Engagement Types

Please note that we are currently reviewing and updating our casual worker web pages in response to the launch of the Casual Engagement Principles (October 2023).  Should you have any questions in the interim, please contact hr@nottingham.ac.uk.


What engagement type do I need?

Determining an individual’s relationship with the University is complex and is achieved by considering a number of factors. These include the requirements of the University and individual concerned, as well as a number of legislative requirements and definitions.

The decision on which employment group an individual falls into will depend on the relationship between the individual and the University and is supported by a number of tests, which will include, but not limited to:

  • Whether there is a contract at all between the University and the individual
  • Whether the individual is required to provide services personally
  • The degree of control over the service provided – who decides when and how the work is done
  • Whether there is a mutuality of obligation on behalf of the University or the individual, ie whether work has to be offered and carried out.

An individual providing work activities will fall within one of the three employment status groups. Depending on which employment group they fall into will also determine their employment rights and responsibilities in the workplace, and how the deduction of income tax and National Insurance contributions are calculated.

The three employment status groups are:

  • Employee
  • Worker
  • Self-employed

The fact that an individual may be deemed to have a particular employment status for tax purposes is NOT necessarily determinative of their employment status for employment rights purposes. The HMRC Employment Status Indicator tool determines status for tax purposes only eg someone determined as “employee” could be a “worker” or even, in some cases, self-employed for employment rights purposes.

Decision Tree

The following Decision Tree will enable managers to determine the appropriate terms of engagement for the particular temporary role or assignment.

An alternative text only version of the Decision Tree is available and can also be located within the Employment Status & Decision Tree pdf document on the right-hand side of this page.

 Employment status and decision tree flow chart



Last edited Oct 05, 2023