Legislation governs and restricts the employment of children and young people. A child under the minimum school leaving age must not be employed in an industrial undertaking unless during work experience. In other employment sectors local by-laws and regulations will impose rules about when, where and for how long children can work. Young people, between 16 and 18, can legally be employed but there are some restrictions on their working time and also on the work that they can be allowed to do.
Because children and young persons are inexperienced, have a limited awareness of risk and limited physical capabilities they need to be closely managed and supervised to ensure that they do not suffer injury or ill-health whilst at work.
Employers should complete an individual risk assessment for every child and young person they employ. The outcome will guide the training required, limitations to the work and level of supervision required for each individual. The outcome should be clearly explained to the youngsters, in some cases to their families too, and to those with day to day responsibility for them whilst at work.