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7 Signs That You Should Consider a Career in Accountancy

Rachael Richardson-Bullock17 June 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Tom Bilby, Marketing Executive, The Accountancy Partnership

3 students sitting and talking in front of a whiteboard.

Right, let’s get this straight – being a successful accountant isn’t all about tricky mental maths and crunching numbers.  

Sure, numerical skills are an important part of the role, but there’s more to accountancy than working out percentages without the help of a calculator. 

Fear not though! Attending university means it’s likely you’ve already got an entire arsenal of tools under your belt that should certainly not be overlooked or undervalued.  

Here are 7 signs that a career in accountancy might just be your cup of tea:  

1. You’re strict about hitting deadlines

If ‘deadline-crusher’ is your (double-barrelled) middle name, you’re halfway there already. As an accountant, you’ll be dealing with tight deadlines on a regular basis. Organisation and the ability to prioritise whilst staying cool, calm and collected under pressure are all vital accountancy attributes.

2. You take an analytical approach to problems

When faced with a task or problem, an accountant needs to be able to switch into analytical mode in order to navigate an effective solution. This is something university students are well-practised in thanks to all that lateral thinking and research.

3. You know how to budget and save cash

Were you the envy of your peers for being able to budget your student loan down to the last penny every month? No? Either way, there are lessons there that you now have experience of, whether you’re a budgeting wonder or not. That skill will serve you well when it comes to offering clients advice on how to nurture their cash flow, spend wisely and cut costs efficiently.

4. You ain’t afraid of no test

Ongoing exams come hand-in-hand with a career in accounting but hey, as a (former) student, you must be well-versed in the world of studying and revision by now. If you don’t mind another few years of qualification-chasing, you’ll be just fine.

5. You have Dragon’s Den on series record

Although you might not want to own your own business, it does help to have an entrepreneurial streak, or at least an empathy for it. That way you’ll understand your clients and help them identify ways in which they can grow their own ventures.

6. No mistake flies under your radar

A major part of an accountant’s job is helping clients reduce the risk of errors across their accounts and bookkeeping. So, you’ll need a keen eye for errors and anomalies, and the ability to be proactive in putting them right.

7. You have an endless supply of patience

As an accountant, you’ll spend a fair amount of time communicating with clients about their financial situation and the status of their business. At times, this might be a high-pressure role as clients come to you with stress or worries about money.

Sometimes what is second nature to you can be quite complex to a non-accountant, so when having these conversations, you’ll need to be patient and willing to explain things multiple times if needs be.

You ready for it?

Do some, or all of these, sound just like you? If so, it might be time to start seriously considering hopping onto the very first rung of the accountancy career ladder!

Don’t worry if that ladder starts to wobble, there are plenty of resources and channels of support out there to help you keep your balance and carry-on ascending.

The Accountancy Partnership is an online accounting firm for small businesses. Learn more about our approach to changing the profile of modern accounting!

Don’t delay – there’s still time to apply for a UCL Connected Learning Internship

Rachael Richardson-Bullock17 May 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Eleanor King, UCL Student

Man sitting at a table resting his chin on his hands smiling.

Over 140 students working across 74 projects completed a UCL Connected Learning Internship during July and August 2020. Student feedback confirmed that these opportunities greatly improved key employability skills, including written and verbal communication, teamwork and collaboration, planning and organising, problem-solving, decision-making and even creativity. 

Don’t just take our word for it. Read below for an exclusive interview from Eleanor King, who completed her Connected Learning Internship at UCL in 2021. 

1.) What made you apply for a Connected Learning Internship, and how did you find out about it? 

I wanted to truly get involved with the UCL community – as a postgraduate new to UCL, during a time of great disconnection (the pandemic), I wanted to feel more like a part of the university. The UCL Careers Instagram page was where I first found out about the internships – I find the page very useful and I use the updates via the Instagram Stories to explore opportunities within UCL while studying. I was motivated to apply because of the skills that internships give you, and their value to employers. This internship in particular – Connected Learning for Accessibility and Inclusivity in Disaster Studies – appealed to me, as I am passionate about outreach, having previously worked as a student mentor as an undergraduate. 

