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Occasional Worker Process

Revised Occasional Worker process for 2017/18


On occasions there is a need to engage individuals who are neither properly set up as self-employed, nor doing work of an employment nature that requires an employment contract. These will be individuals who undertake specialist work of a one-off nature that is not related to teaching, research, or support for teaching and research.  Occasional workers will not have a written employment contract with the University and, therefore, there is no requirement for HR to carry out  Disclosure or Barring Service (DBS) checks.  Right to Work checks must  be undertaken,  before the work commences – see starting point in engaging an occasional worker will be to speak to your HR Advisor.


The categories of engagement for which the occasional worker route is available are as follows:

Guest Lecturers

Technical Support

Web Designers

External members of Interview Panels


Workers involved in testing of materials

Research Participants (unless employees)


Instrumental and music tutors – providing services which are additional to the core curriculum


REF Assessors


External examiners (engagements of one year or less)

Keynote Speakers

Actors / Role players

Service Users


This is a definitive list; all other workers must be engaged using a formal employment contract (via HR), or a contract for service in cases where the individual can evidence that they are properly set up as self-employed (see below).


Occasional workers will be paid via the payroll system after deductions for Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) where appropriate. Individuals should be asked to complete the Fin1C form, with the individuals verified Right to Work documentation and, after approval by the budget holder, this should then be sent to the Faculty Service Centre for processing.  Once processed, payment will be made at the end of the calendar month. 


In very specific circumstances, when an individual is not undertaking work of an employment nature, is properly set up as self-employed (registered as such with HMRC), and is able to demonstrate this to the satisfaction of the University, it may be possible to issue a contract for service and pay the individual without deductions of tax and NICs. Such contracts are drawn up by the Legal Team. Contact for more information. Please note, though, that the University is legally obliged to deduct appropriate tax and National Insurance contributions from payments to individuals who undertake work of an employment nature through an intermediary e.g. a personal service company.


You should note that if the engagement of the occasional worker involves the creation of new intellectual property (‘IP’) you should consider using a simple document to deal with those IP rights. Please flag this when discussing with your HR adviser.  The Legal Team will be able to provide you with a standard IP letter.

Please note:

Individuals, such as sessional lecturers delivering core curriculum, along with casual staff, are deemed to be undertaking work of an employment nature and, therefore, must still be engaged using one of the formal employment contracts (e.g. TRSN, casual contracts) even if they can show they are genuinely self-employed.


Please visit the below link and download the Occasional Worker Process 2017/18 for a comprehensive guide on how, why and when to engage someone under the Occasional Worker process.

Article last updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017

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