Starting Work the basics

The Basics

The information in this guide was last updated on 26/02/2014

As a new employee, you’ll probably be paying tax and National Insurance contributions and you may need to open a bank account for the first time. You may also be starting to pay back a student loan, and could have the offer of a pension or other benefits from your employer.

How are you going to be paid?

How your wages are paid will depend on your contract of employment. There are several ways this can be done, but whatever the method you should know when you’re going to be paid – for example at the end of the week or the end of the month.

Your employer may pay your wages:

  • Straight into your bank account – you’ll need to give your employer your bank or building society details, and of course, have an account for them to pay into.
  • By cheque – again, you’ll need a bank account to pay this into. There are companies that cash cheques, but they may charge a fee for this.
  • In cash – if your employer pays you in cash, they should still be paying National Insurance contributions and you should still get a payslip.

Working for yourself

If you are self-employed, you’ll be responsible for paying your own tax and National Insurance. For more advice on being self-employed visit the HMRC website.

Choosing a bank account

If you haven’t already got a bank account, it’s a good idea to open one when you start working. There are lots of different types of bank account on the market. Some will reward you with things like travel insurance and access to preferential rates for paying in your salary, so even if you’ve already got an account you may want to consider switching to ensure your account best matches your needs. See our guide to choosing a bank account

Understanding your payslip

Budgeting and Saving