 2.) Did you gain any particular skills or learn anything new during the internship? 

Absolutely – firstly, from a completely technical perspective, I learned how to use Adobe Acrobat in order to make PDF documents more accessible. This is something that will really help me, as I apply for jobs. I also improved my organisational skills, I was able to connect with new professionals, all of them in another department, and learn more about what entailed accessibility and inclusivity, which broadened my knowledge. I learned not only from the academic staff I was working with, but also fellow intern Fransesca Kurlansky, as we discussed our individual tasks together, and conducted a critical appraisal of a lecture created by one of our mentors, Virginie Le Masson. This internship reinforced my interest in outreach, and it further enhanced what must be considered when making content more inclusive, strengthening my grasp of intersectionality – something which will help me in my studies. 

3.) How will you apply this experience to your future career journey? 

The experience and skills I gained from this internship will be invaluable to my future career journey. It strengthened my ability to assess and scrutinise content, and I am more aware of factors to search for when looking at a document’s accessibility score and how inclusive it is, making me able to implement change in the workplace. It has also shown me that I am able to take up multiple roles simultaneously, as I am able to organise my time effectively, as I have displayed by balancing the internship with my university work. It has taught me to always say yes to new opportunities, as they will bring new skills and rewards – something that I will always apply as I embark on my future career journey. 

4.) What is inspiring you right now?  

My new move to London is inspiring me currently. I have just moved to London after studying from home, and the independence, new outlook and opportunities this has given me is inspiring me to work harder on my masters and job applications. Having started my masters under COVID-19 restrictions and not being able to meet new people in a new city was something that, when I applied, I couldn’t ever have imagined, nor wanted to imagine. However, I pushed myself to get involved with the opportunities that UCL offer to feel more connected with the university community. Having been able to write for a university magazine and complete an internship while under restrictions felt like a massive achievement, and it is my ability to now go to campus that is driving me to continue to leave my mark on the UCL community. 

Next steps: 

If Eleanor’s experience has inspired you, then take a look at the current Connected Learning Internship opportunities available to you.  All internships are fully funded and are available remote/online for up to 70 hours per role, to be undertaken between 12 July 2021 and 27 August 2021. 

Remember to submit your application online via myUCLCareers by 21 May 2021.

4 Reasons to Apply for a UCL Connected Learning Internship

Joe O'Brien13 May 2021

Read time: 3 minutes

Written by Rachael Richardson-Bullock, Marketing Communications Administrator at UCL Careers.

3 women sitting a table in a row smiling.

Are you looking to gain some experience to add to your CV? Or would you like an opportunity to reflect on your current strengths and develop new skills? Then the UCL Connected Learning Internship Scheme may be just the thing for you. Paid internships are available across a range of academic and professional service departments throughout UCL between 12 July and 27 August 2021. You will be required to commit 70 hours per role and can apply for up to two opportunities most suited to your skillset, experience and motivation. Sound good? Here’s 4 reasons why you should apply:

1.) Gain employability skills

Person specifications are always looking for key employability skills, like written and verbal communication, teamwork and collaboration, high level of organisation, problem-solving…the list goes on! A UCL Connected Learning Internship can help you gain or build on these skills, helping you become more desirable to employers. Over 140 students worked across 74 projects during July and August last year, and confirmed their opportunities improved these key employability skills.

2.) Designated support

We know that undertaking an internship can be a daunting prospect, but with a UCL Connected Learning Internship, you’ll be supported by a dedicated supervisor from within the hiring department, so you’ll have plenty of help and guidance throughout the opportunity. Direct feedback on how well you’re doing and where you could improve will help you maximise your internship but also prepare for the world of work.

