Questions and Answers

Do I have the right to work?

In the United Kingdom, all employers are required by law to check their employees have the right to work in the UK. It is illegal to employ someone who does not have permission to work in the UK. It is also illegal to work if you do not have permission to do so.

You can get help:

Central England- Law centre 

More information:

Know your rights by MiFriendly Cities 

How do I find a job?

If you have the right to work in the UK, you can use the UK employment service on an equal basis with UK nationals. The service is restricted to those who are claiming working age benefits.

In England, this is Jobcentre Plus, which has over 1,000 offices where staff can help you find work. Contact details for local Jobcentre Plus offices can be found  on the websites:

Careers Service
The National Careers Service can help you make decisions on learning, training and work opportunities. The service offers free, confidential and impartial advice from qualified advisers, to support you with everything from finding a course, to writing a CV and applying for funding.

The National Careers Service offers advice about careers and skills in England.

Job Shop – If you have the right to work in the UK, the Job shop’s employment Team is part of Coventry City Council. They provide a wide range of support to all Coventry residents, of all ages, who are looking for work and they work with partners across the city.

Job shop

Find a job

You can get help:

Central England- Law centre 

What are my rights at work?

As an employee you have certain rights that your employer must respect:

  • Pay you least the national minimum wage
  • a limit of 48 hours on average per week, although you can choose to work more if you want to
  • a limit of eight hours work on average, taken over a week, in each 24-hour period if you work nights;
  • free health assessments if you work nights;
  • 11 hours uninterrupted break between each working day;
  • a day off each week;
  • a rest break of 20 minutes if you work longer than six hours; and
  • four weeks’ paid leave per year 20 days plus 8 days national holiday

You have:

  • The right to belong to a trade union
  • The right to not be treated differently because of your sex, sexual orientation, race, disability or religion
  • NINo

Rights and Responsibilities at work

Know your rights by MiFriendly Cities 

Know your rights by Migrants’ Rights Network

How can I give back to community?

Volunteering is described as an unpaid activity where someone gives their time to help to support a good cause.

One of the better-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. However, volunteering is a two-way street, and it can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

Common volunteer roles :

  • working in a charity shop (a shop that sells second-hand and new goods to raise money for a charity)
  • fundraising – working to raise money for a charity
  • conservation – looking after the natural environment

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Voluntary Action Coventry

How can I open a bank account?

Opening a bank account is a priority when you arrive in the UK because you will need to keep your money safe. Benefit payments will usually be paid directly into your bank account and it is also the easiest way for employers to pay if you get a job. If you get paid by cheque and don’t have a bank account you’ll have to take it to a cheque cashing shop and pay a fee. There are a range of banks available to the public in the UK.

How to open a bank account

Getting a bank account

List of banks in the UK

Comparison sites