Acas launches guidance for students planning to work while at university

Workplace expert Acas has published guidance for university students who plan to work part-time after they start university.

Working part-time at university

Fresher's week begins at most UK universities this week but once the festivities finish, many students may consider taking a part-time job to help with their expenses while they study.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:

"Freshers' Week is a brilliant opportunity for students to meet new people, take part in various social activities and get settled into their new university life.

"Once the festivities are over, there will be students who decide to work part-time to help with living expenses. A lot of these jobs are likely to be casual, gig working or zero-hours contracts.

"Whatever type of work it is, Acas can help with free advice and guidance to help students get the most out of work and make sure they know their rights."

Tips for student workers

Acas's guidance gives tips on what to expect from a pay packet, what to wear and what kind of rights you can get - in jobs that involve part-time working, gig working or zero hours contracts.

Top tips include:

  • As a part-time worker you get holidays based on the hours you've worked, comparable to full-timers. This must be detailed in your employment contract. Check with your manager if you have questions. 
  • Zero-hours workers are entitled to annual leave, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage like regular workers. 
  • 'Gig work' usually means you're paid for the amount of 'gigs' you do. This might be anything from delivering food to handing out marketing samples. But some gig work is self-employed, which means you're not entitled some basic workplace rights such as paid time off work.
  • If you're asked to wear a uniform, or the workplace has a dress code, this should be in your contract and explained to you before you start. 
  • You should expect an induction when you're welcomed into a new organisation. This should include explaining your duties and introducing you to the rest of your team. If you're not sure how to do something or why you're doing it ask your supervisor or a colleague.

Read the full guidance for student workers on the UK Government Web Archive.

Media enquiries

Contact the Acas press office.