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Employment Guide

Advice for students working part time • National Minimum wage • Breaks • Health & Safety • National Insurance • Income Tax • Useful contacts

Contents Page Introduction 3 Are you looking for a part time job? Job Search Site and Local Recruitment Agencies



Interviews and Telephone Applications


Your Employment Rights


Frequently Asked Questions and Answers


Useful Contacts



Many students choose to work part-time for at least some of the time they’re at University. As well as increasing your income, getting a part-time job will give you an opportunity to meet new friends and gain valuable transferable skills to take into your professional career once you complete your studies. This leaflet aims to help you look for a job and give you some basic information about your employment rights.

Are you looking for a part time job?

Seeking out vacancies is important if you are going to be successful in your job search. Start by registering with the University Careers Service on: You will be able to get up to date information including:


Browse live vacancies, placements and voluntary opportunities


Set up email alerts for vacancies based on your criteria


Register for employer events


Sign up to receive news, jobs, training and careers advice


Access sector specific vacancy information

Most Effective ways to get a job

Get out there. Contact (by walk-in or phone call) any employer, office, organisation that interests you, whether they are known to have a vacancy or not. Be confident and prepared to talk about what you can offer as a worker. Have an up to date CV ready to hand in or use as a reference to talk about your skills and experience. Tap into your “network”. Ask your friends, family members, tutors, or professionals you know for job leads, they may be aware of jobs before they get advertised. Be specific about what kind of work you are looking for and they might just hear of a right opportunity for you. Make finding work your job. Set time each day to engage in job searching activities such as contacting employers, searching for vacancies and filling out job applications. Check any communications you have with the prospective employer for spelling and grammar mistakes to make sure you are always making a positive impression. There are a number of agencies who employ students on a part-time basis in various industries including hospitality, support, healthcare and customer services. They may either ask you to register your details or ask you to send your CV. 3

Useful Agencies/Jobsearch Sites

Part & full time employment

Jobcentre Plus search engine, aggregates

vacancies from different job search

engines around the web

Online recruitment

Online recruitment agency job search site

Online recruitment for pub and bar jobs

Online recruitment

Online recruitment

0141 331 9070

227 Sauchiehall St, G2 3EX

0141 221 2818

15a Blytheswood Square, G2

0141 248 7136

5 Bothwell Street, G2 6NL

0141 248 7212,

24 St Vincent Place, G1 2EU

0141 333 9901

120 West Regent St, G2 2QD

0141 226 4041

48 West Nile St, G1 2ND

Scottish local government jobs

NHS Careers

Online recruitment

Charity and voluntary sector recruitment

Professional social network


Interviews and telephone applications

Many tips look obvious but experience shows most people fail to get the job because they are not PREPARED. Being prepared is the key to putting in a good interview and performance over the telephone or in person.

Telephone Applications • • • • • •

This is your first chance to make a great first impression. Introduce yourself clearly. Say which job you are applying for and where it was advertised. Employers may be advertising more than one job – if you do not even know the job title they are unlikely to hire you. Be prepared to answer questions. Why should they employ you? Why do you want the job? Know when you are available for interview or to work. If the telephone application is also the main interview prepare any further questions you may wish to ask the employer i.e. such as hours or training for the job.


The telephone tips also apply to most face to face interviews. However, these will be more in-depth, generally lasting between 15 – 30 minutes. Interviews can take many formats but for most part time vacancies they will be one-to-one with the employer. Be positive and remember that interviews are also your opportunity to ask questions and to decide if you want to work for that employer. To do well in an interview, try to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. Hiring new staff is a time-consuming process that is not without risks. Regardless of what questions you get asked, the employer is really trying to address his/her three basic fears: 1) Are you going to be dependable? Are you going to be on time and show up for your shifts or are you going to be a person who is always calling in sick and running late and is going to leave the job as soon as something better comes along? 2) What kind of person are you? Are you going to get along with the other workers and be easy to work with? Do you share and represent the common values of this organisation? 3) Are you going to be able to do the job? Do you possess the necessary skills and experience? Will you be capable of learning parts of the job that are new to you? Think of these three points as you answer each question to ease the interviewer’s fears and increase the likelihood of being hired. 5



R Dress smartly R Be genuine – don’t lie R Show confidence R Try to relax R Highlight relevant experience R Show willingness to learn R Avoid too many yes/no answers R Know your key skills

S Slouch or fidget S Interrupt/be flippant S Be evasive or argue S Panic during a silence S Be too reserved S Speak too quickly S Volunteer negative information S Criticise previous employers

Pay and Work Rights Helpline

Telephone: 0800 917 2368/ Textphone: 0800 121 4042 National Minimum Wage (Until April 2020) 18–20 yrs old £6.15 per hour, 21–24 yrs old £7.70 per hour. National Living Wage for workers 25+ (Until April 2020) £8.21 per hour.

