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New to Working in the UK

New to Working in the UK

If you’re not a British or EU citizen and this is the first time you have tried to find work in the UK, this is a guide to some key things you need to know before you can approach an agency or client.

Visa or Work Permit

You may not be able to work in the UK if you do not have a visa or work permit.  To check your status, you must visit

Residence Status

In the UK you are taxed under the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) system.  You must contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to assess your residency status.  The assessment is normally carried out by asking you to complete a form P86.

National Insurance Number

To work in the UK you need to be issued a National Insurance number, which will be issued to you by the Department for Work and Pensions once you have established your right to work (and live) here.  In the UK you have to pay class 1 National Insurance on your earnings if you are employed.  National Insurance contributions (NICs) are payments you make towards entitlement to certain state benefits.  You must contact the Department of Work and Pensions as soon as possible after entering the UK.  They will arrange to interview you in person and will need to see certain documentation before they decide if you are eligible to be given a National Insurance number.

Bank Account

You must ensure that you have a UK bank account if you want to become an employee of an umbrella payroll company, as your earnings will be paid directly into it.

Below is a list of websites that may be useful when establishing your right to live and work in the UK: