Employment Rights

Everyone at work, including all agency workers, enjoys the following rights from their first day of work: the National Miniumum Wage; working time rights (including breaks, holidays and holiday pay and a limit on the working week); health and safety protection; the right to join a union; and protection from unlawful discrimination. Understanding your rights may help avoid any later problems.

workSMART: your rights at work – working students – Developed for workSMART by the Department of Human Resource Management at The Nottingham Trent University, and has been edited and updated by TUC and other employment rights experts including the Labour Research Department.

Gov.uk – Working, jobs and pensions – The UK Government site on your employment rights. Includes holiday entitlement calculator, dismissals and disciplinaries, employment status, workers’ rights and changes to contracts.

Your rights as an agency worker – UK Government’s information on agency worker’s rights. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) is the professional body for the recruitment industry. To help jobseekers make the most of the services of recruitment professionals, they have developed this guide How to get the best out of working with a recruitment agency

Pay, Tax and National Insurance

National Minimum Wage – UK Government’s information on national minimum wage.

How to get a National Insurance number – Information on what you need to obtain a National Insurance number.

Student Tax – Information on paying tax as a student provided by Employment 4 Students (e4s).

Inland Revenue – Student section of the Inland Revenue website which gives details on tax and national insurance.

UK Employment Law/Advice

Acas – Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. They provide information, advice, training, conciliation and other services for employers and employees to help prevent or resolve workplace problems

EEA and Swiss students: Working during your studies – UKCISA’s information on working in the UK.

Employment rights and pay for interns – Gov.UK’s information on internships.

Zero Hours Contracts – Acas provides information on zero hours contracts.

Problems at work – Citizens Advice Bureau’s information on how to tackle issues at work.

Glossary of Terms

Pro rata – Latin for ‘proportionally’ or a ‘proportion of’. It means that the salary quoted is what a full timer would receive for the same job. Your salary will be calculated according to what proportion of a full-time job your hours make up. For example, if the salary is quoted at £18,000 pro rata (based on a full time week of 40 hours) and you are working 30 hours per week, you will be paid an annual salary of £13,500.

pa or per annum – Latin for, for each year, annually

OTE – short for 'on target earnings’, this means that your take-home pay will be part basic salary and part performance-related pay.

DOE – dependent on experience.

Contract of Employment – Anyone who works for an employer for a regular wage or salary automatically has a contract of employment. While the complete contract does not have to be in writing, an employee must be given a written statement of terms of employment within 2 months of starting work.

Open-ended contract – This is a contract of employment which continues until the employer or employee ends it. It is known as a contract of indefinite duration. Often referred to as a permanent job.

P45 – When you leave your job your employer gives you a P45 form. It is a certificate stating your pay, tax and contributions deducted from the start of the tax year to the last day of your job. Keep safe as it will be required when you start your next job.

P60 – At the end of each tax year your employer gives you a P60 form. It is a certificate stating your pay, tax and contributions deducted during the year.