Seasonal employment opportunities in UK for
British, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, South Africans, Americans and others in 2016
Each Christmas season we are keen to employ enthusiastic, polite
people who are use to working outdoors, enjoy working with the public
and can speak English as a first language. The people we employ may be in the UK on a working holiday Visa - many young UK residents enjoy reciprocal arrangements on their travels around Australia etc. Indeed the owners of Christmas tree farm did just that (in our younger days!). Or just simply traveling around the UK to find work.
For some general information about these Visas, together with some general Tax and National Insurance rate details please see the notes at the foot of this page. For general information about National Insurance number requirements please see our notes half way down this page.
We normally have 7 or 8 such positions to add to our total seasonal staff.
We offer the opportunity to work long hours in a short period of time
(4-5 weeks) and provide free accommodation for our employees. In the past
this employment has particularly suited Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians,
South Africans and Americans who have been keen to earn money in the run
up to Christmas.
Last year we paid £8.00/hour to our employees, who enjoyed the
benefit of free accommodation in self-catering caravans at our farm. The
caravans have a mains electricity hook-up and come with a TV & heater,
and there is also access to a Microwave oven and a kettle. Employees should
expect to share accommodation, possibly with a member of the opposite
Hours offered have varied but normally average about 56 hours/week.
You must have a valid work permit for the UK (or be able to show that
you are an EU national) and all employees are paid via the PAYE system,
i.e. with tax and National Insurance deducted. For a guide to current
UK tax and National Insurance rates please see the inland revenues web pages. All British Commonwealth and EU citizens are entitled to the personal
allowance. Like all companies we deduct tax as if you are working all
year round. If you work for less than a tax year (April to March), you
may be eligible for a rebate of some of the tax paid but you have to claim this back direct from
the UK Inland Revenue.
You must be eligible to work in the UK
From March 31st 2004 we are statutorily required
to take photocopies of your work permit (if not an EU National) AND passport
(or, for British- or Irish-born employees, a birth certificate). A permanent
National Insurance Number is also now required from the start of Employment.
This is due to a tightening of statuary UK work regulations following the September 11th attacks. This may not be mentioned in guidebooks that are now out of date.
National Insurance numbers are obtained via face-to-face INTERVIEW from Job Center plus offices. Click on Job
Center to locate your nearest office. In 2004, our employees found that there was a 2-3 WEEK delay in arranging such interviews, so arrange one ASAP. Your National Insurance contributions help fund the UK's National Health Service which you are covered by, once you start paying for it.
Most protective clothing will be loaned to you, and must be returned
in good condition.
For employees 21 years old and older. Wages in 2016 are up on those paid last year. That
is a total of £8.50 per hour, made up of - £6.70 per hour
basic + £0.74 per hour holiday pay + a £1.06 per hour bonus
paid on the satisfactory completion of your employment.
"Satisfactory completion" means:
-You have not decided to leave early i.e. part of the way through our selling season
- That you have worked all the days requested including weekends - there
are no weekend shopping days available, but time off during the week may
be possible. Some employees will be required to work on 23rd December, but not Christmas Eve.
- All work carried out in an enthusiastic and honest manner - particularly
when dealing with our customers
- Reasonable care of our machinery, horses and stock is taken at all times.
- All types of work (including making the tea and working in the rain
or even snow) that you may be asked to do is carried out.
- Caravans, showers, mess room returned in clean and good order at the
end of the season
Per the rules of the UK's DTI, the value of accommodation is included
toward the statutory minimum wage for employees.
If the above is of interest, please e-mail us at the e-mail address below
with a short CV of your work experience and why you will be available
in mid to late November 2016 (e.g., just finishing other work or arriving in
We should also be able to provide contact details of previous years'
employees who have enjoyed working for us and can vouch that we do pay
the bonus when the requirements above are met(!).
We are members of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association who
have a web site at www.bctga.co.uk
General Information about Working in the UK
Working holiday visa scheme
Working holiday visas are available to 17-30 year olds only and you have to apply for them whilst in your own country. We understand that your local British High Commission could supply details. The visas allow you to stay in the UK for up 2 years, working whilst you travel. More information is available at UK Visas. If your from the USA, there is currently no such scheme available, although we believe that there is a very strong case for a similar scheme that could operate between the USA and the EU - have a word with any passing politicians that you may see!
Rates of Taxation and National Insurance Contributions in the UK
In 2012, the basic rate of UK Taxation is 20%.
In 2012, National Insurance is deducted at the rate of 12%
For a guide to current
UK tax and National Insurance rates please see http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/rates/. All British Commonwealth and EU citizens are entitled to the personal allowance. Like all companies we deduct tax as if you are working all year round. If you work for less than a tax year (April to March), you may be eligible for a rebate of some of the Income tax paid but you have to claim this back direct from the UK Inland Revenue.
We are sometimes asked if a National Insurance rebate can be claimed. Our understanding is that a cash rebate is NOT possible. However, it may be possible to transfer an element of contributions made (1.6% of the 11% paid) to a private pension scheme. For most people who work for a short time in the UK it seems unlikely that this complicated arrangement would be worth while. Indeed many (most?) full-time residents of the UK don't do this either.