Temporary Employment

Applies to: Units employing non-bargained-for, non- instructional staff
  1. Policy

    To meet short-term or sporadic staffing needs (i.e. those anticipated to last less than 12 months), units may employ staff on a temporary basis. Temporary appointments are not intended to meet ongoing staffing needs, which should be addressed using the Regular appointment process. Temporary appointments will vary in their duration and may be ended at any time, for any reason.

  2. Regulations and Definitions

    There are three categories of temporary employment:

    1. University of Michigan Student Employees

    2. Student Employees From Other Educational Institutions

      The employment of University of Michigan Student Employees and Student Employees from other institutions is described in SPG 201.24 “Employment of Students”

    3. Temporary Employee (Non-Student)

      1. A non-student temporary employee is an employee whose employment is:
        1. in a specific position not limited in duration but is sporadic or casual (normally 8 hours or less per week), or
        2. fixed at the time of employment for:
          1. a specific project, or
          2. relief for regular employee absences including vacations or termination, or
          3. augmenting regular staff occasioned by increased workloads or other conditions that may create a short term need.
      2. Temporary employment may be either part time or full time, but in either case, appointment in a specific position is not to exceed 12 months. A unit may request one six-month extension from the appropriate Human Resources Office.
      3. A temporary appointment may not be made for the purpose of a trial period for an individual being considered for a regular appointment or as a “probationary period” preceding regular employment.
    4. Employing departments may consult with the appropriate Human Resources Office for guidance with respect to the appropriate classification and pay rate of temporary employees. At the Flint and Dearborn campuses, the classification and pay rate for both student and non-student temporary employees must be approved by the respective Human Resources Office.
    5. Temporary employees may contribute to the 403(b) supplemental retirement account. Temporary employees are not eligible for other University fringe benefit programs with the exception of travel accident insurance.
    6. Some temporary employees may be eligible for health care benefits.  More information may be found at the U-M Benefits website.
    7. All non-exempt temporary employees, regardless of classification title, will be paid overtime compensation at one and one-half times the rate for time worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a calendar week. Note: If an individual, already employed by the University in another (non-exempt) position, receives additional compensation through a temporary appointment, this secondary appointment may require the payment of overtime at one and one-half times the regular rate.
    8. The employing unit is responsible for monitoring the duration and nature of non-student temporary employment to assure correct employment status. If a non-student temporary employee has performed the same duties in the same department in excess of 12 months (or 18 by prior arrangement as discussed above in I C 2) and his or her employment has not been casual or sporadic, the employing unit should contact the appropriate Human Resources Office in order to determine the individual’s proper employment status.

The revision effective JANUARY 1, 2016, makes eligible for health benefits some temporary employees. See the U-M Benefits website for more information.

The revision effective SEPTEMBER 26, 2017, clarifies that temporary appointments are for a maximum twelve-month period, and that one extension of six months may be requested from the appropriate Human Resources Office (II.C.2)

March 7, 2023, no changes

SPG Number
Date Issued
Last Updated
Next Review Date
Applies To
Units employing non-bargained-for, non- instructional staff
University Human Resources
Primary Contact
Staff HR Services