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Working in the UK
Bank Account
Minimum Wage
Tax and PAYE
National Insurance

Recruitment Information

Working in the UK

Your employer will need to know if it is legal for you to work in the UK and whether you need a work permit or visa. You will need to show proof of your right to work.

Who can work in the UK?
If you want to come to the UK to work, whether you can do so depends on who you are. Unless you're a British citizen or a citizen of one of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, you may need a visa before you travel here.

Accession state workers
If you're from one of the new European Union member, or 'accession', states you may need to register with the Home Office under the Worker Registration Scheme within one month of starting a job.

If you're an international student you may not need permission to work here when you're studying. If your home country is in the EEA, or you're a Swiss national, you can work without restrictions on the type or amount of work you do.

What proof an employer will need
If you're from an EEA country, you'll need to show a prospective employer your passport, national identity card or Home Office Residence Permit.
Employers can face unlimited fines if they employ illegal workers so don't be offended if you're asked to prove your nationality, even if it's 'obvious'. Even UK nationals will be asked to provide proof of their nationality. back to top


Before Renting in the UK...

Estate or Letting Agencies
Most of the adverts for renting flats/houses in the newspapers are web-sites through Estate or Letting Agents. Estate Agents can sometimes be very helpful. You can walk in to see if they have anything that suits your needs. Letting Agents may not be used to dealing with people from overseas, so your experiences with them can be very different. Always ask questions and read the Tenancy Agreements carefully and check all the costs involved.

Transportation Links
Before you sign a Tenancy Agreement, you should be sure it is within reasonable walking distance of the nearest transportation links. Try to catch the bus or train at rush hour and see how long it takes you to get to the area you are interested in i.e. workplace or shops. A bus stop nearby is advisable.

UK Apartments and Houses are usually rented unfurnished or furnished only with the basic items. In a flat you might expect a cooker, bed (or mattress), suite and sometimes dining table with chairs. If the flat is advertised as furnished be sure you find out exactly what the landlord provides.

Most rental arrangements will require you to pay a bond. It is usually an equivalent to a full month's rent. Unless you damaged something in the house, you will get the bond back after you have vacated the property and it has been inspected. Landlords can also refuse to give the bond back if you move out before contract's termination date. Please ask carefully about any repairs you want to have done, or any work that is being done on the flat in general, you may find that large and unexpected amounts are deducted from your bond when you get it back due to any such repairs.

If you know people that live in area already, they might have a spare room or a friend who may have one. There are a lot of rooms available in partially rented houses and you can often find these advertisements in the local newspapers or on websites. Often people in your workplace will know someone who has a room available. In general you should have no problem finding affordable accommodation and location.

Council Tax
This is a compulsory tax levied by the Local Government or Borough Council and is paid by all residents. This fee is generally paid on a monthly basis and is passed on to Tenants from House owners. Be sure you have received all the information on the Council Tax due for that property. The Council Tax invoice will be posted to your address and it is to be paid by those who have signed the Tenancy Agreement. It is not usually a huge amount and varies from area to area (£70 - £120 a month). It is very important, so do not forget about it, as this could lead to prosecution for late or unpaid Council Tax.

Be sure to find out how the flat is heated and what the average costs of heating are. Most houses are equipped with Gas central heating. It can become expensive if not used correctly. Please ensure that it is on a timer so heat is not generated throughout the house if you are not at home. However some flats and houses will have electric central heating which can be very expensive. If not used in the correct manner.

TV Licence
If you own a television you are required to pay for a TV licence. If you have a television and are caught by the TV licensing authority for not being in possession of a TV License, you will be issued with a fine (up to £1000). If a TV license has run out, your address will be highlighted as not being in possession of a TV License and you may receive a reminding letter or a knock on the door, asking if you are in a possession of a TV.

If you require any further information, visit:
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Bank Account

You may have heard that it's not as easy as one might think to open a bank account in the UK. That is true.

If you want to open a bank account, you will need the following:

  • Proof of identity - Passport and / or ID card
  • Proof of employment from your Employer
  • Proof of address (e.g. utility bill, council tax, tenancy agreement).
  • Please be prepared with any of the above documents as this will vary depending on the bank you use.

You will find it difficult to produce proof of your address on the day of your arrival to the UK. The easiest option is to go to Lloyds TSB, they can give you a current account or the HSBC Bank, they will allow you to open a basic bank account.

All you will need is proof of your identity and a letter from your Employer confirming your employment and address details. Your letter should be addressed to the Manager of the Bank you would like to use, preferably in your city and printed on your Employers Letter Headed paper.

It usually takes 10-14 days for the Bank to open your account. You will receive a cash card and a PIN (Personal Identification Number) which will be posted to you in separate letters to your home address.
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Minimum Wage

With a few exceptions, all workers in the UK aged 16 or over are legally entitled to be paid a minimum amount per hour. This is regardless of the kind of work they do or the size and type of Company they work for. The amount is set by the Government each year based on the recommendations of the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC). The rate is reviewed every year, any increases will take place in October.

