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Employment rights

Find out how the law protects you when you are in work.

If you work part-time while you are at school or college there are laws to protect you from being exploited. These laws cover the maximum number of hours you can work each week, how much you earn and entitlements such as sick pay and holiday pay. 

When you can work

  • The youngest a child can work part-time is 13. The only exception is if they are involved in television, theatre or modelling, when they will require a child performance licence
  • If you are under 16 you:
    • can't work before 7.00am or after 7.00pm
    • can't work more than 12 hours a week during term-time
    • can't work in hazardous places such as factories or building sites
    • must take one hour's break for every 4 hours you work
    • can work a maximum of 4 hours on Saturdays if you are 13-14 or 8 hours if you are 15-16.

Other rules that apply can be found at GOV.UK - Child employment

What you can earn 

If you are under 16 you are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

The current National Minimum Wage rates for those over 16 can be found on GOV.UK - National minimum wage rates.

Other employment rights

If you are over 16 you are:

  • entitled to paid holidays
  • entitled to sick pay
  • protected against bullying, harassment and discrimination at work. 

Other sites that might be useful

Last updated:
23 November 2023
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