The Students' Union Advice Centre is a free, confidential and independent service
Got a problem at work? Not sure what your rights are? Want to ask how to go about resolving any grievances you might have? Have a look through our FAQ's below. If you can't find what you're looking for then contact us - we can help to represent you with any problems you might have.
Where can I find a job?
If you are looking for work the best place to start your search is the University Careers and Employment Centre. They can help you find a part-time job while studying, a temporary job during vacations and assist with graduate employment.
You can also approach the JobCentre Plus which lists many full and part-time vacancies in Sheffield.
You might also like to look at local newspaper adverts, online advertising services or job agencies in the local area.
What are my rights?
Every employee has statutory rights - these are legal rights that might not be stated in your contract. The contract you have might give you additional rights but you cannot contract for less than your statutory rights.
Some rights depend on how long you have worked for an employer and some start on your first day:
• To be paid the National Minimum Wage
• To have the same, pro-rate, rights as full-time employees if you are part-time
• To 11 hours rest periods between each working day
• To a day off a week
• To an itemised payslip
• To sick pay for illness over 3 days (statutory sick pay)
• To paid leave
• To an in-work rest if the working day is more than 6 hours
• To not be unfairly dismissed (if you have worked for more than 2 years with the same employer or have been dismissed for a reason which is automatically unfair)
• To not be discriminated against
• To a minimum notice period of dismissal
How much should I be earning?
The National Minimum Wage guarantees a minimum set rate of pay for all workers
National Minimum Wage rates change every October. National Living Wage rates change every April.
If you are paid less than this amount, you should contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline 0800 917 2368 to complain in confidence, or go visit the Government's website
Do I have to pay tax and National Insurance?
You might have heard that students do not have to pay tax and National Insurance, unfortunately that is a myth! Students are subject to the same rules as everyone else. Most allowances, grants and loans are not taken into account as taxable income, but earnings from paid work are.
If you are an employee, tax and National Insurance will be deducted directly from your wages by your employer. If you change employer you should give your new employer a copy of your P45 to ensure you do not pay too much tax on earnings. If you don't have a P45 you should be asked to complete a 'starter declaration' instead.
How do I get a National Insurance number?
Your National Insurance number is unique to you and you keep the same one all your life. It makes sure that the National Insurance contributions and Income Tax you pay are properly recorded against your name. It also acts as a reference number when communicating with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
UK citizens who have always lived in the UK should automatically get a National Insurance number just before their 16th birthday.
If you have a National Insurance number but do not know it you can call the National Insurance Registrations Helpline; Telephone: 0300 200 3502 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm).
If you have never had a National Insurance number and need to apply for one you can call JobCentre Plus on 0345 600 0643 (8.00am to 6pm Monday to Friday). They will send you an application form and may also ask you to go to an interview to confirm your identity.
What should I do if I have a problem at work?
If you have a problem at work it is always best to try and get it resolved quickly. If possible, you should try and talk to your employer about your problems informally at first. You might also like to keep notes of anything that is bothering you. If you wish to raise a problem formally you can always contact us to help you raise a formal grievance.
We can also help advise you on your rights and the processes that should be followed. You can find more information about your rights here
If you have a dispute with your employer you might also like to contact ACAS who can also offer independent and impartial advice about your situation and are the first point of contact if you are wishing to make a claim to an employment tribunal.