In this article you will find information relating to the following, if industrial action were to occur again in the future:
- Exams, assessments, progression and graduation
- General questions
- Teaching and learning
- International students
- Further questions
Information specifically about the marking and assessment boycott that took place earlier in 2023 is available in this article How might industrial action affect my exams, assessments, progression and graduation?
This article was last updated on 13 November 2023.
What are the disputes about?
The national disputes are in relation to pensions, pay and working conditions. King's is one of 150 universities across the UK impacted by the disputes.
What is King's doing about the issues that have contributed to industrial action?
We recognise the important issues which are of concern to our students and staff, and colleagues across the higher education sector, which have contributed to the industrial action. You can read more about what King’s is doing here.
When will industrial action take place?
There are currently no mandates for industrial action in place at King's. If a trade union secures a mandate for industrial action in the future, you will be notified of any planned strike days or periods of action short of a strike (ASOS).
Please read our article How might industrial action affect my exams, assessments, progression and graduation? for more information.
What is industrial action?
Industrial action is the general term for collective legal actions taken by employees of a company or organisation as a protest. It can consist of both strike action and action short of a strike (ASOS).
What is strike action?
Strike action is a form of industrial action where some workers collectively withdraw their labour on specific days.
The trade union will notify the university of strike days at least two weeks in advance. However, individual staff members are not legally required to notify the university of their intention to strike on these defined days.
What is action short of strike (ASOS)?
Action short of a strike (ASOS) is when staff take other action such as limiting some of their work-related activities outside of any strike days. ASOS is determined by the union and can run simultaneously to strike days and continue until the union calls it off.
During industrial action in 2023, ASOS consisted of staff members working their contracted hours and duties and not volunteering to do more, not rescheduling classes and lectures cancelled due to strike action, not covering for absent colleagues, removing uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to lectures or classes that were cancelled because of strike action.
How could industrial action affect me?
In the event of future industrial action, the university would remain open, and we would do everything we could to ensure you continued to have access to the facilities and services on campus including informal study spaces, libraries and computer rooms.
There might be some changes to opening and closing times of some of our buildings and some entrances and exits might not be in use. Signs would be in place to direct you to alternative entrances and exits.
Some of the opening times for libraries might change; this would be shown on the libraries website.
Our student advice, wellbeing and welfare services would continue to be available throughout industrial action.
If I were to feel worried about crossing a picket line, what would I do?
On strike days, you might see a group of people at our campus entrances who are supporting the strike action - this is a picket line. This is a normal activity during strike action and you would still be able to access the building. Our security staff would be on hand to help anyone that would like assistance to enter the building. If you couldn't easily find a member of the security team, you would be able to contact them by calling +44 (0)207 8482222.
How could industrial action affect research?
We wouldn't expect industrial action to have any significant effects on research. In the event of industrial action, please continue with your research, as guided by your supervisor(s).
We would expect related training courses and workshops to continue as normal, so you should attend unless you are advised otherwise by the relevant department or training provider.
If you are a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), please see the staff Q&A.
Would teaching and learning go ahead on strike days?
Some staff might choose to strike but many other staff would be working on these days. In the event of industrial action, you should attend unless your lecturer or department tell you otherwise.
Should I attend supervision of projects and dissertations?
In the event of industrial action, you should continue to attend unless your lecturer or department tell you otherwise.
Should I submit assignments?
Yes, you should continue to submit your assignments to the existing deadline in the event of industrial action. You would be notified if there were any change in the submission arrangements. You would not need to apply for mitigating circumstances if the department adjusted assignment deadlines as a consequence of industrial action.
Would any sessions be cancelled?
In the event of industrial action, there might be instances where sessions would have to be cancelled. If they can, your faculty or department would let you know as soon as possible of any change to your timetabled session. We would ask you to please continue to check your emails and KEATS regularly. However, we would not always be able to inform you of any changes in advance, as staff members would not legally be required to tell the university if they planned to take industrial action.
Important to know:
- If a staff member were to not arrive for the start of a teaching session, you should wait a few minutes to make sure your lecturer is not late before leaving the room.
- If a lecture, tutorial or other planned contact point were cancelled due to industrial action, you should make a note of it.
What would I do if my lecture or class were rescheduled because of strike action?
