Pay & Tax

Part-time employees have the same statutory employment rights as full-time employees. You do not have to work a minimum number of hours to qualify for employment rights.

If you're employed on a casual, temporary or part-time basis by law your employer must:

  • Deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from your wages
  • Give you pay slips
  • Deduct student loan repayments, if relevant
  • Give you a P45 form when you leave
  • Give you a P60 tax summary at the end of each tax year if you still work for the employer


What about cash in hand?

It's illegal for your employer to pay you cash in hand without deducting tax and National Insurance contributions from your wages.  If you accept money in this way, you risk losing your employment rights and the right to some benefits, such as:

  • Maternity or paternity leave
  • Sick pay
  • Jobseeker's Allowance

In addition you could end up having to pay the tax and National Insurance contributions yourself.

For any further pay advice please visit the DirectGov website.


National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour which most workers in the UK, including part-time workers, are entitled to be paid. The rate is reviewed every year and any changes take place in October.

All employers have to pay the NMW to workers who are eligible for it – there are no exceptions for different types or size of employer. Where you work in the UK makes no difference to the level of NMW you should receive. 

National Minimum wage from April 2017 is:

  • Age 25 and over - £7.50 (also known as National Living Wage (NLW)
  • Age 21–24 - £7.05
  • Age 18–20 - £5.60

The Careers & Employability Service does not advertise any positions which do not pay NMW. It is against the law for an employer to pay you less than this.

Please contact the Careers & Employability Service if you have any questions or concerns about your pay.

For any further pay advice please see the DirectGov website.



If you have a job when you’re a student you may need to pay Income Tax and National Insurance.

What is income tax and when do I have to pay it?

Income Tax is your contribution to government spending and is used to pay for services such as education, defence, social security and law and order.  If you earn over a certain amount of money per year you will need to pay Income Tax.

If you work for someone else, your Tax and National Insurance will be paid automatically. It comes straight out of your wages before you even receive them. The amount deducted will appear on your wage slip and they will pay your Tax directly to the Inland Revenue for you. This is known as Pay As You Earn (PAYE). The Tax year runs from 6th April to 5th April each year.


How much tax do I pay?

You will have to pay:

Your employer will usually deduct Income Tax and National Insurance from your wages through Pay As You Earn (PAYE).

If you’ve paid tax and stop working part way through the tax year you may be able to claim a refund. Use HMRC’s tax checker to find out if you might have paid too much tax, or contact HMRC.

For any further pay advice please see the DirectGov website.


Tax Forms

When you begin your employment, you need to fill in a Tax form to ensure your employer does not deduct too much tax. The type of form will depend upon the circumstances.

If you have worked within the current tax year?  If you have a P45 from a previous employer you will need to give it to your new employer, otherwise too much tax may be deducted. Make sure you do not lose this form as copies are NOT available.

If you have not worked in the current tax year?  If this is your first job or you have not previously worked in the current tax year your employer will ask you to complete a 'Starter Checklist' for HMRC to calculate your new tax code. Amongst other details you will need to include your National Insurance Number.

Final tax code?  At the end of the Tax year you’ll receive a P60 from your employer. The P60 confirms your final Tax code for the year and gives details for the year that has just ended.


National Insurance Number

You have a National Insurance number to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only.  It’s made up of letters and numbers and never changes. You can find your National Insurance number:

  • on your payslip
  • on your P60
  • on letters about your tax, pension or benefits

You can apply for a National Insurance number if you don’t have one or find your National Insurance number if you’ve lost it.


Holiday Entitlement

There is a minimum right to paid holiday, but your employer may offer more than this. The main things you should know about holiday rights are that:

  • You are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave (28 days for someone working five days a week) also known as statutory leave entitlement.
  • Part-time workers are entitled to the same level of holiday pro rata (so 5.6 times your usual working week, e.g. 22.4 days for someone working four days a week).
  • You start building up holiday as soon as you start work.
  • Your employer can control when you take your holiday.
  • You get paid your normal pay for your holiday.
  • When you finish a job, you get paid for any holiday you have not taken.
  • Bank and public holidays can be included in your minimum entitlement.
  • You continue to be entitled to your holiday leave throughout your ordinary and additional maternity, paternity and adoption leave.
  • In order to qualify for the right to annual leave you need to be classed as a worker. If you are self-employed, you have no statutory right to paid annual leave.

Use the calculator to provide your holiday entitlement.