There are different levels of National Minimum Wage, depending on the age of the worker. The current rates are as follows:

National Minimum Wage rates

  • £7.50 an aged 25+
  • £7.05 an hour (full/adult rate) age 21 – 24 inclusive
  • £5.60 an hour (development rate) age 18 to 20 inclusive
  • £4.05 an hour (school leaver) age 16 to 17
  • £3.50 an hour (Apprentices) If after 12 months you are aged 19 the rate applicable to your age will apply under the National Minimum Wage.

    Rates correct as of 1st April 2017.

Almost everyone who works in the UK is legally entitled to be paid the
National Minimum Wage. For example, you are entitled to receive the minimum wage if you are: employed by an Agency, a Part-time worker or a worker on a short-term contract.
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Tax & PAYE

The most common taxation status for working in the UK is the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxation scheme where tax will be deducted from your pay, by your Employer, prior to you receiving your pay. PAYE tax is made up of Income Tax and National Insurance. A tax year runs in the UK from 6 April to the following 5 April.

Income Tax Rates 2015/16

Income tax: taxable bands / £ per year 2014-2015
Basic rate 20% / upto £31,785
Higher rate 40% / Over £31,785 to £150,000
Additional rate 45% / Over £150,000

Everyone who lives in the UK is entitled to an Income Tax personal allowance. This is amount of income you can receive each year without having to pay tax on it. Depending on your circumstances, you may also be able to claim certain other allowances. Personal tax allowance (age under 65) for tax year 2015/2016 is £10,600

Getting a Tax Code
When you start working in the UK the Inland Revenue will assess how you should be taxed. Once the Inland Revenue has assessed your status they will issue a tax code to your employer that tells them at what rate to deduct your tax. Until this tax code is issued your employer is forced to deduct tax at the emergency tax code denoted by the letters BR. Tax is then deducted at 23% of your gross income.

When you start a new job, you usually give your new Employer the P45 form (below: Leaving a job) that was given to you by the previous Employer. Your new Employer uses the tax code that the old employer used. If you leave a job before the end of a tax year (5 April) and start your new job in the next tax year, your employer may increase your tax code in order to give you the new personal allowance for the new tax year. There are a number of reasons why you may not have a P45:

  • You may not have worked before, or have been self-employed
  • You may never have worked in the UK before
  • Your previous employer may not have given you the P45 yet
  • You may simply have lost it.

Whatever the reason, if you cannot give your new Employer a P45, the Employer must give you a form P46 to complete. Download P46 form
You will receive a P2 coding notice from your Tax office giving you a new tax code this explains how it is worked out. Your Employer will also receive coding notice showing the same tax code, with instructions to apply it to your next wage or, and future wages after that.

Leaving a job
If you leave your job the Employer should provide you with a P45 Form. Receiving it may take some time. This will be issued to you when the Employers has calculated the monies owed to you (i.e. monthly bonus, holiday pay etc.).

The P45 gives details of your Employer's tax office, Tax reference number, Tax code and the total amount of pay and tax deducted during the current tax year. If tax has been deducted on the emergency code, the P45 will have an X in the box marked week 1 or month 1 and there will not be any details of pay or Tax. You should keep the P45 in case you start work again.

If your Employer fails to give you a P45 after being asked to do so, you should contact your tax office as they may encourage your Employer to issue a P45.

End of tax year
If you are working for an Employer at the end of the financial year which falls on 5 April, you will be issued with a P60 that records your total gross earnings and is proof of the tax you have paid up to the end of that financial year. To ensure your rebate is successful you must retain your P60 and submit it with your claim.

Getting overpaid tax back
To get your tax back, you need to fill in an R40 form which is available from Inland Revenue offices or you can download it from our site. Each tax year is treated as a separate claim and you must submit all records of your income and tax for the financial year of your claim (i.e. P45s, P60 etc.). You have almost 6 years to claim your overpaid tax back. So for the tax year that ended on 5 April 2000 you need to contact your Tax Office by 31 January 2006.

Download R40 Form | Download Guidance Notes | Check your year tax refund

Getting your tax back has nothing to do with your nationality or residency status and depends entirely on whether or not you have overpaid tax in the financial year.

P86 form
This form should be completed if you have come to the UK for the first time or after a period of absence. It helps the Tax office decide your residence status for income and capital gains tax purposes and will help to give you the correct Income Tax allowances and, if relevant, reviews your domicile position. A P46 should also be submitted. Download P86 Form

Need more information? Visit or

Do you want to know how much you would earn net?
Visit one of the on-line Net pay calculators or

(This net pay calculator can be used for estimating taxes and net pay. This is only an approximation.)
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Worker Registration

Since 1 May 2004, most nationals of the new member states (except Cyprus and Malta) working in the UK are subject to the Accession State Worker Registration Scheme. You are required to register if you plan to work for more than one month for an employer in the UK.

You will need to register with the Home Office if:

  • You are a national of one of the new Member States (apart from Malta and Cyprus) subject to the Worker Registration Scheme
  • And, you start a new job on or after 1 May 2004
  • Or, you have been working in the UK before 1 May without permission.

