Working

It is the British Government, and not the University, which decides on whether you can work while studying in the UK.

Balancing Work and Study

  • You may wish to work part-time while you are a student in the UK - either to help you with money for your studies, develop skills and experience to help you get a job when you finish your course or to get to know British culture
  • The sticker in your passport or your biometric residence permit (BRP) will state the number of hours you are permitted to work.  The UKCISA website will tell you how to check this
  • You should not work for more than the permitted hours per week. If you do not obey this then you may be risking your student visa
  • The UKCISA website provides information about how many hours you can work and what kind of work you can do  
  • Most universities will advise that all students don’t work more than 15 hours a week because balancing work and study can be challenging
  • You are also not allowed to set up your own business or work freelance whilst you are on a student visa

Quick links

Careers Service advice for international students

UKCISA have produced guidelines on working in the UK after your studies

UK Visas and Immigration 

Contact the Interational Student Support Team for further advice on coming to study at Strathclyde

Getting Paid:

  • When and how often you get paid is usually agreed between you and the employer before you start the job. Although wages are typically paid monthly, it can be weekly or even daily and your employment contract should have this information.
  • Some employers might pay you in cash, but the most common way of receiving your wage is through your bank account
  • Either way you should get a payslip which details how much you have earned and how much tax you have paid

Salary

  • This is the amount of money you would earn in one year. This is usually based on working a certain number of hours each week.

Hourly rate

  • This is the amount you earn for every hour that you work. The more hours you work the more pay you’ll receive.

Zero Hours Contract

  • A zero hours contract is a non-legal term for a contract between an employer and a worker where: the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours and the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered

Workplace benefits

  • Paid holidays - Almost all employees are entitled to paid Annual Leave. The number of days allowed will vary by employer however there is a legal minimum of 28 days per year for full-time employees. The entitlement for part-time workers is based on the full time allocation and is calculated on how many hours they work. Further details including a calculator to work out the annual leave entitlement for part-time workers is available on the Government website www.gov.uk/holiday-entitlement-rights  
  • Paid sick pay - Companies either operate their own Company Sick Pay policy or pay Statutory Sick Pay. Company policies on sick pay vary by employer. Details of Statutory Sick pay including how much you will be paid and for how long can be found on the Government website www.gov.uk/employers-sick-pay/entitlement 
  • Tips and gratuities: if you work in hospitality you may be allowed to keep any money that you are given by customers for providing good service. It may be company policy to gather tips together to distribute between staff and in some cases an employer may keep a percentage of pooled tips or tips paid for by credit card.
  • Health insurance: UK employers don’t usually provide health insurance as healthcare in the UK is provided via registration with an NHS doctor and dentist.

Quick links

There may be considerable cultural differences between the UK and your home country so you may find it helpful to think about what is expected of you as an employee in the UK.  

  • Employers want to know that you have the technical skills and potential to do the job and that you have the right attitude and motivation to succeed.

Greetings

  • Shaking hands is the formal way to greet someone in the UK.  It is common to shake hands when you meet someone new, or are meeting someone that you don’t see regularly (immediate colleagues don’t normally shake hands on a daily basis).  It is also polite to smile and make eye contact with the person you are greeting.

Dress code

  • Expectations of appearance and clothing vary between different industries and organisations.  If you are unsure about the dress code, either ask someone before you start work or dress smartly at first and adapt to how others dress in the workplace. 
  • Bar work, hospitality and retail jobs will often ask you to wear a uniform or have a standard dress code. You need to wear what they ask you to, but they should make reasonable adjustments if you have good reasons.
  • They should not ask you to pay for your uniform.
  • Most office-based roles require a smart dress code, but may incorporate a ‘dress down’ Friday where staff can wear clothes that are a little more casual.
  • Even if the workplace has a fairly relaxed dress code, you should always dress smartly to attend an interview. 

 

Time-keeping

  • Time-keeping is very important in the UK and you should arrive on time for work and for meetings.  If you are going to be late for any reason you should let someone know at the earliest opportunity. 

Rules and working hours

  • Different organisations, might have different rules about things like using mobile phones, accessing personal e-mail accounts and even whether you can eat at your desk.  Important rules and policies should be explained when you start a new job.  Ask questions if you are unsure.
  • The standard working week in the UK is Monday to Friday from 9am until around 5pm but different organisations and sectors might be different.  Depending on the industry you work in, you might be expected to work beyond your regular hours in order to achieve specific deadlines.  If you are part time and paid hourly, then you should always be paid for the extra hours you work 
  • The culture of the workplace can also have an impact on the hours that employees work.  In some workplaces, there may be a culture of working long hours that employees adopt to fit in.
  • The hours worked in part-time jobs will depend on the needs of the employer. For example evenings and/or weekends for retail and hospitality jobs.

Equality

  • All employees should be treated equally in the work place.  There are laws that say a person cannot be discriminated against on the basis of age, gender, marital status, pregnancy and maternity leave, nationality, ethnic background, race, colour, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, religion/belief or nationality. 

Quick links

Work etiquette

Culture Crossing

TARGETjobs provides further information and advice on equal opportunities

Get a National Insurance number

  • It is a legal requirement for everyone working in the UK to have a National Insurance number and you can only apply for it once you are in the UK. If an employer does not ask to see yours then please be cautious about working for them.
  • You must be eligible to study or work in the UK to get a National Insurance number.
  • To apply, phone the Job Centre Plus  National Insurance number application line: 0800 141 2075 Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.
  • Jobcentre Plus may ask you to attend an interview where you’ll be asked about your circumstances and why you need a National Insurance number. 
  • You can start work before your National Insurance number arrives if you can prove you are allowed to work in the UK.
  • Employers will ask you for your NI number and visa details to prove your eligibility to work. If you don’t have your NI number yet you should tell your employer that you’ve applied for one, and give it to them when you have it.

Types of work

  • The types of jobs available in Glasgow and surrounding areas vary from bar, restaurant and hotel work, shop work and security work, to demonstrators, tutoring jobs, sales advisers, call centre operators or promotions staff.
  • If you don't need or want a long term part-time job there may also be one-off vacancies where you work for one or two days, and there are always temporary jobs available in the lead up to Christmas particularly in retail and hospitality.

Where to look

  • Local part time jobs are advertised through the Student Union JobShop 
  • Once you are fully registered as a Strathclyde student you can login to the Careers Service online vacancies platform MyCareerHub Strathclyde which advertises graduate vacancies, placements, internships and international opportunities.
  • Local advertising - many shops and restaurants/bars put job adverts in their shop windows.  Other employers will advertise on their own website.
  • Local newspapers have recruitment pages - the Evening Times on a Monday and the Daily Record on a Thursday advertise part-time and temporary vacancies

Quick links:

Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre seasonal vacancies & weekend jobs

  • Types of work at Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre
    Levy UK offer catering jobs such as waiters/waitresses and baristas. LSS have part time cleaning, parking and security jobs. G4S recruit for customer care steward jobs at the SEC Centre 

Quick links:

Jobs at the SEC

Jobs at Buchanan Galleries shopping Centre

Jobs at St Enoch Shopping Centre 

On Campus

  • A limited number of on campus jobs are advertised via the Student Union jobshop, e.g. Student Ambassador roles
  • There are also a small number of part time internships advertised through MyCareerHub Strathclyde
  • There may be opportunities for students to work in some of the University services such as catering or estates. If you are interested in this type of work you should approach a member of staff from that department to ask about part-time work.