3.) Self-reflection

You’ll be offered the use of a self-reflection tool, so you can map your progress throughout your internship. You’ll also have the option to discuss your experience with a member of the UCL Careers Team to reflect on how the internship has supported your employability skills development. This is a great chance for you to articulate your new skills, competencies and motivations for your CV and for future applications.

4.) Income

All of the UCL Connected Learning internships are paid at the London Living Wage, so this is a great opportunity to obtain an income and gain some valuable skills and experiences at the same time.

We hope these reasons have helped convince you, but don’t just take our word for it! Hear from students who completed a UCL Connected Learning Internship during July and August 2020:

‘Really enjoyed the internship. Interesting content and useful transferable skills that I’ll take forwards.’

‘I loved my team and how accommodating and friendly they were. They gave me a lot of flexibility and allowed me to try to pursue what I want to get out of the internship.’

‘It was an amazing opportunity to help the department, knowing that this will have an impact on the students.’

‘A great experience that led on to a further 8 week post.’

OK I’m in! What do I need to know about applying?

UCL Student – you must be a current UCL student to apply.

Deadline – the deadline for applications is 21 May 2021.

Application – via myUCLCareers.

Time Commitment – you should ensure you can commit enough time to complete the internship during the period specified and as agreed with the host UCL department.

Online/Remote Working – internships will be conducted online, so you must have the ability to work independently (and remotely) and the circumstances to carry out the work in this way.

Individual Role Requirements – each internship will have specific requirements, so please do check the individual role descriptions for each internship that you wish to apply for.

Remember, you can book a one to one appointment with a member of the UCL Careers team for personalised practical tips and advice to help you better understand how recruiters will shortlist your applications and how you can best demonstrate your motivation and your most relevant skills and experience. View the opportunities available and apply now via myUCLCareers.

Good luck!

Share your Talents…with UCL Talent Bank

Joe O'Brien23 February 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Victoria Abbott, Recruitment & Selection Advisor at UCL Careers.

If you are looking for a job for when you graduate, or an internship for the summer break, try UCL Talent Bank.

UCL Talent Bank is a service run by UCL Careers which matches UCL candidates with opportunities sourced by the UCL Talent Bank team. The team actively source opportunities for UCL students and graduates, and then present applications to employers.

Anytime you submit an application via UCL Talent Bank and are unsuccessful in securing the role, one of our career professionals will provide you with tailored feedback on your application, helping you to develop your application skills and increase your chances of successfully securing a role in the future.

Typically, these opportunities are at Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and include internships, graduate roles, and part time jobs. Plus, all of the opportunities are exclusive to you as a UCL student or graduate, increasing your chances of successfully securing a role!

Keep reading for an exclusive interview with Nasima Bashar, Internships & Vacancies Officer at UCL Careers, who helps organise opportunities for UCL students via the UCL Talent Bank service.

This sounds like an amazing opportunity for students! Can you tell me a little bit more about the process and how students can apply?

Once we advertise the role on myUCLCareers, students can start their application, which typically involves uploading a tailored CV and cover letter. Once the deadline has passed, we review the applications and send the shortlisted candidates to the employer.

Students can apply for as many UCL Talent Bank opportunities as they like and all opportunities on myUCLCareers are paid in accordance with National Minimum Wage legislation.

The employer will then get in touch with any candidates whom they wish to follow up with, and progress to the next stage of the recruitment process.  If students are not invited for an interview, but were shortlisted, we ask the employer to provide feedback on the application and why they chose not to interview on that occasion.

If students are unsuccessful for a role, we can also provide individual and tailored feedback, specifying key areas that can be worked on to ensure improvements ready for the next application.

So how are UCL Talent Bank opportunities sourced compared to other roles that students may find for themselves?

We will actively source opportunities for UCL students and graduates, and present applications to employers on every occasion we possibly can, to ensure students have the best opportunities available to them.

We look for roles that will be of benefit to UCL students in terms of the skill set, support, and general wealth of experience that can be gained from working at each organisation. There are dedicated members of the UCL Careers team who seek roles for specific student groups, including engineering students, PhD and research students, and opportunities which are appropriate for all student levels across all academic disciplines.

