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Blog  »  June 2022  »  Employing Young People: What you need to know - Blog
Jun 22

Posted by
Saoirse Moloney

Employing Young People: What you need to know

With the Summer season upon us, may employers will be looking at recruiting teenagers for the summer months. In doing so employers need to be mindful of the specific legislations that apply to young workers.

There are a number of employment rights all workers have when they start a job, but younger workers, those who are under 18 years old, have a few additional rights to protect them at work.

Key Points:

  • Younger workers are entitled to two days off per week
  • A daily rest break of 12 consecutive hours (the break between finishing work one day and starting work the next)
  • A rest break of at least 30 minutes if the working day lasts more than 4.5 hours
  • Younger workers normally will not work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.
  • Younger workers don’t work at night, but there are some exceptions
  • Workers aged 16-17 are entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage at the relevant rate.

National Minimum Wage Rate April 2022

Age 23 or over - £9.50

Age 20-21 £9.18

Age 18-20 £6.83

Apprentices & Under 18 £4.81

Working Time Regulations

Normally younger workers (16 & 17 year old’s) are entitled to 12 hours of uninterrupted rest within a 24 hour period in which they work for.

They are entitled to 2 days off per week and these cannot be averaged over a 2 week period and they should be consecutive days.

Night Work Limits

Workers under 18 are not usually allowed to work at night, however, exceptions can apply in some circumstances.

Young workers may work during the night if they are employed in a hospital or similar places of work, or in areas such as, advertising, sporting or cultural activities.

Young workers may work between 10 pm or 11 pm to midnight and between 4 am to 6/7 am if they are employed in:

  • Agriculture
  • Retail
  • Postal or newspaper deliveries
  • A catering business, hotel, public house, restaurant etc
  • A bakery

Working Hours for workers over 18

In general, workers aged 18 and over are entitled to:

  • Work no more than six days out of every seven, or 12 out of every 14
  • Take a 20-minute break if they work more than six hours at a stretch
  • Work a maximum 48-hour average week


Posted in Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Employment Law


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