Working in the UK as a Student

A Few Basic Facts

As a student in the UK part-time work can be both a good way to socialize and earn some extra money. Here are a few basic facts with which to start. Citizens of EU countries work under the same laws and regulations as UK citizens, while non-EU citizens holding a General Student Visa are allowed a maximum of 10 hours per work week. Those possessing a Student Visitor Visa are not permitted to work in the UK. Anyone employed in the UK for any wage or number of hours must have a National Insurance Number for tax purposes. Any employer will aid in obtaining this.

British Minimum Wage and Workers’ Rights

Anyone employed in the British system is protected by a set of laws which set working hours, overtime pay, holiday pay, overall salary and rules regarding dismissal. Legally, you are guaranteed a minimum wage, the amount of which depends upon your specific age. For further information go to the National Minimum Wage Helpline and to the National Minimum Wage Rates websites.

Or to learn more about workers’ rights in the UK, go to the Worksmart website.

The UK tax rate is 22%. If you stay under the personal tax free allowance you will be permitted to reclaim some of this upon your departure from the UK.

A Few Tips for Job Hunting

Remember that there are a variety of resources to help you search for work, including internet job sites, job centres, school and other local notice boards. Various stores, restaurants, and cafes are always looking to hire new staff. Walk in and ask in person.

Having a CV (resume in American English) is always helpful and conveys a professional mindset and appearance. There’s plenty of online advice for how to properly write one. And job counselors will aid in this task too. None the less, a few basic tips for writing a good one are:

  1. Start with all of your basic information: full name, address, email address, phone number. Make this your heading.

  2. Give an objective (e.g. “to find part-time work in clothing sales for the duration of the academic semester”).

  3. Detail your skills, including language ability, IT skills, other skills (cooking, salesmanship, waiting, etc.).

  4. Detail your education and work experience from secondary school onward. Write out the full name of each institution/business.

  5. List personal qualities (e.g. friendly, flexible, hard-working, able to multi-task).

  6. It’s absolutely best to keep a CV to a single page. Don’t be too wordy.

  7. Check your spelling and grammar to help give a professional appearance!