It is a great pleasure to source opportunities where students go on to thrive in their roles and really enjoy working within a supportive and engaging workplace.

Fantastic! Are there any additional advantages to be gained from engaging with the UCL Talent Bank service?

A UCL Talent Bank opportunity is typically exclusive to UCL students, but this is not the only benefit of the service. When sourcing an opportunity, we make sure there is a good amount of support in place for our students who successfully secure the role, whether that be a supervisor or mentor who oversees the student.

We also ensure there are specific objectives and outcomes which the student can work towards throughout their time at the organisation and really try to ensure there are real benefits and tangible skills the students will gain from the opportunity.

Employers are very interested in recruiting the best talent, and UCL is the best place to do so. We have over 40,000 students within the University made up of undergraduates, postgraduates and research students and employers are fully aware we have plenty of bright students who meet their organisational needs!

Many UCL students and graduates have benefited from the scheme, which began in 2015. Sarah, UCL BSc Economics alumni, had this to say about the service:

“UCL Talent Bank is a quick and easy way to find fantastic opportunities with SMEs. As a recent graduate I found many relevant, interesting opportunities and the first one I applied for, I got! The job I have now has fast tracked my career and I’ve even started a professional qualification.” 

To begin your UCL Talent Bank search, just log-in to your myUCLCareers account and select UCL Managed Opportunities Scheme list, UCL Talent Bank to view all available opportunities.

 

 

 

5 Things to expect from Careers in the Life Science Industry Week 2021

Joe O'Brien22 February 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Dr Sophia Donaldson, Senior Careers Consultant at UCL Careers.

Starting on Monday 8th March we’re hosting a week of virtual events to help you navigate the Life Sciences Sector, and find out where you might fit within it. All events are held live, and will give you the opportunity to pose your own questions to speakers. Events are open to students, graduates, PhDs, and research staff, with full details and booking here.

Below are 5 things you can expect from the week.

  1. An overview of just how broad the Life Sciences Industry is

“Life Sciences” is a pretty loose term, right? The industry encompasses a huge range of opportunities, including roles in drug development, patenting, marketing, and selling new therapies, or communicating the latest developments in bioscience to policymakers, clinicians, and the public. We’ll kick off the week with a session at 11am on Monday 8th March from CK Group, a science-focused recruitment agency, who’ll provide an overview of the Life Science Sector, and share the kinds of roles they help companies recruit for, including roles for undergraduates, masters grads, and PhD-holders.

  1. Insight into how to use the lab and data science skills you’ve picked up from your course

Many of you will have enjoyed gaining practical experience in labs, either wet or dry, during your course. But aside from progressing within academia like your lecturers have, it can sometimes be difficult to see how these skills might translate into the workplace. So, we’re running an event to help you understand just that. In our Life Science careers in data science and the lab panel, at 6pm Tuesday 9th March, we will bring together professionals working either in lab or clinical research, or with the increasingly large amounts of data generated from them, across a range of settings. You’ll hear what their roles look like day-to-day, and gain top tips on how to follow a similar path. Organisations represented will include GSK, IQVIA, Parexel, and the NHS.

  1. Ideas for how to leave the “doing science” bit to someone else.

Many people don’t necessarily love the laboratory or data analysis elements of their study or research, and yet they still enjoy being exposed to a range of cutting-edge developments. If this sounds like you, rest assured there are plenty of ways to capitalise on your scientific knowledge and background, and stay aligned to science, without actually having to be “a scientist”. We’ll showcase some of these roles in two panel events. In Careers in Science Communication and Policy, at 6pm Monday 8th March, we bring together a range of professionals who communicate the latest life science developments to the public and policy makers. And in Biology and Business, at 6pm Thursday 11th March, we host speakers who have combined their passion for science, with roles in business, investments, and patent law. Organisations represented across these two events include CRUK, Wellcome, BBC, Incyte, and Arix Bioscience.

