Know Your Working Rights in Scotland

Working in a foreign country can be a great experience. Know your working rights in Scotland to make sure you get the best out of the job opportunities.

Click here to find out more about your working rights.

Working in the UK, You Need Two Things:

1. The right to work in the UK – Skilled Worker Visa (A work permit)

2. A National Insurance Number (NINo) which you can get quickly after an appointment at your local job centre. Click here for more information on how to get a NINo.

The Scottish Working Rights

Once you have an employment contract regardless of the number of working hours, it is the case that you are entitled to Scottish legal working rights.

Firstly, there is a National Minimum Wage per hour, this rate is updated every year in October and depends on your age. The current rates are £8.91 per hour for people who are 25 years and older, £8.36 per hour for people who are between 21 and 24 and £6.56 per hour for people who are between 18 and 20 years old.

Secondly, the law ensures that all workers have the right to receive holiday pay in relation to the number of hours they work. Full-time workers are automatically entitled to a 28-days-leave per year and a pro rata amount is applied for part-time contracts.

In addition, you cannot have an employment contract with more than 48 hours per week and your employer has to give you a 20-minute-break if you work for 6 consecutive hours.

Moreover, in case of sickness (with a medical proof from a medical centre), employees also have the right to get sick pay if they are off work.

Before starting a job, you should be aware of certain type of contracts, that is if you want to avoid some bad surprises. For example, the ’Zero-hour contract’ and ‘Key time contract’ mean you are not guaranteed any number of working hours each week.


Sometimes employers ask you to be self-employed. For example you may be a self-employed photographer, hairdresser, gardener, tutor or musician or maybe you want to start your own company – one in every 7 new UK businesses is started by a migrant. It is easy to register a new business for tax and there is no minimum amount of tax you have to pay each year.

As a self-employed person, you may not have a regular income and will probably have to work extremely hard. However, the rewards of flexibility and being your own boss can be amazing.

To cut a long story short, in Scotland no contract of employment can take UK working rights away from you. Finally, all the best with your working journey in Scotland.


= ‘to be entitled to something’ means that it is your right to have something

pro rata

= at the agreed rate for hours worked (e.g. overtime paid pro rata)


= next to each other in a sequence (e.g. 17 & 18 are consecutive numbers, Thursday & Friday are consecutive days)

to cut a long story short

= this is an idiom that basically means ‘instead of telling you all the details, here’s the main point of what I want to say’


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