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Acas launches new guidance for students planning to work while at university

Monday 16 September 2019

Workplace expert, Acas, has published new advice today for university students who plan to work part-time after they start 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."

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

Top tips include:

  • Part-time workers receive Holidays based on the hours 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 in the same way as regular workers.
  • Gig work usually means you are paid for the amount of 'gigs' you do which might be anything from delivering food to handing out marketing samples. But some gig work is self-employed, which does not entitle you to some basic workplace rights such as paid time off work.
  • You may be asked to wear a uniform or the workplace may have a certain Dress code that is expected, 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 then ask your supervisor or a colleague.

For the full advice go to

Acas also has advice for employers on employing young and new workers and settling them into the workplace.

Notes to editors

  1. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. We support good relationships between employers and employees which underpin business success. We also provide good value, high quality training and tailored advice to employers. Our expertise is based on millions of contacts with employers and employees each year. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.
  2. For media enquiries please contact Shumon Ali-Rahman on 0330 109 3642 / For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 0330 109 7070.