Key Employment Rights for Students

1. National Minimum Wage

2. Written Terms & Conditions
All employees have an employment contract with their employer. An employment contract, like any contract, isn’t necessarily in writing. If you’ve agreed to do work in return for pay, you’ve got a contract. You must have a written summary of key terms and conditions if your contract is due to last more than a month. 

A contract is an agreement that sets out an employee’s:

  • Employment conditions
  • Rights
  • Responsibilities
  • Duties

For details, see

3. Got Your Number?
If you are a long-term resident in the UK, you will probably already have a National Insurance Number (NINO for short) that was sent to you when you were 16.

You will need a NINO if you are looking for work. To apply, phone 0845 600 0643. You will have to attend an interview at the Jobcentre and provide evidence of identity. More information is available from

4. Notice of termination of employment
Both the employee and employer are normally entitled to a minimum period of notice on termination of employment.

Notice periods should be one of the main terms and conditions of employment and included in the employee's written statement.


5. Dismissal
Have you been working long enough to apply to an Employment Tribunal? There are exceptions.

Do you have valid grounds?

Are you within time to challenge your (ex) employer at an Employment Tribunal?

Find out at

6. Unlawful Discrimination

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because if you have a “protected characteristic”, as set out in the Equality Act 2010. Discrimination can include lower pay, and selection for redundancy or dismissal. 

Employers may have an obligation to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to support disabled workers, and to take into account others’ protected characteristics in managing them.  For further information, see

7. Tax

If you have a job when you’re a student you may need to pay Income Tax and National Insurance. For further information, go to