If your lecture or class were affected by strike action but still took place, you would be expected to attend at the rescheduled time unless you had been given prior permission to be absent in line with normal procedure.
Would I still be able to access campus during industrial action?
Yes, the university would remain open, and we would do everything we could to ensure you continued to have access to the facilities and services on campus including informal study spaces, libraries and computer rooms.
We would support you with your studies and independent learning. Our student advice, wellbeing and welfare services would continue to be available to you throughout industrial action.
I’m a King’s Online student, how might industrial action affect me?
You might still experience some disruption on strike days, including cancellation of live teaching events and facilitated webinars, or reduced moderation in discussion forums. Your Student Success Advisor would remain available throughout the period of industrial action and would continue to be your first point of contact for all matters related to your programme.
How would the industrial action affect my visa in terms of my attendance record?
Your Student visa conditions would not be affected by the industrial action. You should attend as scheduled, and the normal processes for attendance monitoring would apply to undisrupted sessions.
I'm a visiting study abroad/exchange student, how might industrial action affect me?
You might still experience some disruption due to strike action and action short of a strike (ASOS), in the same way as other students. The Global Mobility team would remain available throughout the period of industrial action and would be able to provide additional support and guidance.
Would I still be able to get access to student services?
What additional support would be available for my personal and professional development?
King’s Edge is a programme of extracurricular initiatives and events available to all students, including internships and volunteering opportunities, language courses, community organising and much more. It would continue to be available throughout industrial action.
You would also be able to sign up for a careers appointment on King's CareerConnect and one of our experienced Careers Consultants would help you discover your options, guide your focus, and action your ideas. Appointments would continue to be available in person and online.
You can find out more about our careers offering at King’s and further opportunities available to you on Student news.
Where would I be able to go for support?
We understand that industrial action might cause additional stress and pressure on top of your studies. In the event of industrial action, you might wish to speak to your department or the following services, which would continue to be available:
- Immigration, money and housing advice services
- Faculty Wellbeing Advisors – you can book an appointment with our team of advisors to discuss and support your personal wellbeing.
- Chaplaincy – emotional support and practised listeners for students of all faiths and none.
- Togetherall – 24/7 external and confidential online support and wellbeing service.
- KCLSU Advice – impartial academic advice for students with issues affecting their studies.
If you were struggling with your mental health, you might also wish to seek support from our Counselling & Mental Health Support Service. A range of support would remain available outside King's usual working hours (9.00-17.00, Monday to Friday). For more information, including our King's Counselling Online service, please visit our article on Mental health support during evenings, weekends & vacation periods.
Important to know: The services listed above would not be able to answer questions about the industrial action.
Would I need to submit a Mitigating Circumstances Form for teaching cancelled due to industrial action?
No, it is not expected that you would need to submit a Mitigating Circumstances Form (MCF) due to strike action, as your department would put in place measures to provide mitigation for all students in this situation.
However, there might be very limited exceptional circumstances where you might believe that you have been more severely impacted due to your personal circumstances, and that industrial action has unduly affected your assessments.
In that case, you would contact your department in the first instance, who might be able to provide more information on what steps were taken and would let you know if they thought that you had exceptional circumstances, where an MCF might be appropriate, in which case they would support you to complete it.
Will there be compensation for previous industrial action?
Not all programmes are impacted by industrial action because not all staff take part. This means any potential impact is variable and specific. As a result, the university does not make any general changes to tuition fees due to industrial action.
If you feel that your education has been impacted by industrial action, you have the right to complain through a formal process. Complaints are always considered on their own merits, on a case-by-case basis and outcomes are specific to individual circumstances. This includes consideration of the ways in which mitigation is applied for any teaching that does not take place.
Can I complain about disruption due to industrial action?
Yes, there is a specific process and complaint form for raising a complaint in relation to industrial action. Details are available in the article How can I make a complaint to the university? including timeframes for submitting your complaint.
Important to know: Faculties and departments are unable to deal with any complaints, and these should be directed through the process outlined in the article above.
Who can I send questions to?
If you have any questions or concerns that are not answered here, please contact us by submitting an enquiry through our online enquiry form.
When asked what your enquiry is about, please select ‘industrial action’, to help us get your question to the right team.
You can also contact your faculty or department if you have questions about your programme.