From 1 August 2015  -  some important changes to the processes and paperwork for casual work engagement

This page will shortly be updated to reflect the changes.

Guidance Notes on Appointing & Paying Casual Workers

The information and guidelines which follow are to assist Schools/Departments in operating the procedures for the appointment of Casual Workers and the associated payment procedures. Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure that they are as comprehensive as possible, situations may arise which are not covered. In these circumstances, please contact your HR Advisor. 

If you are unsure of how to carry out a 'right to work' check or need more information on the documents needed, please contact HR on ext. 4584 before submitting your form.   Incomplete forms will be returned to the Schools/Department to ensure the processing and payment of complete forms is not compromised.

Please read the Guidelines carefully and/or download a copy using the link below.


CW1  Notification of the Engagement of a Casual Worker 
Guidance Notes for completing CW1
CW2  Casual Payment Input Form (monthly paid)
Guidance Notes for completing CW2
CW3  Notification of the Engagement of a Casual Worker with Additional Appointments 
(simplifed version of Form CW1)
P45 Request for P45 PDF DOC 
P46 Form to be used if you do not have a P45 PDF  


Vidcasts on the Nature of Employment:

Nature of Employment - Introduction
  • Jane Tyrrell, Assistant Director of HR, talks about contracts of service and contracts for service, and why they are so important
  • Vidcast Script - Introduction
Nature of Employment - Accruing Employment Rights
Nature of Employment - Why Does This Matter ?

1.       Introduction

The information and guidelines which follow are to assist Schools/Departments in operating the procedures for the appointment of Casual Workers, which includes hourly paid lecturers and postgraduate demonstrators, and the associated payment procedures. If you have any queries, please contact your HR Advisor.

2.       Appointments

It is the responsibility of Executive Deans/Heads of Department to ensure that the individuals who are appointed as Casual Workers are suitably qualified for the duties involved.

For Casual Workers, no “mutuality of obligation” should be established in relation to the work they are asked to do (no mutuality of obligation exists if, after the initial offer, the University is not obliged to offer further work and the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered).  This will ensure that no employment relationship exists between the University and the worker.  However, where a worker regularly works for the University on new or “rolling contracts”, an employment relationship can become established. No appointment letters should be issued without prior consultation with Human Resources.

Full-time casual workers

The maximum period of engagement of a full-time casual worker is 12 weeks. If it is anticipated that the engagement will be longer from the outset, or if there is a decision to extend beyond 12 weeks, then the post must go through the standard recruitment authorisation process and the post must be advertised. Please discuss this, and the potential for an alternative type of contract, with your HR Advisor.

Part-time casual workers

Where casual workers are engaged for part-time hours, the maximum possible period of engagement is the period of time it would take them to have worked the equivalent of 12 weeks full time work (i.e. 438 hours), or 12 months, whichever is the shorter. Please see the notes for completion of Form CW1 (Engagement of Casual Workers) to see how to calculate this for part-time workers.  In practice, the actual period required for the work to be done may be much shorter than the maximum period allowed, and the shortest realistic period for the engagement should always be selected.  

No casual worker, whether full time or part-time can work for more than 12 consecutive weeks. So, even when the period of engagement for a part-time worker is in excess of this, there must always be a break, of at least 7 days in which they do no work and no payment is made, at least every twelve weeks. See the notes accompanying Form CW1 for examples.  

Form CW1 should be completed for the engagement of Casual Workers, and form CW3 for re-engagement at the University. There are guidance notes on the CW3 form to help with its completion and authorisation.

3.       ‘Right to Work’ Checks

These MUST take place before any work is undertaken as it is now not only a civil offence to knowingly employ a person aged 16 or over who has no permission to work in the United Kingdom, or who works in breach of their conditions of stay in the United Kingdom, but it is also a criminal offence to do so knowingly and any breaches could jeopardise our Tier 2, 4 and 5 licences.

Please note: We will not be able to pay anyone where we have not completed the Right to Work check BEFORE they start work.  This is not only so that we adhere to these UKBA requirements, but also because of the Real Time Information data that has now to be returned to HMRC, and because of the pension auto-enrolment requirements

In order to avoid liability with UKBA, we need to be able to demonstrate that for all casual workers certain prescribed documents were checked and copies retained, before the employee commenced work.  Casual workers with only limited leave to remain will have their ‘right to work’ documents rechecked periodically.

Due to the University’s need to demonstrate that it complies with immigration legislation, ‘right to work’ checks will usually be carried out by staff in Human Resources.  If the ‘right to work’ check is carried out by the local contact within the School/Department please refer to the ‘‘right to work’ checking Flowchart’ (Appendix 1) and Appendix 2 for details of the documents required.  In the event of any problems in this respect, HR staff will liaise with both the School/Department and the casual worker.

