Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


IEHC Casual Worker Policy

The purpose of this document is to detail agreed procedures for remunerating student and external workers undertaking teaching, research and consultancy duties.

This policy covers workers providing ad hoc research assistance, guest lecturers, casual workers (for research, consultancy or teaching), PGTA's, employees and self-employed individuals.

All approved payments must be sent to the local Research Department Administrator via the supervisor/ budget holders/ teaching administrators by 25th of the month. Failure to do could lead to a late payment. 

Right to work regulation

Payment can only be made to those with the appropriate right to work in the UK. By law we must see the proposed worker in person with their original right to work in the UK document prior to any work commencing.

It is the recruiting Managers responsibility to check and copy original right to work documentation for individuals who are invited to undertake casual work before they perform the work. You must securely store this information in the department and keep this for 24 months for audit purposes. Failure to do so is a disciplinary offense.

A clear copy of the Right to Work should be taken, signed, dated with 'Original Seen' stated and sent to the Departmental HR Administrator.

Further information and guidance on the Manager's Guide to Right to Work documents.

Types of Employees and payments

Form 7: One Off Payments

These ad hoc payments are for individuals who undertake activities such as Research Support, Ad-hoc teaching assistance and Guest Lecturers. Ad hoc workers are not employees of UCL, and have no formal relationship. Research departments can invite individuals to undertake a short-term one-off duty without the requirement to issue a formal contract of employment. In these situations the individual is responsible for controlling how the work is undertaken and receives only minimum supervision. Request for payments need to be made promptly after the work has been undertaken.

Worker can be paid on an ad hoc basis when:

  • Only three payments or less can be made in a tax year (not necessarily consecutive)
  • Their hours will be irregular.
  • Their duties are for one-off pieces of work.

Payments will normally be taxable. Duties, rate of pay (in line with UCL's rates of pay) and the maximum hours of work to be worked should be agreed in advance with the budget holder.

Form 6: As and When Contract Payments

Casual workers have as and when contracts in place, these are usually for casual work and PGTA's. As and When contracts allow UCL to engage individuals as and when they are needed and to control their tasks when they are working with us. However, there is no mutuality of obligation between UCL and the individual; UCL is not obliged to offer the individual work, and the individual does not have to accept the work offered. Accordingly, this group are defined as "workers", not employees. Casual workers can be paid on a monthly basis and payment should be made promptly after the work has been undertaken.

Your worker will need to be on an As and When basis if:

  • They will receiving more than three payments within a tax year (not necessarily consecutive)
  • They plan to undertake casual work for UCL.
  • Their hours are irregular (People on an As and When agreement must not be expected to undertake a regular pattern of work or FTE.)

For teaching assistance forms must be submitted via the teaching administration team.

As/ when contracts need to be advertised for a minimum of two weeks. An advert via ROME or an informal advertisement (via email to a wide group, the intranet, a noticeboard or Moodle) is required. You can also copy in non-UCL staff and students to the informal advertisement if you know of others who may be interested in the work.

Self-employed Workers

If your worker would like to be paid as self-employed via invoice, they will need to be set up as a supplier by UCL Finance prior to the work commencing.

Please complete a self-employment application form from and return it to the Research Department Administrator once completed.

Please ensure that if you are engaging work with those who contract with an agency through a Personal Service Company, please ensure we are compliant with IR35, more guidance can be found on the UCL Finance website

Work should not commence until UCL Finance confirm the self-employment application has been approved. Please note that approval can take some time to assess (up to 1 month) so consideration must be given to this option with appropriate lead times factored in for planning the work.

Further information and guidance on self-employed workers.

Tier 4 Students

All students on Tier 4 visas who are studying in the UK are able to undertake paid/unpaid work but are limited to the number of hours (20 hours maximum typically) that they can work in a 7 day period (Monday to Sunday). While responsibility to ensure visa compliance lies primarily with the student worker, UCL as an employer also has a responsibility when allocating work to check right to work before any work is carried out. All Tier 4 student workers MUST complete a weekly UCL time sheet detailing hours worked.

Taught and Research postgraduate students at UCL do not have a university vacation and therefore Tier 4 students cannot work over 20 hours per week at any point throughout the year.

Further information about Tier 4 students and working restrictions can be found here on the UCL ISS immigration website.