You came to university to get an academic qualification, so this must be your priority – employment is an add-on. Working too many hours can result in missing classes through tiredness, which may lead to failing exams, missing assessment deadlines, and so on.
Be sensible, if you are at University full-time then try not to work more than 15 hours a week – you can do slightly more if you are studying part-time.
LOOKING FOR WORK
If you decide to look for work, the following websites may be helpful:
Also, look out for ‘help wanted’ notices in local shops, bars, and restaurants.
International Students on Tier 4 Visa
UK law says you cannot work more than 20 hours per week during term-time, but you can work fulltime during University holidays (check your passport stamps).
If you have any questions, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Before you take on work, always check with UK Visa & Immigration for up-to-date information.
RIGHTS AT WORK
The rights you are entitled to at work will depend on your employment status.
There are generally three legal categories of workers in the UK: employees, workers (such as casual or agency workers) and the self-employed. You can find detailed information about the differences between the three and determine what rights you have on the Trade Union Congress Website.
National minimum wage
Workers and employees have the right to be paid no less than the national minimum wage. There are different rates for 16 to17-year-olds, 18 to 20-year-olds, 21-24 year old, those aged 25 and above, and some apprentices. To find out the latest rate of the national minimum wage, please consult the government website.
If you think you are being paid under the national minimum wage contact the Pay and Rights at Work Helpline online or call 0300 123 1100.
Employees and workers have the right to a rest break of 20 minutes where the working day is longer than six hours. If workers are under 18 they are entitled to a 30-minute break after working four and a half hours. Employees and workers are entitled to 11 uninterrupted hours away from work during every 24-hour period of work. Find out more information on working hours.
Health and safety
The organisation you are working for has a duty to provide you with a safe and healthy working environment. This should include training you about the health and safety issues in your workplace. There are many special rules that will apply in any workplace where there are particular risks to workers.
Join a union
A trade union will support you to deal with problems you are having at work, help you to come together with other workers to bargain with your employer to secure better pay and treatment and provide you with legal support in grievance and disciplinary processes. To find out which union you can join, go to the Trade Union Congress website.
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas)
ACAS is a public body that promotes good workplace relations. Its national helpline offers advice on the national minimum wage, employment agencies, working time, agricultural workers’ rights and working for a gangmaster. It offers a translation service in over 100 languages.
T: 0300 123 1100 open from 8am—8pm Monday–Friday and 9am—1pm on Saturday
Citizens Advice offers free, confidential advice on debt and consumer issues, benefits, housing, legal matters, employment, and immigration online and in their local offices.