Work & benefits
This section will help you with getting employment or support in the UK.
Working in the UK
You have the right to work as soon as you arrive in the UK and you need to be 18 years old to work full time.
You will be extended all of the employment rights and protections in law that are given to UK citizens.
These rights include entitlement to a minimum wage, breaks, maximum working hours and protection from discrimination.
Finding a job
To look for a job, you can use a free government website called Find a Job, to be connected with thousands of employers across the UK. You can search for jobs without an account but to apply for a job you will need to create an account or sign in.
Page 20 of the UK government’s guide for Ukrainians coming to the UK provides further information about working and paying taxes in the UK, including getting your professional qualification recognised in the UK.
Access to Social Security Benefits
The UK has a welfare system which is designed to help those who face financial hardship, or who have specific needs. Your local Job Centre Plus will be able to help you find out which benefits you may be able to access.
Claiming Universal Credit
There are two ways to get help with your Universal Credit claim. You can either call the Universal Credit helpline or use the Help to Claim service. Calls to the Universal Credit helpline are free - Telephone: 0800 328 5644
You can get free support from trained advisers to make a Universal Credit claim. They can help you with things like online applications or preparing for your first JobCentre appointment.
The Help to Claim service is provided by Citizens Advice and is confidential. They will not share your personal information unless you agree.
You can also claim for Universal Credit online.
To apply online you’ll need:
- your bank, building society or credit union account details
- an email address
- access to a phone
You’ll also have to prove your identity. You’ll need some identity documents for this, for example your:
- debit or credit card
A local host has put together a guide to claiming Universal Credit online which you may find helpful, although please note the advice does not cover all eventualities. If you need help please use the support options outlined above.
National Insurance number
A National Insurance number is used to make sure your National Insurance contributions and tax are recorded against your name only. This is a code with letters and numbers and never changes. If you do not have a National Insurance number you can find information on how to get one online. When you make an application you will need to give a copy of your passport and proof that you have the right to work.
Page 13 of the UK government’s guide for Ukrainians coming to the UK provides further information about social security benefits and National Insurance.
Our welcome pack (available in English or Ukrainian) brings together most of the information in this section of the website and can be downloaded for future reference.
Employment guide & resources
We understand how important it is to our Ukrainian guests to find work.