Summer Placements

Written by AJN Accountants
10 August 2023

As we approach the summer holidays, it is not unusual for business owners to receive requests from friends/family for their children conducted a summer placement. In such a scenario it is important to carefully consider the below factors before accepting any children working in your business. 

Firstly, their age is important, as there are separate rules for young workers (those over school leaving age but below 18) and children (those aged between 14 and school leaving age), so you will need to check their ages before deciding on any rotas or schedules. They should also be aware that the usual employment legislation, such as national minimum/living wage, and the working time regulations do not apply to children (instead, the rules are laid out in their own specific legislation).

If you take on someone who is a child, you will need to register them with your local authority. Children can be employed doing “light work”, that does not risk their health, safety or development. This can include:

• delivering newspapers
• shop work, such as stacking shelves
• work in a restaurant or café (but not kitchen work)
• car washing
• work in hairdressing salons
• office work
• domestic work in hotels or other accommodation
• occasional agricultural or horticultural work.

They cannot work in an “industrial undertaking” such as manufacturing, construction, transportation or warehousing, nor can they work in almost any form of gambling. Those under 18 can also not sell alcohol, unless working in a restaurant and serving it as part of a meal.

Young workers can participate in a wider scope of tasks. However, additional health and safety risk assessments should be completed, taking into consideration their potential lack of maturity and knowledge.

Working hours

Employing children and young workers can be especially useful if your business requires shorter shifts that older workers do not want, due to restrictions on children’s working hours.

During term time, children are limited to working 12 hours a week, and only 2 hours a day during the week and on all Sundays. They can only work between 7 am and 7 pm and must have an hours’ break if their shift lasts for more than four hours. They must also have two weeks together as annual leave each year.

14 year olds are limited to working for a maximum of 5 hours on Saturdays and in the holidays, and no more than 25 hours a week in the holidays.

15 and 16 year olds (but under school leaving age) can work for 35 hours a week in the holidays, and for eight hours a day on Saturdays and during the holidays.

Young workers are subject to the rules under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and so get standard annual leave entitlement. They also get a 30-minute break for shifts over 4.5 hours and must have two days off a week.

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