There are occasions where work is best carried out through a contract for services.

This is likely to be in circumstances where the department specifies the work to be done and the date by which it is to be completed, but beyond that the individual has the freedom to carry out the work in the manner and at times of their own choosing. In addition all or most of the following would be true:

  • They can hire someone else to do the work
  • They are in business for themselves, are responsible for the success or failure of their business and can make a profit or loss
  • They're responsible for fixing any unsatisfactory work in their own time
  • There is a fixed price for the work regardless of how long it takes
  • They use their own money to buy business assets, cover running costs and provide tools and equipment for their work
  • They can work for more than one client
  • They are not under direct supervision when working

An individual engaged under a contract for services is not an employee and therefore is not entitled to any of the usual employee benefits, or any of the statutory employment protection rights. They should be paid a fee based on submission of invoices, and not a salary.

It is very important that any individuals being engaged through this approach are checked to ensure that the engagement can be treated as self-employed. This must happen prior to the engagement starting.

The employment status checklist [docx] should be completed and submitted to Payroll who will then run the details through the government's Employment Status (ESS) tool to confirm the status of the engagement. The tax status will then be established and Payroll will notify you of the outcome. This will inform the nature of any payments to be made under the engagement by the University.