Once you reach the age of 13, you can only do light work. This means that you cannot do any job that can affect your health and safety or may get in the way of your education. For example, you may be able to take on a paper round.
These restrictions last until you become 16 and have left school, when you become classed as a young worker. This means that you’ll have more choice in the jobs you can do. If you are 18 or over, you get the same work rights as adults. There are rules that regulate what times of the day you can work and for how long. These are different depending on your age.
There are a lot of rules that control working hours of children under 16, but the basic ones are:
- during term time, you can only work for two hours on week days and Sundays
- during term time, you can only work for five hours on Saturdays
- during a school holiday, you can work for up to five hours on a week day or a Saturday
- during a school holiday, you can’t work for more than two hours on a Sunday
- you cannot work before 7.00 am or after 7.00 pm on any day
If you’re 15 or 16 and are working while you’re still at school, your rights are almost identical to those of 14 year olds. However, you are allowed to work for up to eight hours on Saturdays or during the school holidays.