Employing young people over the school holidays
The law is very clear about the consideration we have to include when we employ young people. Hopefully this article will help you if you are considering employing a young person during the holidays.
The two HSE cases this week both look at tragic accidents that shouldn’t have happened
- Father-of-four Nathan Johnson, 25 lost his forearm up to his elbow and needed extensive hospital treatment, including skin grafts from his left leg to replace the remains of his arm and a bolt in his elbow to ensure it remained intact.
- Barry Tyson, a 52 year old self-employed brick-layer, suffered fatal head injuries as a result of the fall whilst he was working to refurbish the flat roof.
Employing young people over the school holidays
We are coming up to the annual school holidays and each year we get asked about the guidelines governing part-time employment over the summer holidays for children who are still attending school.
The law is very clear about the consideration we have to include when we employ young people.
Definition of a child and a young person
Between the ages of 13 – 16 the young person is considered a ‘child’, once they reach 16 and until their 18th birthday they are considered a ‘young person’.
Getting a paper round is typically that ‘first job’ for most youngsters and can seem the obvious answer if your kids are pestering you for extra pocket money. But while learning to earn their own money, and how to manage it, can be a valuable life lesson it’s worth checking the rules first so you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
What age can children work?
They can’t work until they are 13; that’s unless your child is doing modelling, TV or theatre work, which are some of the specialist professions where younger children are allowed to work. In these cases a ‘performance license’ has to be issued by the local authority who also liaises with the school to ensure your child’s education isn’t likely to suffer.
From 13, teenagers can do ‘light’ work; that’s things like paper rounds, car washing, working in local shops, hairdressers, cafés or restaurants, (although they can’t be involved in food preparation). In some areas there may be local by-laws that place further restrictions on either the hours or type of work they can do and you can check this out with your local authority.
How many hours can they work?
Children can work a maximum two hours a day outside school hours, but not before 7am or after 7pm and only one hour before school.
During term time children can work up to 12 hours a week. This includes the maximum two hours on school days and on Sundays and up to five hours on Saturdays, or eight hours on Saturdays for 15 to 16-year olds.
During school holidays this goes up to 25 hours a week for 13 to 14-year-olds; which means they can work up to five hours every day except Sunday when it’s a two hour limit.
For 15 to 16-year-olds the holiday working limit is higher; up to 35 hours a week; with a maximum eight hours a day and up to two hours work on Sundays.
If they’ve taken on a regular part-time job there’s probably pressure on them to keep it up during school holidays but under child employment regulations they must get a minimum two week break from work during school holidays at least once a year.
Does the minimum wage apply?
No, this doesn’t kick in until you’re over the school leaving age so there are no set rates for children under 16.
While it’s probably unlikely any part time work is going to take your child’s earnings beyond their tax free limit of £10,000 in the 2014/15 tax year, (this limit includes any income but also interest on savings), if they do go beyond this limit they’ll pay tax just like adults
Who needs to know if they’re working?
It’s down to employers to tell the local authority’s education department if they’re offering work to anyone under the school leaving age. Depending on the local by-laws the local authority may then issue a ‘work permit’.
But if we’re talking ‘work experience’, which is arranged through the school, then work permits won’t be needed.
And if you run a family business and get your kids to ‘help out’; even if the work’s not paid, you should still let the local authority know.
Full time work
Working hours are restricted for anyone under the school leaving age but this doesn’t automatically mean age 16. The ‘compulsory’ school age means staying at school ‘until the last Friday in June within the academic year of your child’s 16th birthday’. Beyond this date teenagers can apply for their national insurance number and work full time.
If you have any questions about the risk assessment requirement for your organisation employing someone over the summer holiday period, or even if you are considering taking someone on full /part time or as part of an apprentice scheme, then Please contact us by phone 01458 253682 or email for more information and assistance.
We have one course already arranged for September but there will be more to come so please keep watching.
These will include a 3 day Safety Management course for all owners and/or directors of SMEs and our new 3 day APS Accredited 3 Day Course in “The Management of Pre-Construction Health and Safety (2015)” – This 3 day course is suitable for those who wish to act as CDM advisors to Clients, Principle Designers and Contractors or Construction Safety Practitioners (details to follow).
The following are courses already arranged for July, August and early September
ASBESTOS AWARENESS – half-day course
This course is being presented by Jon Wilkins MSC RMaPS AIIRSM and Phil Collins BSc Hons DipSurv MRICS
Course Objective Training /CPD Certificate issued
Asbestos awareness training is essential for employees whose work holds the potential to expose them to asbestos. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 puts a requirement on employers to ensure that their staff have undergone suitable asbestos awareness training so that they are aware of the potential dangers they may face and also the procedures they must follow in the event they are working in the vicinity of asbestos containing materials (ACMs)
Who Is This Course Suitable For?
The main groups of workers that are deemed to be at risk from asbestos exposure and therefore the groups most requiring asbestos awareness training are as follows:
- General Maintenance Staff.
- Electricians, Plumbers & Gas Fitters. Painters & Decorators.
- Construction & Demolition Workers. Joiners and Plasterers.
- Computing & Telecommunications Engineers.
- Heating & Ventilation Engineers.
- Architects & Building Surveyors
- Fire & Burglar Alarm Installers