Paying guest speakers

Question:

I’ve just been introduced to the universities process for making an application for payments to guest speakers and I feel the system is worthy of comment. I have to say that the request for the declaration for personal information, (national insurance number and date of birth in particular) are unnecessary, intrusive and far beyond the actual needs for the task that is being fulfilled.  Should they not be treated like any other service provided by professionals?  I think I’m right in assuming that other external services supplied by businesses do not have to go through the same procedure.  Is there not a straight forward invoice for services provided that could be used instead?
 
Answer:

Guest speakers are deemed as employees of the University at the time they are providing their lecture.  There are certain tests in employment law that determine whether an individual is an employee or not. In these circumstances, individuals fit the test that they should be classed as an employee.  The HMRC rules and regulations also have certain tests which indicate that these individuals should be classed as employees.  Therefore we require the information stated to pay them through the payroll. We appreciate that this may seem burdensome by the individual, however the University has no scope to step away from this requirement and indeed we are regularly audited to ensure compliance.

There is a separate process for supplying a service through a business, again determined by HMRC, which is dependent on the business satisfying certain criteria. Payments in these circumstances are not paid through the payroll but by invoice through Finance.  If anyone is in any doubt on the appropriate method to pay a guest lecturer, then Spencer Clarke, Personnel Services would be happy to advise on extension 2739.