  1. Insight into how COVID has effected the industry

We all know the effects of the pandemic have been wide-reaching and will last for some time to come. But not all roles and organisations will be affected equally. For example, non-COVID-related health charities may be hit significantly harder than big pharma companies associated with vaccine development. We will be asking all of our speakers to share with us how COVID has impacted their role and organisation, and what they feel the lasting impact may be.

  1. A chance to experience life science sector work first-hand

You can learn a lot from hearing people discuss their roles. But the best way to decide whether or not something is for you? Try it out! We’ve organised two experiential workshops that’ll give you a taste of life sciences work. In A Career in Medical Writing  – Experiential workshop by the European Medical Writing Association 11am-12.30pm, Thursday 11th March, you’ll gain insight into the role of a medical writer, and participate in exercises to practice and improve your own medical writing skills. And in Strategy Consulting in Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare – Experiential Workshop by Cambridge Healthcare Research on Wednesday 10th March, 11am-12pm, you’ll learn about the consultant journey and the kind of consulting case studies you’re likely to face in the interview process and in the job.

 

Preparations for a Sustainable Career

Joe O'Brien15 February 2021

Read time: 2 minutes

Written by Victoria Abbott, Recruitment & Selection Adviser at UCL Careers.

Sustainability is one of the most urgent and pressing challenges we face today and many of us want to get involved through impactful careers. If you want to be part of creating a more sustainable future, then keep reading to discover how you can learn more about the sector and use your skills and experiences to generate change.

Careers in Sustainability Week is designed to give you insights into the roles, rewards, and routes into this rapidly developing sector. Here you can develop your understanding of the business issues and global challenges of the sustainability sector, preparing you for a career in the field. We know that many employers are looking for sustainability conscious employees across the entire organisation – not just in ‘sustainability’ roles.

What’s happening throughout the week, and how will I benefit from taking part?

Panel Events

Hear from employers, graduates and UCL alumni at the forefront of sustainable innovation from a wide variety of roles and sectors. These bespoke panel talks include, but are not limited to:

  • Business and Consultancy,
  • Finance & Investment,
  • Infrastructure,
  • Government & Policy,
  • Heritage Management & Preservation,
  • Wildlife and Ecology Conservation and more!

These engaging events are a great opportunity to have your individual questions answered. Find our how organisations really define sustainability and take the opportunity to network, inform yourself and engage with business representatives and sustainability professionals on the issues that matter to you.

Social Media Conversations

Engaging with the Alumni Instagram Takeover of Sustainable UCL’s profile, will give you the opportunity to really connect with select UCL alumni, all of whom are currently working in sustainable roles. Ask the questions you really want answered and boost your networking skills and sustainable connections throughout the week.

Tailored workshop

This CV workshop is highly beneficial to ensure you market your strengths and experiences effectively. This will also ensure you highlight the skills you need to be competitive in the sustainability job market.

How can I prepare for Sustainability Week?

You may want to think about the following topics prior to attending any of the events across Sustainability Week. These may help to clarify any questions you would like to ask during the event, and to make sure you get the most out of the experience.

For example:

  • Have you considered how to best demonstrate the key skills and competencies in your applications for sustainability roles?
  • How important is undertaking further study, such as a postgraduate course or professional qualification, or are most roles offered with on-the-job training?
  • How can you demonstrate your passion and knowledge for sustainability to recruiters?
  • How important is undertaking volunteering and extra-curricular activities to gain some practical experience within the sector?

And finally:

  • Have you made use of your UCL Careers service to support you with any of the above? If you would like some additional assistance, please get in touch today regarding our one-to-one appointments.

Whatever your degree subject, and wherever your particular specialism, area of interest or passion lies, a career in sustainability could be your future.

For full details of all events hosted throughout the week and how to register for events, please visit the Careers in Sustainability Week webpage.

5 things to gain from International Development Week

Joe O'Brien18 January 2021

Read time: 3 minutes

Written by Glyn Jones, Careers Consultant at UCL Careers.