    Click here to check if you do not need to register

You should apply to register with the Worker Registration Scheme as soon as you start a new job. If you do not apply within one month of starting a job, your employment will be illegal after that date. It will be illegal until you are issued with a registration certificate and you may have to stop working.

How to apply
Complete application form WRS giving your name, address, date of birth, nationality and your employment details. To get an application form and more information, telephone: 08705 210 224 or download it from Home Office website:

If this is your first application, you must send with it:

  • A letter from your employer confirming the start date of your employment
  • Two passport-size photographs
  • Your passport or ID card (original document – must not be a copy)
  • Payment of £90.

    You can pay by UK cheque, UK postal order (at the Post Office) or by credit or debit card. You must not send cash. A postal order is the quickest and the most common way to pay. Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to: Home Office, Work Permits (UK).

Your form MUST then be sent to:

Worker Registration Team
Home Office
Walsall Road
WS11 0JA
Please use Recorded Delivery.

What happens next?
If your application is successful, you will get the following papers:

Registration Card

  • Includes your name, date of birth, nationality, your photograph and a unique reference number
  • Registration Certificate (in the form of a letter) this authorises you to work for the employer named in your application and expires on the date you stop working for that employer
  • Your employer will get a copy of this certificate
  • Your Passport or ID card.

Make sure to keep the registration card and certificate in a safe place.
You will receive a letter in cases where there is something missing in your application. If your application is not successful, you will receive a letter of refusal and return your passport or ID card. In this case Home Office will refund your payment in full and also send a copy of the refusal letter to your employer. Depending on the season of the year, it may take up to 6 weeks to receive the document above. Please be patient.

Changing job
If you change jobs, you must apply again for a registration certificate to be authorised to work for your new employer. You should use the application form WRS however you do not have to pay a fee or send your Passport or National ID card. What you must do is quote the reference number on your registration card and provide details of your new employer. You will be issued with a new certificate naming your new employer. You should keep the new certificate together with original certificate and photo registration card.

Permit of Residence
Once you have been working legally in the UK for 12 months without a break (not be out of work for more than a total of 30 days in a 12 month period) you will have full rights of free movement and will no longer need to register on the Worker Registration scheme. You can then get an EEA residence permit confirming your right to live and work in the UK.

You will need your Registration Certificates and other evidence of employment to show 12 months' uninterrupted employment. You can get application forms from the Application Forms Unit:
Telephone: 0870 241 0645
Text-phone service: 0800 3898289
Or visit:
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National Insurance

National Insurance is a scheme where people in work make payments towards benefits and the costs of the National Health Service (NHS). The payments are called National Insurance Contributions. The National Insurance scheme is administered by the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Your National Insurance Number (NI Number) is used by employers for the deduction of Tax and NI Contributions. It is then used to identify you to the Inland Revenue who will correctly record your National Insurance Contributions. You will need to apply for an NI number as soon as possible after you begin work in the UK. You need to ensure that you inform your Employer of your NI number for taxation purposes.

To apply for an NI number you will need to make an appointment at the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) - local Jobcentre Plus or Social Security office.

The interview will usually be on a one-to-one basis (unless, for example, you require an interpreter). At the interview you will need to provide proof of your identity. These are some of the papers you can use to help prove your identity. You will need to provide as much information as possible to confirm your identity. We cannot usually accept photocopies:

  • Valid Passport/ID card
  • Two or more passports if of dual/multi nationality
  • Home Office documents
  • Work Permit
  • Letter from employer/contract of employment
    Evidence of actively seeking work
  • Payslips
  • Mortgage/rental agreement of letter confirming where residing
  • Marriage/birth certificate/deed poll
  • Student loan documentation
  • Services contract
  • Invoices/Bills
  • Letter from accountant
  • Letter from clients
  • Letter from college, including details of type and length of course and weekly hours
  • Student ID card
  • Full driving licence

    How to prove your identity:

The interviewer will ask you questions about your background and circumstances (i.e. how and when you arrived in the UK, who you worked for, where you lived etc.). It can be a lengthy process so be prepared. You will not be issued with a number until the office is satisfied that you have proved your identity. Some people may have problems because they do not have the documents usually accepted as evidence.

After successful interview, you will receive your NI number and NI card in the post. It can take up to 3 months. You should quote this permanent NI number to your employer. A National Insurance number card (NI card) is not proof of your identity; it is just a reminder of your National Insurance number. However, if you lose your National Insurance number card, you should report this to the benefits office or Inland Revenue (NI contributions) office. You will have to fill in a form to get a replacement card. You are only allowed one replacement card.

If you change your name - for example, you get married or divorced, you should return your NI card to the nearest Benefits Office to enable you to apply for a new card. If you move address, become widowed, get married, etc., you should also inform the benefits office or HMRC (NI contributions) office. This helps them to get in touch with you if required. It also means they can contact you about claiming State Retirement Pension just before you reach state retirement age.

To book an appointment for an NI number interview you need to locate the nearest Job Centre run by the Department for Works and Pensions. You can do this by CLICKING HERE

The DWP's website offers more information specifically relating to National Insurance at:
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