Children and Young Workers

What you must do - Law - 1

Law

In the UK (including Wales and Scotland), the key piece of legislation related to this issue is The Children and Young Persons Act 1998.

Who is Covered?

This legislation applies to anyone who works on your premises even if they are members of your family or your workers’ families.

There are two types of worker in this category:

  • Young workers - under 18 but older than school leaving age. The law sets out special provisions for the protection of young workers as they are still physically developing till they reach 18 and are more vulnerable to various risks than a mature adult.

  • Minors - between 13 and school leaving age

School leaving age is normally 16 but can vary slightly depending on when the child’s birthday is and their geographical location.

Compulsory School Age criteria are detailed below:
In England and Wales: a person is no longer of compulsory school age after the last Friday of June of the school year in which their 16th birthday occurs.

In Scotland: pupils whose 16th birthday falls between 1 March and 30 September may not leave before the 31 May of that year. Pupils aged 16 on or between 1 October and the last day of February may not leave until the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year.

In Northern Ireland
: a person is no longer of compulsory school age after the 30th June of the school year in which their 16th birthday occurs.

 

Click here for key elements of the law. (Displayed in a popup window.)

Children and young workers

Key elements include:

  • Definitions of different categories of young workers
  • Details regarding the working hours and working conditions for children and young workers.
  • Requirement for local authority permission to employ minors
  • Requirement for a system to verify the ages of all workers so you can identify young workers and minors.
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