With its laid back atmosphere, easy access to countryside, beaches and vibrant nightlife, a lot of Brits and foreigners choose to live and work in Brighton to improve their work-life balance. As Brighton is relatively small compared to larger business centers like London, Manchester, and Birmingham, most workers in the city don’t have to commute long distances to the office or spend money on travel.
Much of the local economy is dominated by retail, education, tourism, and creative industries. As Brighton is home to two large universities, many jobs in the city are also geared towards part time work and flexible hours.
The largest private sector employer in Brighton is American Express, whose European headquarters are based in the city. As of 2008, the company employed 3,500 people and is a popular choice for many expats arriving in Brighton. Nearby Gatwick Airport is another major employer in the city, with around 1,500 of Gatwick’s 21,000 employees living in Brighton
The alternative culture of Brighton, combined with slightly lower living costs makes it ideal for startups and several successful businesses have been born in the city in recent years. With London less than an hour away by rail, a lot of the expats and Brits living in Brighton commute to the capital for work, with regular services linking the city to both London Victoria and London Bridge.
Expats looking for jobs in finance, business, or academia should begin their search on the internet before moving to Brighton. All major UK job sites will list jobs in the city and are the best places to look for vacant positions. The local newspaper of Brighton, The Argus, also lists job opportunities both on its website and in the printed edition.
For part time jobs and positions in retail, the best way to begin a job search is to print out a set of CVs and look for notices in shop windows. Most employers in the city are very open to hiring foreign workers so expats hoping to work in Brighton shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Thanks to the wealth of tourists that visit the city every year, there are also a lot of positions in bars, clubs and hospitality available for expats hoping to work in Brighton.
Brighton has the same social security policy as the rest of the UK and expats living and working in Brighton are entitled to the same health and social benefits as British workers.
As soon as you start work in Brighton, your employer should apply for a National Insurance number on your behalf. Once you have an NI number, you can register with the doctor, claim unemployment benefits, and pay into a pension.
The UK has social security agreements in place with several countries around the world, so the money you pay into the British system may well count towards any benefits you might be entitled to in your country of origin.
As all UK residents are entitled to free health care under the NHS, there is no need for expats who are moving to Brighton to take out separate health insurance. However, private healthcare policies are readily available for those who want them.