RIN offer a quality service to support you with consultancy activity, and want to make the whole process as uncomplicated and beneficial as possible. We hope this guide will give you some idea of the information the University will need to get your consultancy project underway.
The consultancy process
As with most administrative processes, at first glance they seem time consuming, or laboured. But the managed consultancy service has been running for several years, and we believe we've streamlined the process to suit your requirements to the best of our abilities. Here's a brief overview using the consultancy process flowchart just to show how straightforward our system can be. Please use the links below to navigate throughout the page.
How do I get started?
Your next steps
How am I paid and why do I have to pay Employer NI?
What happens if I gift consultancy income to my School?
The 15% management fee
Can I still conduct consultancy in a private capacity?
If you are approached by an external party to conduct a piece of consultancy, there are a couple of points you should consider before saying "yes":
- Is it your area of expertise
- How much time is it likely to take up
- Is there any risk involved (to your reputation, your person, the University's reputation)
Thinking about these aspects will help you decide if you are capable of, or should be, taking on the work in the first place.
RIN has dedicated and professional staff to help you get the most out of consultancy work. We are here to make sure your expertise and reputation are not exploited or put at risk, and as such we believe that before you agree to any kind of cost or day-rate you should contact the Consultancy Team.
Once we have discussed the details of the work you will need to complete an External Consultancy Form and return it to the Consultancy Officer in RIN.
There are guidelines agreed with the Inland Revenue on how payments can be made from consultancy income. Any payments we agree to make you as a consultant will be via the University payroll and therefore will be subject to deductions (see the example table below). If you choose to waive this additional income and gift it to your School, there are some restrictions on how this income can then be used.
For more details on payments download the Inland Revenue Waiver of Remuneration notes.
There are guidance notes for Heads of School / Division that can help the decision process, and you should always have a discussion with your Head of School /Division about the work you are undertaking and how it fits within the school strategy.
All payments to UEA staff are authorised by the Consultancy Team and then processed through the Payroll Department. These payments are seen as additional to any regular or monthly payment and are processed as quickly as possible, but should not be relied upon as a source of regular income.
Some staff or students may be paid via an Occasional Work Form (this dependent on their current contractual status), and these forms also need to be authorised by the Human Resources Department before a payment can be made. The Consultancy Team will advise and assist with the procedure for these forms.
If you decide to receive your share or part of your share through payroll, the University is required by law to pay HM Revenue & Customs Employer’s National Insurance at 13.8% on the salary payment, as well as a 0.5% contribution to the Apprenticeship Levy.
These payments are deducted at source from an employee’s share. For example, assuming that an employee has already earned more than £5K of net income in the financial year:
|Management fee at 15%||£75.00||£150.00||£225.00|
|Academic's share at 85% (assuming that your school does not require a gifted contribution)||£425.00||£850.00||£1,275.00|
|Employer's NI at 13.8%||£58.65||£117.30||£175.95|
|Apprenticeship Levy contribution at 0.5% of NI||£0.29||£0.59||£0.88|
|Gross payment via payroll (before Income Tax & Employee NI)||£366.06||£732.11||£1,098.17|
If you choose to waive your additional income and gift it to your School, this can be used to help fund other activities the school needs or wishes to engage in. For example, academics in MED have pooled their waived income to create and support a new RA post. Another academic in HIS has used some of his waived income to fund an excursion for students (these activities were agreed through discussion with their Heads of School).
The Executive Team has agreed changes to financial procedures with regard to income from consultancy that has been ‘waived’, and Finance Regulations regarding carrying forward consultancy income between financial years. Please see the Finance Memo for a copy of these decisions.
RIN is often questioned about the percentage it levies from consultancy activity, and there is some debate about whether it discourages people from using our service. We encourage you to talk to the Consultancy Team about this directly, or discuss it with one of the many academics who have carried out consultancy with our help.
The fee is there for several reasons:
- It helps pay for the company running costs
- It supports the cost of staff employed by RIN
- It is fed back centrally to help fund other enterprise activities
In return for this the managed consultancy service is able to:
- Identify possible consultancy opportunities through various subscription websites
- Help you scope the consultancy work to ensure you are meeting the client's requirements
- Liaise with the client to negotiate an appropriate rate of pay for your services
- Ensure that the appropriate contractual arrangements are in place
- Ensure you are covered by the University's Professional Indemnity Insurance
- Liaise with you and the client to assist in the management of projects
- Work with you to ensure that agreed deadlines are met (e.g. submission of a report by an agreed date)
- Invoice the client and ensure that the income is received in good time
- Process interim payments (such as travel, etc.)
- Make payments to you via payroll, or to your School according to the split of income agreed at the start of each consultancy
Yes of course; you remain free to work in an entirely private capacity but before you do so you will need to:
- Obtain the approval of your Head of School or Division
- Complete a Private Consultancy Form and return it to RIN
- Both of these actions help the University keep a record of the activity happening amongst its staff, which can then be reported in our HEBCIS return.
- Please refer to our advice for more information on how to conduct Private Consultancy.
If you require further information regarding any of the points above, or any other related issues, please contact the Consultancy Officer.