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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Particular occupations: teachers, lecturers and tutors - part-time and visiting/occasional lecturers

A part-time lecturer whose engagement covers a complete academic term or longer may well have similar terms and conditions to a full-time lecturer. Many such part-time lecturers will be employees. See ESM4503 below for the NICs position prior to 6 April 2012.

A visiting lecturer who gives an occasional talk or short series of talks on a subject about which he has specialist knowledge and which is not part of the core curriculum will normally have rather different terms and conditions and is likely to be self-employed.

Between those extremes. engagements should be considered on their own facts - taking into account such matters as:

  • control (or right of control) over conduct and discipline, hours of attendance, where and when lectures are given, course content, etc. (the more extensive control the more indicative it is of employment)
  • whether the lecturer must undertake the lecturing personally or whether a substitute can be sent (see ESM0531 onwards)
  • who is to supply the equipment necessary (where the contractual terms require the lecturer to supply his own equipment [for example, overhead projector and hand outs] at his own expense this would point towards self-employment)
  • whether any financial risk attaches to the engagement (financial risk would be a pointer towards self-employment - but most engagements will lack any element of financial risk)
  • the intention of the parties to the contract (see below).

In assessing the importance of the factors, see ESM0500 onwards and in particular, the sections on personal factors at ESM0549 onwards concerning personal factors where a lecturer has many short-term lecturing engagements with a variety of engagers.

Exceptionally, fees chargeable as employment income may be regarded as assessable as trading income where the conditions at EIM03002 are met.