1. Be aware of differences
Employers should be aware that a distinction is drawn between “children” and “young workers”. This classification depends on whether the young person has reached compulsory school leaving age which differs between England, Wales and Scotland.
2. Know the hours they can and cannot work
There are different working hour restrictions and break and rest requirements depending on the age of the child worker or if they are a young worker. All younger workers should not work at night except in specific circumstances where no adult worker can carry out the work.
3. Wage requirements
The young person does not have to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) until they have reached compulsory school leaving age. This will usually mean that the worker is 16 when they need to receive the NMW but some 15 year olds will also be entitled to the statutory rate of pay.
4. Age is a protected characteristic
Most instances of age discrimination occur against older staff members but the protected characteristic of age under the Equality Act 2010 also covers younger workers. Employers should be careful to ensure that younger workers are not treated less favourably because they are younger or because they are a certain age.
5. Ensure they have the support they need
Younger workers may require extra support or training at the start of their employment and as they progress in the business. Employers should understand that young people are unlikely to have had previous experience of working or the opportunity to develop skills such as customer service or team work.
To get some immediate advice on how to approach employing young workers, call one of our expert advisors on 0808 159 2872. Alternatively, request a free consultation with our experienced team.