Working while studying
It's the UK Government, not the University, that decides 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. This can help you with money for your studies. It can also develop skills to help you get a job when you finish your course
- the sticker on 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 risk 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 students don’t work more than 15 hours a week. Balancing work and study can be challenging
- you're also not allowed to set up your own business, or work freelance, whilst you're on a student visa
What to expect from work
When and how often you get paid is usually agreed upon between you and the employer before you start the job. Although wages are typically paid monthly, they can be weekly or even daily. Your employment contract should have this information.
Some employers might pay you in cash. The most common way of receiving your wage is through your bank account.
Either way, you should get a payslip that details how much you have earned and how much tax you have paid.
In the UK, there is a National Minimum Wage (NMW). This is the minimum hourly rate you can expect to be paid and is dependent on your age. Employers can pay an hourly rate that is above the NMW, but not below.
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.
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. The employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours. And the worker is not obliged to accept any work offered.
Almost all employees are entitled to paid Annual Leave. The number of days allowed will vary by employer. 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. It's calculated by 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
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 can be found on the Government website
Tips and gratuities
If you work in hospitality you may be allowed to keep any money that you're given by customers for providing good service. It may be company policy to gather tips together to distribute between staff. In some cases, an employer may keep a percentage of pooled tips or tips paid for by credit card.
UK employers do not usually provide health insurance. Healthcare in the UK is provided via registration with an NHS doctor and dentist.