one employer they are still only eligible for one payment of up to £400. It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure the their employees know this.  

If an employer is applying on behalf of a staff member and that staff member has more than one employer, it is the staff member’s responsibility to advise their other employers to reduce or disregard their application for payment.

We may carry out a cross-check once returns have been received. The employer should make sure their staff member has done this. If the staff member hasn’t, the employer should advise that they must do so and check it is done. 

If a staff member has left or retired

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.

Summarily dismissal

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 staff member has their dismissal overturned or the dismissal is found to be unfair they will be eligible.