In the interests of efficiency, where Schools/Departments are planning events for which they intend to engage a large number of casual workers, Human Resources would appreciate advance notice of the event.

4.       Pay Rates

Casual Workers are engaged on an occasional or casual basis and are not regularly employed by the university, (including specialist/guest lecturers and various ad-hoc work as required). They are paid an hourly rate and are only paid for the hours actually worked. The hourly rate includes an entitlement to paid holiday (see below).

It is for the Executive Dean/Head of Department to approve the appropriate hourly rate of pay for any individual but this should reflect the rate that would be paid to a permanent member of staff who was engaged to undertake the same range of duties. For teaching staff, the grade should be derived by matching the duties required against the generic role descriptions at Appendix 8.  For other staff groups, or if these do not provide a reasonable match for the duties to be undertaken, please contact your HR Advisor for advice.  Once the grade has been established, the hourly rate should be taken from the spine points to be found on the Casual Rates of Pay scale, and in any case care should be taken to ensure that rates of pay are not below the National Minimum Wage. Details can be found in Appendix 3.

5.       Employed v Self-Employed Status

It is important that Schools/Departments seek advice from Human Resources before entering into commitments with any individual who wishes to be treated as self-employed and submit invoices.  For further information please see Appendix 4 – Income Tax Status; whether an individual should be treated as an employee or as self-employed is complex, and it is difficult to provide a precise or exhaustive set of guidelines. In the event of any doubt Human Resources will determine whether a particular job should be treated as employment.  There are significant penalties for failing to operate PAYE and national insurance procedures properly, and this can be applied retroactively for six previous years.

6.       Holiday Pay

Casual Workers are entitled, pro-rata, to 5.6 weeks (28 days) paid holiday each year. They are required to take their holiday on days when they are not scheduled to teach or undertake other work. For convenience, proportionate holiday pay, for each period worked, will be paid with salary. This method of payment means that holiday pay will be paid in advance and no further payment will be due at the time when holiday is taken or for payment in lieu.

For these staff holiday pay represents 10.7692% of the basic hourly rate of pay.

Please bear in mind that in assessing a rate the holiday pay should be considered as an additional entitlement over and above the normal rate for the job.

7.       Payments

All payment requests (form CW2) passed to the Payroll Office must be certified by a signatory approved by the Director of Human Resources to act on their behalf (Appendix 5). Ordinarily, the signatory will be the Executive Dean/Head of Department, but the Dean/Head may wish to nominate another member of staff to do this on their behalf. The signature of the account holder, if this is not the Executive Dean/Head of Department, will also be required. It is the responsibility of Schools/Departments to ensure that full engagement costs can be met from the source of funding identified for each appointment.

(Guidance on calculating employment costs is given at (Appendix 6)

8.       Procedure for Processing Payments

Form CW2 – should be used to notify payment instructions to the Payroll Office. This is a multiple entry form and can be used for the payment of more than one casual worker.

All payments are made monthly. The monthly deadline for payment forms (CW2) to be received in Payroll for processing is 5.00 pm on the 7th of the month; this will ensure payments can be processed for payment into bank accounts on 20th of the month. Separate forms should be completed for work done in each month, and payment is made in arrears i.e. work done in one month will be paid in the following month. Payment cannot take place unless a properly completed Form CW1, which includes the ‘right to work’ check was received into the HR office BEFORE the work was carried out.  Individuals will not be paid if this has not happened.  

9.       Payroll Deductions

All payments to Casual Workers will be made through the university payroll, and will be subject to deductions for income tax and national insurance.  Payments are made monthly. No payments will be made if the appropriate forms (either CW1 or CW3) were not submitted to HR BEFORE the individual started work.

10.     Redundancy Payments

Statutory redundancy payments are payable to employees who have worked for more than two continuous years and the amounts due are based on service and weekly pay. The number of years’ service is calculated in whole (completed) years and entitlement is calculated for each completed year within age groupings. Please see Appendix 7 – Statutory Redundancy Pay Calculation Table.

You are advised to take account of these payments in your budget if you continue to engage a casual worker who has accrued more than two years’ service with the University.

11.     Network User Accounts

All network user accounts will be generated through entry of new appointments onto the HR system.  Once HR knows that a new member of staff is starting (i.e. on receipt of a correctly completed Form CW1 or CW3 and successful ‘right to work’ check) their details will be put on to the HR/Payroll System which will trigger the creation of a network user account, details of which will be given to the individual and/or their manager if this has been indicated on the form.


Updated November 2013