Your Employment Rights Should I have a written contract?

Yes, it is important you get all your terms and conditions like pay, hours of work, etc. in writing. Having a written contract is the first step to making sure your rights are respected. Your employer must give you a written statement of your terms and conditions within 8 weeks of you starting work. Even without a written contract you still have certain legal rights. A contract can add to these rights but never take them away.

As a student, how many hours am I allowed to work?

For most students the upper limit on working hours is governed only by your own common sense and remember to leave enough time to study! However, if you are an International Student you may find you are only allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during term-time. Check with the International Adviser through Learning Support Services or go to for guidance.

I’m not sure if I’m getting paid the correct amount…

All part-time, casual and agency workers must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (see top of page). This increases each year – check rates on web at You have the right to a payslip which details your wage and any deductions including national insurance or income tax. If you want to report your employer for not paying the minimum wage, phone the 6

National Minimum Wage helpline to Pay and Work Rights Helpline – 0800 917 2368.

How do I get a National Insurance Number?

You can apply for a NI number by phoning the National Insurance Number Allocation Service on 0345 600 0643. Have your postcode and passport handy. For more detailed information go to:

As a student do I have to pay tax?

Students are not exempt from paying income tax, but many students don’t pay tax because they earn less than the tax-free personal allowance. If you exceed this allowance in any given year you start paying tax. You can find the amount of the personal allowance at: Your income tax is calculated based on the assumption you will earn a continuous amount throughout the year, so in some circumstances where you move jobs or stop working (for example, working only during summer holidays) you may overpay tax. For more information on paying tax as a student go to

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Q: I work an eight-hour shift – am I entitled to a break?

A: You are entitled to a break of at least 20 minutes after you have worked for six hours and you are entitled to spend your break away from our workstation.

Q: Can I get time off for my exams?

A: Many employers are sympathetic to students around exam time. However there is nothing in the law that says your employer must give you time off for exams. Discuss this with your employer and don’t wait until the last minute before an exam.

Q: Am I entitled to any holidays?

A: Your entitlement to paid holidays begins on the first day of employment and builds up gradually over the year. Your employer can control when you take your holidays and you should give them as much notice as possible. You may be entitled to payment for any untaken holidays when you leave a job. Also if you have taken more than your holiday entitlement your employer is entitled to claim it back from you.

Q: I’ve been off sick – do I get paid?

A: Check your contract to see what it says about pay whilst you are off sick. If it doesn’t then you will have to check if you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check your eligibility at If you are entitled to SSP it will be 7

paid by your employer but you don’t get anything for the first three sick days.

Q: I want to leave my job – how much notice to I have to give?

A: This information should be written in your contract of employment. If not, you should give a reasonable amount of notice and not less than a week.

Q: My boss says I’m going to be fired – do I get some notice?

A: You will be entitled to some notice of dismissal unless you are being fired for ‘gross misconduct’. There are minimum amounts of notice laid down by law. After you have worked for one month your employer must give you at least one week’s notice. After two years you are entitled to an extra week’s notice for every year worked up to a maximum of 12 weeks notice.

Q: What does it mean to be made redundant?

A: It is a legal term for a type of dismissal, which means the work you do is no longer needed by the employer. It might be because the business is moving or closing. If you have worked for two years or more you should be entitled to some redundancy pay. For further information contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau office.

Useful contacts Pay and Work Rights

Helpline - 0800 917 2368

The Council for International Student Affairs

Rights at Work

Equality & Human Rights Commission Tel: 0141 228 5910: 0845 604 5510

Disability Information

Dept for Work and Pensions, Helpline 0345 600 0643

Tax Enquiries

Citizens Advice Bureau 0808 800 9060

Guidance on rights at work

Public Services information site


Profile for GCUstudents

Employment Guide | Issue 11  

Handbook to help with getting employment. For more advice or to talk to someone, contact or pop into our Advice Centre.

Employment Guide | Issue 11  

Handbook to help with getting employment. For more advice or to talk to someone, contact or pop into our Advice Centre.