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Employing Children And Young Workers

You can, but with a number of limitations ...


Posted by Roger Eddowes on 20/07/2023 @ 8:00AM

As the summer holidays approach, some young people may want to work with you to earn extra money. Considering the need for additional staff in every sector, it's essential to think before hiring them ...

It's imperative to verify the ages of children and young people before taking them on!

It's imperative to verify the ages of children and young people before taking them on!

copyright: oneinchpunch / 123rf

First and foremost, their age plays a significant role, as there are distinct regulations for young workers (those above the school leaving age, but under 18) and children (aged between 14 and school leaving age).

"It's imperative to verify their ages before taking them on!"

Remember that the standard UK employment legislation, such as the National Minimum/Living Wage and the Working Time Regulations, do not apply to children. Instead, specific legislation governs their working conditions.

In case your decision involves hiring a child, it's mandatory to register them with the local authority. Children can engage in 'light work' that poses no risk to their health, safety, or development. This may include tasks such as delivering newspapers, shop work, restaurant or café work (excluding kitchen tasks), car washing, hairdressing salons, office work, domestic work in hotels or accommodations, and occasional agricultural or horticultural work.

However, they cannot work in 'industrial undertakings' like manufacturing, construction, transportation, or warehousing, nor can they engage in most forms of gambling. Additionally, individuals under 18 are prohibited from selling alcohol, except when working in a restaurant, serving it as part of a meal.

On the other hand, young workers have a broader scope of tasks they can participate in. Nonetheless, it is vital to conduct additional health and safety risk assessments, considering their potential lack of maturity and knowledge.

Furthermore, working hours must be carefully considered when employing children and young workers. During term time, children are restricted to working a maximum of 12 hours a week, with no more than 2 hours on any given day during the week or on Sundays.

"Their working hours are confined to between 7 am and 7 pm!"

For 14-year-olds, the maximum working hours are 5 hours on Saturdays and during holidays, with no more than 25 hours per week during holidays. Meanwhile, 15 and 16-year-olds (but under school leaving age) can work up to 35 hours per week during holidays and up to eight hours on Saturdays and during holidays.

Young workers, under the age of 18, are governed by the Working Time Regulations 1998 and are entitled to standard annual leave, a 30-minute break for shifts exceeding 4.5 hours, and at least two days off per week.

Ensuring compliance with these regulations will enable you to benefit from employing children and young workers, especially during shorter shifts that older workers might not prefer.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about employing children and young workers, it may be a great idea to call me on 01908 774320 and let's see how I can help.

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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.