Licensees are being urged to treat casual student workers properly over the Christmas break.
Students have been warned they may be targets for exploitative bosses as they look for casual work over the holidays, because they do not understand their rights and may be less assertive than other workers.
A majority of working students (42 per cent) find jobs in pubs, restaurants and hotels, so employers in those sectors are being warned that this year employees could be better informed and more willing to challenge exploitative pay and conditions.
The National Union of Students and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have issued a leaflet for students which gives information about having time off, the minimum wage, discrimination, health and safety and what to do if they get sacked. There is also a Know Your Rights helpline on 0870 600 4882.
The general secretary of the TUC, John Monks, said there was a minority of bad bosses who saw students as easy targets.
He said: "They often don't know their rights and can lack the confidence to stick up for themselves. We hope to stop working students from getting a raw deal in the run up to Christmas."