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Students’ Association

YOUR rights at work


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

Contents Page Introduction 3 Are you looking for a part time job?


Useful Agencies/Jobsearch sites


Your employments rights


Requently asked questions and answers


Interview and Telephone Applications


Useful Contacts



Most students today have to work in order to be able to study. With student finances being what they are, the chances are you’ll need a job for at least some of the time you’re at University. This leaflet aims to help you to 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 Career Service on: You will be able to get up to date information which will include:

• • • • •

View live vacancies On line jobsites Recruitment agencies Local newspapers Sector specific vacancy information

Register today and take advantage of vacancy email alerts, view live vacancies and create and edit saved job searches.

Purchasing Newspapers Newspapers are a valuable source of vacancies – below is a list of newspapers and website contact details. The Scotsman – The Herald – The Daily Record & Sunday Mail – The Guardian – The Evening Times – Scotland on Sunday – 3

There are a number of agencies who employ students on a part-time basis in a number of industries including hospitality, support, healthcare and customer services. They may either ask you to register your details or ask you to send your CV.

Useful Agencies/Jobsearch Sites

Part & full time employment

Service provided by Jobcentre Plus

Online recruitment

Online recruitment

Online notice board

Online recruitment

Online recruitment

Online recruitment

0141 331 9000 227 Sauchiehall St, G2 3EX 0141 221 2818 15a Blytheswood Square, G2 0141 248 7136 5 Bothwell Street, G2 6NL 0141 204 0380 177 West George St, G2 2LB 0141 954 1717 105 Clydeholm Rd, G14 0QQ 0141 248 6020 163 West George St, G2 2JJ 0141 248 2058 7 Waterloo St, G2 6AY 0141 223 8650 201/203 West George St, G2 2LW 0141 333 9901 120 West Regent St, G2 2QD 0141 226 4041 48 West Nile St, G1 2ND Glasgow City Council

NHS Careers


National Minimum Wage (From 1st October 2013) 18-20 years £5.03 per hour 21 years+ £6.31 per hour National Minimum Helpline - 0845 600 0678

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 your 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 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 National Minimum Wage helpline – 0845 600 0678. How do I get a National Insurance Number? You can apply for a NI number by phoning the Department of Work & Pensions on 0845 600 0643. For more information: 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: If you are only working in the summer holidays, you can fill in a form P38(S) to make sure you are not taxed. You can claim back any overpaid tax at the end of the tax year by filling in form P50 – downloadable from If you are an International Student and are about to leave the UK you should complete the P85 form. See for details. 5

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.You can only get this if you earn above the ‘lower earnings limit’ on an average week. Check the current threshold at If you are entitled to SSP it will be 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 noticed 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 week’s notice. Q: What does it mean to be made redundant? A: It is a legal term which means your employer no longer needs someone to do your job. 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 CAB office.


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 • • • • •

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 decide if you want to work for that employer.

DO 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

DON’T 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


Useful contacts

National Minimum Wage

Helpline - 0845 600 0678

The Council for International Student Affairs

Rights at Work

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

Directory Services (Disabilities)

Dept of Works & Pensions Helpline - 0845 600 0643

Tax Enquiries

Citizens Advice Bureau 0844 848 9600

Scottish Low Pay Unit

Helpful guidance on discrimination

Public Services information site

Students’ Association


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