Unleashing the Power of Employment Rights for Young Generation with , , and Tags

If you're a minor under 18, and planning to enter the workforce or already employed, there exist certain limitations that regulate the kind of job you can undertake, the location where you can work, and how many hours you can work every week.

Primarily, anyone younger than 13 years of age can only gain employment in special situations. However, at the age of 13, you can start doing light work such as running errands. Bear in mind that the work should not impact your well-being or education. For example, delivering newspapers is considered light work.

Once you turn 14, you have the option of working in various positions, but there are still some positions in which you cannot be employed. For instance, it is not permissible to work in a factory or on a construction site. If uncertain, it is advisable to double-check with the local education authority.

These constraints hold until the age of 16 when you are beyond the ambit of compulsory education, and hence are referred to as a "young worker" and have a greater chance of choosing from several employment options. At the age of 18 or older, you have the same entitlements as adults.

Working Hours

Regulations exist regarding the times you can work and the duration of your work, which vary according to your age.

If you are 14 years old, there are stringent rules that mandate your working hours, such as:

  • - During term time, work is permitted only up to two hours on weekdays and Sundays, and up to five hours on Saturdays.
  • - During school vacations, you can work a maximum of five hours per weekday or Saturday and up to two hours on Sundays.

- Work cannot commence before 7.00 am or continue after 7.00 pm.

If you are 15 or 16 and employed while still studying, your rights are almost equivalent to that of a 14-year-old, with the exception of the maximum duration of work on Saturdays or during school breaks, which is seven hours.

If you're 16 or 17 and out of compulsory education, the law regards you as a young worker. Although the regulations for you are not as stringent, there are still a few. For example, you cannot work more than eight hours each day, with a maximum of 40 hours per week. In general, you can't work through the night, but exceptions exist.

It is more probable that you'll be offered part-time or full-time work, and you're not limited to light work any longer as with younger workers. Hence, you can now work in a variety of jobs, such as at a bustling eatery, a busy store, or as a waiter or waitress.

National Minimum Wage

If you are past compulsory education age, you are eligible for the National Minimum Wage (NMW), which varies depending on your age. Children under 16 who are still legally required to be in school are not subject to NMW.

Apprenticeships are available to boost your job opportunities while providing you with the training and education you'll need to pursue promising employment prospects.

Time Off and Vacation

As an adult, you are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid leave every year, which is calculated on a pro-rata basis. If you work five days a week, this amounts to 28 days in a year. However, some companies may offer more leave as part of your employment contract.

In case your employer doesn't provide adequate training opportunities, you can take time off to study if you choose to pursue further education.

Handling Redundancy

If you're 16 or 17 and have lost your job, the best way forward is to acquire further education and training. Additional skills and qualifications increase your chances of employment, earning capacity, and career advancement prospects in the future. To get professional assistance, contact the Careers Office in your area. They can help you find appropriate options, such as an apprenticeship or a work placement with training. Based on your circumstances, you may also qualify for benefits if you're looking for another job.

For help and information on redundancy, contact the Jobs and Benefits Offices.

Occupational Health and Safety

All companies have a responsibility to ensure the safety and health of their employees in the workplace. This includes adequate training that informs you of potential hazards on the job and the correct ways to perform tasks safely.

As an employee, you also have health and safety obligations. These include using the proper techniques to complete tasks like lifting heavy boxes or using sharp knives, not endangering others' safety, ensuring your attire is suitable for your job, and reporting any accidents or injuries to your supervisor.

Read more about your responsibilities here: Employees' health and safety responsibilities.

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