3.16 General Advice of the Employment of Temporary Staff

3.16.1 It is important to note that temporary staff, even when paid on the basis of claim forms, have the right to join the occupational pension scheme offered by the University to equivalent “regular” employees. If a temporary employee exercises their right to join the pension scheme, this will increase the total cost of employment significantly.

3.16.2 Most temporary engagements will be deemed to be “employment” in law. Many legal protections apply as soon as employment commences, indeed protection can begin before the employment starts. The full range of employment protection does not become available until twelve months continuous service has been completed. Departments should be mindful that it is possible that a continuous series of short-term engagements within the University might together exceed twelve months. Wherever this seems likely to be a possibility, departments should seek advice from Personnel Services.

3.16.3 In the majority of cases, and almost invariably in relation to teaching, the Inland Revenue will regard payments due a temporary worker as being liable for the deduction of tax under PAYE. The individual’s general tax status, including acceptance of self-employed status by the Inland Revenue in relation to other activities, does not affect this position. Normally, the only exceptions to this general principle are where an individual provides their services through a limited company. In these instances, the contract will be “for services” rather than “of service” and payment will be on the submission and authorisation of invoices, provided that HMRC have approved this method.

3.16.4 The Head of Department or nominee must ensure that the necessary checks are carried out within the Department to ensure that the individual to be engaged on a temporary basis has permission to work in the UK before (s)he starts work at the University and that a copy of the necessary evidence is kept in the Department. If checks have been made previously and they proved satisfactory, it is not necessary to repeat these checks again. Guidance is available on the Human Resources web site.

3.16.5 The University provides many services in-house and it is the normal expectation that departments utilise these services rather than seek external suppliers. Temporary employment, particularly that involving students, across the University which may otherwise have been resourced from an outside agency, paid through the fees payroll or through a casual contract should be sourced through Unitemps. If Unitemps confirm that they are unable to provide suitable candidates, for example for specialist professional roles, outside agencies may be used.


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