Starting work: what to expect

If you’re starting your first job, there are a few things your employer will give you. They will help you perform your job safely and answer all your questions about your new workplace

National Insurance

When you start working you will need to give your employer the National Insurance number that you received from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

You will have received a National Insurance number card or notification letter when you reached the age of 16.

Contracts of employment

When you accept a job and become employed by someone, there is always a contract between you and your employer. Although it doesn’t always have to be in writing or signed, this contract covers your basic rights at work.

However, you should receive a written statement of employment within two months of your start date if you are an employee. This will detail things like:

  • your rate of pay
  • your holiday entitlement
  • your hours of work
  • the amount of notice time you have to give if you want to leave
  • the amount of notice time your employer must give you if they want to end your employment

If you don’t get one, ask your employer about it. You may find that this information is given out in the staff handbook.

Pay slips

No matter how much or how often you get paid, you must receive a written pay statement every time you receive your wages. This will tell you:

  • how much you’ve been paid
  • how much tax and National Insurance has been deducted
  • your tax code
  • your employee number

Keep every pay slip in a safe place somewhere at home. If you have paid too much tax, you will need these details to claim it back. If you don’t get a pay slip, tell your manager or supervisor.

Induction

To ease you into your new job, most companies will give you an induction during your first few days. During an induction, you will:

  • be introduced to the people you will be working with
  • be shown around your place of work
  • be told about what you will be doing on a day to day basis
  • get all the training you need to do your job

This is the best opportunity to ask general questions about the job and your employer. If you do have any worries or concerns, it’s a good idea to raise them at the end of this conversation.

Health and safety information

An employer has a responsibility to look after your health and safety at work, so you should be told about any risks that you may come across in your place of work and where all the safety equipment is. Things you should know about include:

  • where the fire exits are
  • where you can find the first aid kit
  • whether you need any special clothing or protection to do certain parts of your job

If you’re working in a kitchen or a workshop, your work may mean using equipment that can be dangerous. Before letting you use any pieces of equipment, your employer should make sure that you’re fully trained on how to use it safely. Do not try to use any piece of equipment before you have been given this training.

Other training opportunities

Working is a great way of learning new skills. Make the most of every training opportunity that comes along while you're at work. You might not feel it’s useful at the moment, but you never know when it will be in the future.

Your employer may pay for a training course if they feel that it will benefit your work. Talk to your manager to find out about the training support available from your company. You may also be entitled to time off work if you’re studying for certain qualifications in your spare time.

Harassment, bullying and discrimination

All employees are entitled to work in a place that is free from discrimination and bullying, no matter how long you have been working there. There are laws that are there to protect you, regardless of your age, gender, race, religion and sexuality.

During your first few days, you might be told how your new company deals with bullying and intimidating behaviour in the workplace and how they deal with a complaint. If you are being discriminated against at work, tell your manager as soon as possible.

 

Share this page

What do you want to do?
What is your question about?
Do you want a reply?
Your email address
To reply to you, we need your email address
Your feedback

We will not reply to your feedback.  Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

This feedback form is for issues with the nidirect website only.

You can use it to report a problem or suggest an improvement to a webpage.

If you have a question about a government service or policy, you should contact the relevant government organisation directly as we don’t have access to information about you held by government departments.

You must be aged 13 years or older - if you’re younger, ask someone with parental responsibility to send the feedback for you.

The nidirect privacy notice applies to any information you send on this feedback form.

Don't include any personal or financial information, for example National Insurance, credit card numbers, or phone numbers.

Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.
Plain text only, 750 characters maximum.

What to do next

Comments or queries about angling can be emailed to anglingcorrespondence@daera-ni.gov.uk 

What to do next

If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

Disability Living Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Employment and Support Allowance

Call 0800 587 1377

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Contact your local Jobs & Benefits office

Personal Independence Payment

Call 0800 587 0932

If your query is about another benefit, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

Comments or queries about the Blue Badge scheme can be emailed to bluebadges@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk or you can also call 0300 200 7818.

What to do next

For queries or advice about careers, contact the Careers Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Child Maintenance, contact the Child Maintenance Service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about claiming compensation due to a road problem, contact DFI Roads claim unit.

What to do next

For queries or advice about criminal record checks, email ani@accessni.gov.uk

What to do next

Application and payment queries can be emailed to ema_ni@slc.co.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about employment rights, contact the Labour Relations Agency.

What to do next

For queries or advice about birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates and research, contact the General Register Office Northern Ireland (GRONI) by email gro_nisra@finance-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries about:

If your query is about another topic, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down menu above.

What to do next

For queries or advice about passports, contact HM Passport Office.

What to do next

For queries or advice about Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs), including parking tickets and bus lane PCNs, email dcu@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about pensions, contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

What to do next

If you wish to report a problem with a road or street you can do so online in this section.

If you wish to check on a problem or fault you have already reported, contact DfI Roads.

What to do next

For queries or advice about historical, social or cultural records relating to Northern Ireland, use the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) enquiry service.

What to do next

For queries or advice about rates, email LPSCustomerTeam@lpsni.gov.uk

What to do next

For queries or advice about  60+ and Senior Citizen SmartPasses (which can be used to get concessionary travel on public transport), contact Smartpass - Translink.