Working in the UK

This is a summary of some useful and practical information you will need to know when working in any role in the UK, once you leave University.

Right to Work and ID

Before you start your first Unitemps assignment (or any job in the UK) you must provide your ‘Right to Work’ documents. For an individual not subject to immigration control, these are normally one of the following:

  • UK passport
  • EEA passport
  • Full birth certificate and National Insurance number

If you have ‘Leave to Enter or Remain’ for a limited time period, you must provide one of the following:

  • Current Biometric Residence Permit
  • A current endorsed passport or travel document

For international students,if you are in the UK on a Tier 4 Visa – you will need Visas in a current passport as well as BOTH of the following:

  • Academic term and holiday dates
  • Status letter addressed to you

To work for Unitemps ( you will also need to fill out a Tier 4 Declaration form, as well as providing the other documents.


Your payslip is essential. Whether you receive yours weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, your payslip shows you exactly what your earnings are and what deductions are being taken, including Tax, National Insurance and Student Finance repayments.

Key pieces of information you can expect to see on your payslip:

  • Gross pay – your full pay before any deductions such as Tax or National Insurance.
  • Net pay – your pay after deductions.
  • Total amount of variable deductions such as Tax and National Insurance.
  • Total amount of any fixed deductions – these are deductions which do not change from payday to payday, for example union dues. An employer does not have to give details of what these deductions are for, as long as they give a separate statement with these details at least once a year.
  • The amount and method for any part payment of wage (for example separate figures of a cash payment and the balance credited to a bank account).
  • Other information, including your tax code, pension, student loan and expenses may also be included by your employer.


PAYE (or Pay As You Earn) is a system that allows you to automatically pay your National Insurance and Income Tax. Based on your tax code these deductions are taken out of your pay before it reaches you.

National Insurance

A National Insurance number (NI) is a number unique to you that is used to keep track of your National Insurance contributions. The number is made up of two letters, six numbers and one letter, for example, AB123456 C. You must not let anyone else use your number. You only need to start paying National Insurance contributions if your income is over £155 per week. If your income falls between £155 and £815 a week, 12% of it will go towards National Insurance (Tax year 2016/17 figures).

Tax and Tax Codes

All workers are entitled to a tax-free allowance. Once your Income exceeds (this) £11,000*, you are obliged to pay tax on all of your earnings. The percentage of tax you pay is determined by which tax band you fall into. This is based on how much you earn, or are likely to earn, on top of the personal allowance in a year. For further information on tax visit


The earliest you can receive this pension is when you reach State Pension age. You will need at least 10 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions or credits. To receive the full State Pension you will need 30 years of contributions. The full State Pension is £119.30 per week. Each qualifying year of National Insurance payments will give your pension an extra £4.45 a week.

Workplace Pensions

Employers should now offer workplace or work-based pensions to their employees. A percentage of your income is put aside every payday (via PAYE) to go towards this. In some cases, the employer will add their own contribution to your pension scheme and you can get tax relief from the government. All of your pension contributions should be visible on your payslip.

Source: This is a summary of information taken from the Unitemps ‘WorkSmart’ Guide (link to PDF).

Working outside of the UK

If you are planning a move to work outside of the UK and would like some information and advice about preparing for this and what to expect, please make an appointment with a Careers Consultant via the vents and appointments tab on The CORE, stating why you want the appointment (so they can prepare properly). In the meantime, do your research on the country and/or company via:


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:15:00