UCL Careers will be running a series of online events between 1 – 4 February focusing on careers within International Development. The week will kick off with an introductory session, followed by panel discussions throughout the week, giving you the opportunity to hear from professionals working in the industry. These panel events are an excellent opportunity to hear about new career pathways, as well as giving you the opportunity to gain sector insights from people working in the industry.

Below we’ve highlighted 5 things that you will gain from attending events run during the International Development Themed Week.

  1. An introduction to International Development

Throughout the themed week you’ll learn about what working in International Development means and find out what opportunities there are for graduates.

On Monday 1 February, the week will start with an introductory session run by a UCL Careers Consultant. This will provide an overview of International Development as a work sector, and offer advice on how to get the most out of the week. Registration for this talk is now open and bookings can be made through the event page.

  1. Hear from UCL Alumni working in the industry

When thinking about your own career prospects, it can often be beneficial to hear from others and see what pathway they have undertaken. By hearing from UCL Alumni you’ll be getting insights from those who have been in the same position as you and have the opportunity to gain any tips that they may share from their own experiences.

We have numerous UCL Alumni joining us throughout the week, and on Thursday 4 February we have our ‘Connecting with UCL Alumni’ event, which will focus solely on UCL Alumni. To find out more about the event take a look at the event page.

  1. Learn about different career pathways

Our events will offer insights into the range of careers and employers who work in the sector. As well as hearing these first-hand accounts, we will have a session focusing on the different career pathways within the sector. This event will enable attendees to hear about the variety of routes available to graduates, whether these are specific programmes associated with International Development, graduate vacancies or alternative career pathways that can lead to working in the industry.

For further information about our ‘Pathways into International Development’ event, take a look at the event page.

  1. Learn about how the sector has been impacted by Covid 19

Throughout all the events we’ll hear about how the pandemic has changed the work of our panellists and the sector as a whole. Given the huge impact of Covid 19, we’ll also have a dedicated session that will look into how the sector has had to adapt as a result.

Our event on Tuesday 2nd February focuses on International Economic Development and the impact of Covid-19 on the sector. For more information on the event, visit the event page.

  1. Grow your professional network

Throughout our events, you’ll have the opportunity to put your own questions to the experts. Furthermore, for some panellists we will set up individual rooms for speakers at the end of the session, giving you the opportunity to speak directly with panellists. Not only are these opportunities a unique way to learn first-hand about what working in International Development is really like, but you’ll also have the chance to grow your professional network.

For full details of all event hosted throughout the week and how to register for events, please visit the International Development Themed Week webpage.

Sector Insights: The Different Career Avenues in Accounting

Joe O'Brien10 November 2020

Read time: 3 minutes

Written by Tom Bilby (Guest writer from The Accountancy Partnership)

Ever considered a job in accounting? Did you know there’s a lot more roles available in this sector than being an accountant? There’s a range of exciting and rewarding careers available for those who choose this route. After all, the whole business world runs on finance!

After you’ve finished your degree, you can choose a role in accountancy that suits your personality, working style and niche interests within finance. You’ll go on to complete specific qualifications that will refine your expertise and allow you to increase your potential salary.

That’s why it’s essential that you understand the routes available to you at this stage. Let’s take a look at just a few of the accountancy roles you may or may not have heard of.

Bookkeepers

Bookkeeping is one of the most common routes accountants take in their career. It involves looking after the accounts of a business or person, so that tax and other financial obligations can be calculated correctly.

There will always be a high demand for bookkeepers within the industry, so it’s a reliable role to pursue. There are also plenty of opportunities to become a self-employed bookkeeper if you have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Auditors

A financial auditor is responsible for reviewing a business’ accounts, documents and data to ensure compliance with procedures. This is a great role to go into if you have an eye for detail.

Auditors don’t just work for the tax people either. They’re often employed by companies seeking methods to be more risk averse and save on costs. They’re the detectives of the accounting world!

Management Accountants

If you’re an accountant but you’re not a fan of the bewildering world of tax, perhaps the management accountant route is for you. These accounting experts will take responsibility for improving the overall profitability of the company.

