An extra Pounds 11 million is to be made available by the Further Education Funding Council to meet the costs of changes in employment rights of part-time staff.
A European court ruling last year gave part-time employees on long-term contracts equality with full-timers on pensions, maternity leave, holidays and other conditions of service.
The ruling sparked renewed interest among colleges in agencies such as Education Lecturing Services (ELS) through which many hope to recruit part-timers, often on short-term contracts which are not affected by the rule change. But colleges are still left with the bill for existing staff.
The FEFC will consult colleges on how to distribute the Pounds 11 million without a heavy burden of administrative costs. But principals doubt the cash will be enough to meet the bill. The council says it wants more precise information from all colleges on the costs.