Employing students

I would like to take on some university students over their summer break. Is there anything I need to be aware of?

4th July 2014

Subject to very few exceptions, you should follow the same procedure for temporary student workers as you would for any other full-time employee. When they join you, they will complete the Starter Checklist available from www.hmrc.gov.uk as normal.

If they don’t return it to you in time, you may ask them a series of questions, which are essentially:

  1. Is this their first job since 6th April 2014?
  2. Is this their only job now, but they have had a previous job since 6th April 2014?
  3. Do they currently have another job?

If they answer a), use a normal tax code of 1000L. If it’s b), apply 1000L W1/ M1. Or if they answer c), apply a BR tax code. But it is essential that you keep a record of their response, as HMRC can hold you liable for any shortfall in tax you deduct.

If your students are under 16, they must also complete the Starter Checklist, but they won’t be subject to any National Insurance. Also, be aware of the National Minimum Wages rates for their age and any rules that may limit their working hours.

If you would like to discuss this further or perhaps look into TaxAssist Accountants looking after your payroll for you, please contact us to be put in touch with your local office.

By Jo Nockels

Disclaimer: The information provided is based on current guidance (at date of publication) from HMRC and may be subject to change. Any advice shared here is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this information, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

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