Employment & Benefits

all you need for relocation to scotland: edinburgh



Can you work in Scotland?students | finding a (good) job | recruitment agencies 

Can I work in Scotland?

If you are a British citizen, a EEA citizen or a Swiss national then you can work freely in Scotland (and the rest of the UK).


practical-info.png Practical info

Countries member of the European Economic Area (EEA) are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

warning-32.png If you are from a country outside the EEA then you’ll need a work permit to work in Scotland and the UK but only your employer can apply for the permit, not you.



If you are an international student with a student visa, you can both study and work in Scotland subject to the following conditions:

  • Work must be outside term time

  • You are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week during term time or more than 20 hours if the work is part of your course or is an internship

  • Your cannot provide a professional service such as sportsperson or entertainer

  • Your work cannot be a permanent, full-time position

  • You cannot run a business

  • You cannot work for yourself (self-employed)


did-you-know.png Did you know?

If you're working and you're over 16, you have a legal right to a national minimum hourly wage. It doesn't matter where you work or the sort of work you do. You have a right to this money even if you’re a casual labourer, a migrant worker, an agency worker or a homeworker. 

The amount you get depends on how old you are. It's £6.31 if you’re 21 or over, £5.03 if you are 18 – 20 and £3.72 if you are 16 to 17. You won’t get the money if you're self-employed and if you're an apprentice under 19 years old the hourly rate is £2.68 for the first year of apprenticeship. 

If your employer won't pay you what you are due, you can get help to take action against them to get your money.


How to find a (good) job?

Jobcentre Plus

Part of the UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), jobcentre Plus is the equivalent of the French Pôle emploi.

Its purpose is to provide counseling and aid to those who are in search of a job or of training. Your local job centre in Edinburgh can administer claims Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support.

List of job centres near Edinburgh.  


The Scotsman is Scotland’s national newspaper. You will find job adverts specific to your area. This is a very popular way to find a job and every Friday and Sunday (“Scotland on Sunday”), the printed copy of the Scotsman features a “jobs special” edition. Most of the employers who still advertise through newspapers will put an advert in the Scotsman.     

The Guardian usually has a very good section about public, private and 3rd sectors jobs and offers useful articles and tips on how to improve a CV, careers, etc. 


gold-star.pnggold-star.pngJobsgopublic.com. Now, here’s a great website which offers hundreds of genuinely excellent jobs across a dozen or so of different sectors, including the public and 3rd sectors. The companies/organisations which advertise through jobsgopublic are well-known, reliable and the jobs offers are real (not like some websites where the same adverts are duplicated on each page and the details are vague if not inexistent).

gold-star.pnggold-star.png SCVO and goodmoves. SCVO stands for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and as it name suggests it is the national body for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. As such, SCVO’s job adverts focus on the 3rd sector.

Reputable organisations such as Barnardos, Save the Children, Enable Scotland, Citizen Advice Scotland and other leading (and less known) Scottish charities advertise jobs on that website.The job adverts cover the whole of Scotland, not just Edinburgh, and range from part-time to full-time and from permanent to temporary.

www.goodmoves.org.uk is the “the premier careers hub and jobs site for the not-for-profit and voluntary sector in Scotland”. Here again, jobs offered are excellent and cover arts/culture as well as social care, regeneration, older people, environment and much more.

If you are interested in getting a good job in the voluntary sector then I would certainly recommend that you visit these 2 websites.

gold-star.pnggold-star.png w4mp (work for MP). This is probably not a site you’ve often heard of. Funded by the House of Commons in London, this website appeals to anyone wishing to work with politicians but not exclusively. Members of the Parliament (MPs) in London and Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) in Edinburgh use this site to advertise posts for researcher, parliamentary assistants, office manager, adviser, etc. 

Needless to say that you’ll need to demonstrate a solid knowledge of the UK politics - at large and in details - and you will be expected to share the values of the political party of the Member you'll work with .

Many companies use w4mp to recruit “professionals” i.e. folks who have had a good degree of responsibilities in the public and/or private sector as well as young graduates.

Organisations which advertise on that site tend to be corporate communications and PA consultancy companies, politicians (a lot), councils, oil & gas giants, Google, recruitment companies, media, etc. Not everybody is aware of this website so here’s a chance to have a head start.

gold-star.pnggold-star.png linkedin. Here’s another very good one and which might not be on your radar. You need to register (free) and then you create a network of contacts by asking people you know and whom you worked with (and who are in linkedin), whether you can add them to your network of contacts.

Before you know it you will have dozen of contacts and this will enable you to engage with folks who work in many different companies. If anything at all this can only increase your chances of finding a good job and being aware of what is going on across many sectors of activity.

Plus, you can consult linkedin’s job adverts (free). These are very good jobs as in go-for-it-they-don’t-come-up-that-often type of jobs. Also if they are on linkedin the chance is they won’t be advertised anywhere else. Regular organisations which advertise on linkedin are multinationals, banks, oil companies, etc. Definitely one to keep in mind. 


Careerjet.co.uk is a job search engine for the United Kingdom. In one simple search, Careerjet gives job seekers access to thousands of jobs sourced from various internet sites, saving the trouble of having to visit each site individually. There's a wide range of careers, from Accounting to Working with wood.

You can also specify the kind of work you are looking for and where you would like to do it.  


Recruitment agencies

If you’re looking for work, living in Edinburgh has many advantages. First, it is Scotland’s capital, then it is a major financial place with world important banking groups implanted here (Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, etc); on top of that the standard of living is excellent which in turn attracts CEOs therefore companies.

It’s not surprising then that many recruitment agencies have flourished in Edinburgh.

Recruitment agencies in Edinburgh





45A George Street



Telephone: (0044) (0)845 130 9249

Email: info@abrecco.com



Hays Recruitment

24 Charlotte Square



Telephone: (0044) (0)131 226 4142


Accounting & Finance, Banking, Call centres, Construction, Education,     Energy, Health, HR, IT, Legal, Marketing, Office & secretarial, Retail, Tax, Telecoms

Kelly Services

The Merchants Hall

24 Hanover Street



Telephone: (0044) (0)131 220 2626



Accounting & Finance, Call centres, Education, Engineering, IT, Science

Office Angels

95 George Street



Telephone: (0044) (0)131 226 6112

Email: edinburgh@office-angels.com


Accounting & Finance, Banking, Beauty, Call centres, Construction, Education, Energy, Health, Hospitality, HR, IT, Legal, Marketing, Office & secretarial, Retail, Science, Tax, Telecoms, Tourism, Transport

Premier Connections

40 Haymarket Terrace


EH12 5JZ

Telephone: (0044) (0)131 346 7636


Administration, Commercial, Hotel & catering, Industrial, Sales & marketing, Secretarial, Senior appointments

Time Recruitment Services Ltd

10 Castle Terrace



Telephone: (0044) (0)131 623 9299



Accounting, Office & secretarial, Retail

warning-32.png CV Bullet points can be a good way to clearly summarise your attributes, say experts. Photos are discouraged as employers do not want to be accused of favouring - or discriminating against - applicants on the basis of their appearance.

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