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Work Experience UK Story: Part 6 – Money and National Insurance

Thursday, January 13, 2011 by

The building of the Job Centre in Bedford, UK

Job Center in Bedford

[Pavlina is participating in the paid Work Experience UK Level 1 program]

January 5th, 2011

The Christmas rush has gone and the restaurant is now less busy than before. Fortunately our establishment doesn’t close as some of the English hotels do for the whole or a part of January.

However the work hours might slightly decrease anyway. So far I had approximately 40 hours per week being paid £5.93 per hour. Before and especially during the Christmas I also usually got quite nice tips, for one shift approximately £10 but it is definitely going to be less when we are not that busy. As regards the expenses, there are the deductions for the national insurance-approximately 4%, tax- 20%, and rent- £50. Since I walk the dogs of my employer I pay only £30 for the rent. My rent includes all meals so I don’t really need to have any other expenses for food if I don’t want to buy something special.

Tomorrow I am having my interview for the National Insurance Number in the neighbour town Bedford. I had to cancel the first appointment and rearrange it for later since my employer couldn’t give me a lift to there and the public traffic didn’t work well either because of the weather conditions. Now it seems that there aren’t going to be any snowy obstacles so I can get there without complications. The national Insurance Department also sent me a letter with some additional information about the interview. I need to provide my passport, ID card, pay slips, work contract, rental agreement and so on, simply anything which can help to prove my identity. I have no idea how long the interview might take, but I hope it is going to be quite quick.

January 6th, 2011

Today I had the National Insurance Number interview in Bedford. I took a bus and in half an hour I was there. Fortunately the Job Centre wasn’t far from the bus station so I found it easily. At the interview they just checked my documents, identification cards and asked me a few questions. The procedure is probably a little bit more complicated for the non-EU citizens, but I spent only about 15 minutes there. Then I was told that I will receive my National Insurance Number in 3 to 6 weeks. I got back to Ampthill in 3 hours which I really appreciated because I was supposed to have a night shift in the restaurant then.

January 9th, 2011

The weekend was quite busy again so I am really pleased it has passed and tomorrow I have my one day off. Actually today I was quite nicely surprised when walking the dogs in the park. I heard someone talking Czech. I wasn’t sure at first, but then I came closer and they were really Czech! It was actually a grandfather with two children whose mother married an Englishman. We just chat for a little while and then just said good bye. Anyway I was really pleased to meet someone from ‘home’ again!

The two dog girls I walk

The two dog girls I walk

Goulash with rice and veggies

Goulash, rice and veggies

Burger with chips, corn and salad

Burger, corn and salad

January 10th, 2011

Today it was my day off. I usually worked 6 days a week so I really needed to take some rest. My employer’s wife took me with her to the shopping centre so that I could enjoy a bit of the post-christmas sales. The discounts were just everywhere, sometimes even up to 70%! It was a real pain to resist all the temptations. Anyway I bought a handbag and shoes and some presents for my family and friends. I also went to look out around the shopping centre and found out that it is actually extremely huge area full of separate buildings with shops and cinemas. As far as I know there were at least two cinemas and in one of the building there was an artificial snow slope for skiing and snowboarding… it was totally thrilling! I saw only a fragment of the whole complex, but I suppose it was much bigger! I totally have to explore it more precisely next time! :-)

[Pavlina is participating in the paid Work Experience UK Level 1 program]

Questions? Ask below :-) In English, please.

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