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Employment rights

The Law

You cant just go out and get any job at 16. There are certain national and local laws you should be aware of before you go and get your first paycheque!

There are strict regulations covering the hours young people can work and the minimum age for working. The law regulates the basic conditions of employment for young people of school age in order to protect their health and safety and prevent exploitation.

You stop being of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June in the school year in which you turn 16. The law states that young people may only do work which isnt going to be harmful to the safety, health and development of the person.

If you are of compulsory school age, you are not allowed to work:

· If you are under 13

· During school hours

· Before 7am or after 7pm

· For more than 2 hours on a school weekday

· For more than 1 hour before school starts

· For more than 12 hours a week during term time

· For more than 2 hours on Sundays

· For more than 5 hours on Saturdays during term time

· For more than 5 hours (if aged under 15) or 8 hours (if 15 or over) on Saturdays and weekdays during school holidays

· For more than 25 hours a week (if aged under 15) or 35 hours a week (if 15 or over) during school holidays

· For more than 4 hours consecutively. You must have a break of at least 1 hour every 4 hours.

· There must be a period of 2 weeks during any of your school holidays of the year in which you dont work.

The Minimum Wage

For more information ring The National Minimum Wage Helpline on 0845 6000 678 or click on the following weblinks:

Business Link

The Childrens Legal Centre

The Citizens Advice Bureau