While I am not an expert on the legal subject, I understand it is legal to work without a contract in the UK (although not very advisable as it is harder to defend your right).
My University was looking for a PhD student to cover a class for which they were missing a teacher. I am a 3rd year PhD student, and the syllabus of the class matched my expertise perfectly. As the slides already exist, it wouldn't take me much time per week, and the proposed salary was very attractive.
The University is always late every year with the TA contract, so I didn't mind much not receiving the contract in the first week of teaching. However, when I asked the person that made me the offer when I would receive it, they told me that I will not receive an offer/contract, and that it was never done for people in my situation.
My first reaction was to believe I was scammed, or the like. However, I assume that if that was the case, I would have (hopefully) heard about such malpractice in the past. I believe the University would uphold their promise to pay me at the end, but it does make me uncomfortable that I would have no "written agreement".
Does anyone have such experience in a UK (specifically Scotland) university? Have you heard or seen it before?
Note: I am not asking a legal opinion (as this is not the correct SE website) but rather, has it been done, and are University usually behaving correctly about this kind of thing if it is indeed common.
- The position is paid, with a "one-off lump sum" given at the end. Not based on hours done
- This is not a TA position. This is a proper teaching position.