Employing under 16’s

legal updates

They will still be classed as children and therefore you must always err on the side of caution.

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Under 16’s have many more rights than 16-18 year olds as they are not yet really classed as young workers.

They will still be classed as children and therefore you must always err on the side of caution when employing workers of this age. You therefore must make sure that you are following the rules accordingly.

Key Points to remember here are:

1. 13 -14 year olds are only allowed to work as follows;

  • Schools days: no more than two hours per day outside of school hours but not between 7pm and 7am.
  • Saturdays: five hours
  • Sundays: two hours
  • School holidays: five hours per day
  • Maximum hours: 25 hours per week (ie during school holidays), but 12 hours in any week the child’s school is open

2. 15-16 year olds can work as follows;

  • School days: not more than two hours per day but not between 7pm and 7am.
  • Saturdays: eight hours
  • Sundays: two hours
  • School holidays: eight hours a day
  • Maximum hours: 35 hours per week (ie during school holidays), but 12 hours in any week the child’s school is open (ie during term time).

3. Even in the school holidays all workers under 16 should not work between 7pm and 7am.

4. Employees of this age must have a two-week break from any work during the school holiday in each calendar year

5. There is no minimum wage for under 16’s but it is always advisable to pay them a fair wage so as not to risk breaching any child slavery laws.

6. You will need to get a Child Employment Licence or permit  form for you to employ workers of this age. This information is usually on your local council website, (http://www.peterborough.gov.uk/pdf/Child%20Employment%20-%20Work%20Permit%20Application%20Form%20vers5.pdf).

7. You will also have to inform the school of their employment as well.

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8. Ensure the correct risk assessments have been undertaken and be more diligent than usual when you give health and safety training.

For more information it is always advisable to contact the local council as to their expectations in these matters.

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