Generally, they’re folks who love patterns and efficiency, and will model new projects and ideas to propose to the financial director and senior management team.

Forensic Accountants

Forensic accounting is possibly the coolest job title in the accounting world, but sadly does not actually involve analysing financially motivated murder scenes. It does however, involve reviewing accounts and documents for discrepancies and inaccuracies.

It’s another ideal role for those who enjoy detail-oriented tasks.

F, P & A Analyst

F,P & A stands for financial planning and analysis. If you take on this role, you’ll be interpreting and breaking down financial information for senior decision makers in the business. For example, you might model and analyse the company’s performance over the last year, and present this to the sales director.

This is a role that will suit those who seek to be actively involved in the direction a company will take. It can be very rewarding, but requires someone who is highly confident in their analytical skills.

Payroll Manager

It’s exactly what you’d think. Payroll managers manage the payroll! In this job you’ll be responsible for ensuring people get paid the right amount, at the right time. You’ll also need to have a strong understanding of income tax and other deductions such as pensions, student loans and national insurance.

There are obviously some key personality traits you need to get into the world of accounting, but don’t forget, there’s also a hugely diverse amount of career pathways to suit your personal preferences and strengths.

Spend some time at the start of your journey trying to find out what’s best for you; there are plenty of opportunities for work experience and there’s no harm in pivoting your career at any point.

Whatever path you choose, you’re bound to find a long and rewarding career in accounting.

Article By – The Accountancy Partnership

UCL Careers Explains…What to do if you have not been paid by an employer

skye.aitken21 January 2020

A woman looking a her laptop screen whilst biting a pencil

Any work that you’ve completed in the UK is subject to National Minimum Wage legislation. You’re therefore entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage unless you fall under a category of worker that is not entitled to the National Minimum Wage –  https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage/who-gets-the-minimum-wage.

If you’ve not been paid, and you are entitled to be, you should reach out to your employer and check what’s happening. If you have details of what you are expecting to be paid in writing then ensure you have those to hand. At this point there may just be an easily resolved misunderstanding. There are a few things that might have happened:

  • You may have joined the organisation after the payroll cut off. Payroll can be weekly or monthly. You would therefore be paid for this work in the next pay run. However, if you are struggling financially your employer may be able to help you so do ask if they could pay you earlier.
  • It’s not payday. If you’re used to weekly pay then you may be surprised to find that many roles in the UK are paid monthly. Or potentially your new employer runs payroll at a different time of the month than you’re used to. Lots of employers will pay their employees at the end of the month.
  • Your employer might have the wrong bank details. Make sure you provided these correctly and on time.

Once you’ve spoken to your employer, you’ll hopefully have resolved the situation. However if this is not the case and you believe your employer is unwilling to pay you or has no intention of paying you in an acceptable timescale then you can seek advice from your local CAB, trade union, law centre or the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).  See further information about not getting paid at https://beta.acas.org.uk/national-minimum-wage-entitlement/what-to-do-if-youre-not-getting-minimum-wage. You may potentially need to go to an Employment Tribunal.  For more details see https://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1366

 

UCL Careers Explains…What to do if your job underpays you?

skye.aitken14 January 2020

Written by Katharine Evans, Internships and Vacancies Officer at UCL Careers.

A hand held out holding two coinsFirst off, don’t panic. If you are not a freelancer, you are likely to be legally entitled to receive a payslip – https://www.gov.uk/payslips. This will help you to see what is going on – it may be available through an online portal, through email, handed to you by your employer, or posted to your home. Payslips must be provided on or before payday.

Take a look at the amount that was deposited by your employer into your account, rather than your total account balance. Compare this deposit amount against your payslip.

Payslips must show:

  • Earnings before and after any deductions
  • Total amount of any deductions that you’ve paid, including:
    • National Insurance
    • Income Tax
    • Pension Contributions
    • Student loans (if you meet certain criteria)
  • If you get paid per hour, your payslip has to show how many hours you’ve worked.

