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Employing Young People | Regulations on Working Hours and Conditions

Employment Law
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Considerations for young people at work extend beyond The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which regulates the workplace environment for all employees, workers and contracted suppliers. Employers are required to ensure that working hour caps are adhered to and mitigate risks that are associated with young people in their employment. Young people are nonetheless covered by the relevant statutory equality and minimum wage legislation to the same extent as their adult counterparts.

The law mandates that young people cannot work in an environment where their health, well-being or education might be harmed. In practical terms, they cannot undertake work, which is beyond their physical or psychological capacity, and should be supervised by a competent person where there might be any risk of harm or accident. Young people work in industrial or factory settings unless for a work experience placement or similar activities.

Young People Aged 13-14:

  • Can work for a maximum of 12 hours per week during term time, including 5 hours on Saturdays and 2 hours on a Sunday and school days.
  • Can work for a maximum of 25 hours per week during school holidays, including 5 hours on weekdays and Saturdays and 2 hours on a Sunday.
  • Cannot work during school hours, for more than one hour before school or before 7am or after 7pm.
  • Cannot work for more than 4 hours without taking a break of at least 1 hour.
  • Cannot work without having a 2-week break from work during the school holiday each calendar year.
  • Are not covered by the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.
  • Must hold a performance licence to work in television, theatre, or modelling.

Young People Aged 15-16:

  • Can work for a maximum of 12 hours per week during term time, including 8 hours on Saturdays and 2 hours on a Sunday and school days.
  • Can work for a maximum of 35 hours per week during school holidays, including 8 hours on weekdays and Saturdays and 2 hours on a Sunday.
  • Cannot work during school hours, for more than one hour before school or before 7am or after 7pm.

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  • Cannot work for more than 4 hours without taking a break of at least 1 hour.
  • Cannot work without having a 2-week break from work during the school holiday each calendar year.
  • Are not covered by the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.
  • Must hold a performance licence to work in television, theatre, or modelling.

Young People Aged 16-18:

  • Can work for a maximum of 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.
  • Are entitled to 2 non-working days per week.
  • Are entitled to a daily break of 12 hours between working shifts.
  • Must have a rest break of 30 minutes, paid or unpaid, if the working day lasts more than 4.5 hours.
  • Are entitled to at least the statutory annual leave allowance of 5.6 of their working week.
  • Are entitled to at least £4.62 per hour as prescribed by the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.
  • Must be placed on the running payroll and be paid through PAYE if they are required to pay national insurance and/or tax on their earnings.

For more information on the regulations around employing young people or any other aspect of employment law, please contact Martin Bloom at Hegarty Solicitors on 01733 295 632 or email martin.bloom@hegarty.co.uk.

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