I get many questions nearly on a daily basis regarding jobs in London, but I guess there are things you need to do before getting a Job here in London. Please note that I am writing this article for whoever can work in the UK without a VISA, I will not go into that field, so please go ahead and read the article if you already hold rights to legally work in the UK.
So lets see some very important things you need to know or do before you decide to start your new life in London.
Mainly you will get paid every month. Some jobs especially in Hospitality, can still pay every 2 weeks, but mainly you will get paid monthly on the same day. If you are used to be paid every 2 weeks, you might have to learn how to manage your money better at the beginning, but in the end it wont make much difference.
Yes, commute is a big thing in London. Since prices of rent are cheaper outside zone 2 and 3, many decide to rent or buy in zone 3-6. This also means you will have to commute into Central London for work. ( If you do work in Central London of course). It is not a nightmare as it might seems. I am very lucky: live in zone 3 very close to the Tube Station and I work in Central London, it takes me 40 minute door-to-door every morning. Honestly, this is nothing in London. A 40 minute commute time is very little. So please consider your commuting time when considering working in London.
You will have a contract, pretty much always. You may start with a probation period, three or six month, and this is a contract already. After your probation period, if everything has been ok and your employer likes you, you will get a full contract, permanent contract. Please read each contract very well, it is very important to know what you are signing in for. Your contract should tell you about your holiday: hourly rate or annual salary, notice period etc etc. Note that amount of money mentioned on your contract is always gross. If you want to calculate your net salary you can use this online calculator, it is pretty accurate.
The Law in the UK says every employee should get a minimum of 20 days per year. How this days are distributed throughout the year is down to the Employer. In my previous job I could have used my 20 days within a solar year (for example from march to march), and also (very important!) when I left the job I got paid for the holiday days that I did not use.
Current job is different: I can use my 23 holiday days within the calendar year (from Jan 1st to 31st Dec). I must use all my holiday days, because I will not get paid for them if I dont use them, and I can not transfer some of my 2019 holiday days into 2020.
Again, read your contract and ask questions to your employer or HR Manager if you have any doubt.
Oh, this is so important! I get question about this and I read a lot of people getting doubts about notice periods. It is so important to read your contract because this can be very different from a job to another. There is no set rule. Generally you have a 4 week notice period, or a 2 week one. You want to make sure you respect this notice in order to get paid for your last month of work and, also, you dont wanna argue with your employer since you might need references for your next job. Play smart.
I have talked about this before in one of my previous articles, but here we go again: you need a National Insurance Number to work in the UK.
Call the National Insurance number application line to apply.
National Insurance number application line
Telephone: 0800 141 2075
Textphone: 0800 141 2438
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Also you need an Account number and Sort Code to get your money from your employer. Yes, you will be asked for this, it is the Law and usually employers stick to it even if it just for temporary jobs, such as being a waiter in a local cafe. Of course, it can happen that you get paid cash (“cash-in-hand” jobs), but please remember that this is not the proper way to do things. Plus this “transactions” will not be registered anywhere, hence the Government will not know you are working in the UK, hence (again) you might have serious issues after Brexit. Getting a Bank Account without a job or a NIN number it is not super easy, but now it is very simple with Cards such as Revoult. I have written a very easy to read article about it, read it and apply. Easy and stress free.
It will take you a few weeks to get your NIN but you can start working legally by showing your employer a copy of your appointment request.
You have the right to be paid the minimum wage and this changes every year and it also changes according to your age and if you work in London (it is called London Leaving Wage) or in the rest of the UK. Please view this page to get an idea of how much you can be paid. Remember you should never accept a job which pays you less than what you are entitled to. It is not common in the UK and London to find such employers but, of course, they do exist and we want to avoid them, right?
Note that the London Leaving Wage it is not enforced by the Government. This means that right now it is just a suggestion, and to be honest many employers do apply it, but many dont. National Minimum Wage is mandatory instead. Employers have to apply it.
Hopefully all these info helped you out a little, and you might have less doubts about you moving to London. Many more info can be found in a series of articles I have written in the past regarding life in London 🙂 Enjoy.