Have a look at all the information provided on your payslip, this will help you see how your pay is worked out. The first things to look at when checking you’ve been paid correctly are:

  • Total earnings before deductions – if this matches what you expected it’s likely that you didn’t account for a standard deduction, and your employer has paid you the right rate for the correct amount of hours. It’s worth checking where the deduction came from so you know if it’s a one off, or if this is the standard.
  • Tax rates – have you paid more tax than you were expecting?
  • Hours worked—have you been paid for the number of hours you actually worked?
  • Pay rate – Were these hours paid at the correct rate?
  • Additional pay—If you were expecting overtime, commission or bonuses were these paid? Are you sure they were due in this pay cycle?
  • Holiday pay – were you paid for the annual leave you took? Did you have enough annual leave allowance?
  • Sick pay—If you were off sick this may mean reduced pay
  • Deductions – your employer should clearly state any deductions made, were these lawful deductions?
  • Student Loans– You may have earnt over the threshold for repayment meaning that this has been lawfully deducted from your salary, or if you graduated last year you might now be eligible to pay. Student loan repayments begin on the 6th of April the year after you graduate/leave your course.

How to sort out the issue

If the reason you’ve been underpaid is due to something controlled by your employer it’s worth starting to sort this out by talking to them. Things that can be resolved by your employer include: Hours worked; pay rate; holiday pay; bonuses, overtime, and commission; and sick pay. It is helpful if you work out how much you were expecting and where the discrepancy lies to make resolution easier. If the mistake was made by your employer then you can ask to be paid the additional amount before the next payday. You should not need to wait.

If the mistake was on your side then you may have to wait until the next payday, however in most cases you will need to be paid correctly. If you input your hours incorrectly then your employer must pay you for the time worked, as stipulated in your contract.

If this is your final paycheque from an employer you may find that there are some deductions compared to your normal pay. A common reason for this is that you’ve used more holiday that you’ve accrued. The additional annual leave will be recouped from your final cheque. As long as you’ve received the correct amount as detailed in your contract then this is standard practice.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your employer alone or you work in a larger organisation and don’t know where to direct your query then it might be a good idea to see whether you have an employee representative to help you approach your employer. If you are a member of a trade union then you can get in contactor if you’re a member of a trade union, then a union rep.

If your employer doesn’t resolve this issue, and you feel that you have been underpaid, and are entitled to some/all of the missing pay there are a range of next steps. You should start by seeking advice from your local CAB, trade union, law centre or the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (known as ACAS) – https://www.acas.org.uk/.  ACAS provide advice and arrange settlements between employers and workers.

If your underpayment has been caused by paying too much tax this can be easily resolved. You should have provided your new employer with your P45 from your old role when starting this should have informed them of your tax code, which would have been passed on to HMRC so you could be taxed accordingly. If you’ve just started a new job and not worked before or did not supply a P45, you might pay tax through an emergency tax code. This could mean you get less money than you should until HM Revenue and Customs updates its records. Normally this will only be for a month or two at the most. If you’ve been in your job for more than 3 months and think your employer has taken too much money for tax, you’ll need to check your tax code and let HMRC know if it’s wrong. Your pay will be adjusted so you pay the right amount of tax over the tax year.

If you worked during the holidays, or in a short term role, and were taxed as your income met the personal allowance threshold – https://www.gov.uk/income-tax-rates, but are now not working, or are earning below the tax threshold, then you can receive a rebate. This typically occurs after the beginning of the tax year, with most refunds being issued through your company’s payroll (PAYE) or direct from HMRC around June. See https://www.litrg.org.uk/tax-guides/tax-basics/how-do-i-claim-tax-back/how-do-i-claim-back-tax-i-have-overpaid-through-paye#toc-how-do-i-claim-a-refund-for-the-current-tax-year-if-i-don-t-want-to-wait-for-a-p800-The quickest way to address this is through phoning HMRC rather than going through your employer.