Rules and Regulations for Working Teenagers

Riles and RegulationsA part time or weekend job can be great for Teenagers to get out of the house, get some work experience, learn about life and at the same time earn a little money. However depending on your age there will be rules and regulations you and your potential employer have to follow before getting a job in the workplace.

In order to protect children there are many laws, rules and regulations that UK teenagers and employers have to abide to. If employers break any of these rules then they can expect heavy fines and it’s likely that the child will end up losing their job. The following are the types of jobs that Teenagers can do at certain ages:

Jobs For Under 13

If you’re aged 13 or below you cannot legally get a job. You could do odd jobs for your parents to earn a little extra pocket money.

Working at Ages 13, 14 and 15

At aged 13 you can only do light work which could include a paper round or some types of shop work. You could babysit or do odd jobs for friends and family and not be tied to any rules or regulations. The only exception to this is theatre / entertainment work where a licence must be obtained from the local council.

At 14 – 15 there are many jobs you can do apart from factory work or working on a building site where you would be breaking health and safety. If you are confused about what you can and cannot do, you or your employer can always check with the local council.

Some of the rules you must stick to at 14 – 15 are as follows:

  • In school time you can only work for 2 hours in the week and on Sunday’s
  • In school time you can only work for 5 hours on a Saturday
  • During the school holidays you can work for 5 hours on a weekday or Saturday but only 2 hours on a Sunday
  • In term time you can do up to a maximum of 12 hours a week and in the holidays up to 25 hours a week. (Including Weekends)
  • You cannot work before 7am or after 7pm at any time
  • You must have a 1 hour break for every 4 hours work you do
  • You cannot do any jobs that require you to serve people of a certain age for example working at a bookie, pub, club or casino.

Working at Age 16+

15 and 16 year olds that are still in school can work up to 8 hours on a Saturday and up to 35 hours a week during the holidays. Once you are 16 and have left school you will get a National Insurance card and be classed in the government’s eyes as a young worker. At 16+ you can get employed almost anywhere and do any hours.
If the work you are doing means that you are falling behind with school work then maybe you should quit and look for alternative ways to make money.

Working at Aged 18+

Once you reach 18 or above you can work the same as any other adult for the same amount of hours. You only have to abide by the rules in your contract supplied by your employer

National Minimum Wage for Under 19’s

The national minimum wage is the lowest amount per hour that people in the UK can be paid by their employer. At this time the minimum wage doesn’t apply to under 16’s . The current rates from July 2015 are as follows:

  • Under 16: National Minimum Wage doesn’t apply
  • Aged 16 to 17 – £3.79
  • Aged 18 to 20 – £5.13
  • Aged 21 and over – £6.50
  • Apprentices under 19 in their first year of employment – £2.73

The National Minimum Wage is updated every October, so from October 2015 a new rate will apply. The new rate from October 1st 2015 will be as follows:

  • Aged 16 – 17 – £3.87
  • Aged 18 – 20 – £5.30
  • Aged 21 and over – £6.70
  • Apprentices under 19 in their first year of employment – £3.30

How Much Tax Do Teenagers Have to Pay?

In the UK anyone can earn up to £10,600 without paying any income tax. You will still have to pay National Insurance contributions if you are earning over £155 / week.

Contract and Holiday Pay

Within 2 weeks of starting at your new job you should receive your contract. This will include how much you will get paid, what hours you are contracted to do, what holidays you are entitled to and other important information.

More information about jobs and apprenticeships for young people can be found on the Government website.

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