Under the Education and skills Act 2008 in England (different rules apply in Scotland and Wales), a young person must remain in full time education or training until they are 18 years old. For the avoidance of doubt, a young person is defined as someone who is over compulsory school age and under the age of 18. A person is over compulsory school leaving age if he / she, is/turns 16 on or before the last Friday in June (in any given year) or will be turning 16 years old by the end of the summer holidays.

If not in full time education, a young person can meet their legal obligation instead by being in full time occupation while also undertaking sufficient relevant training. Full time occupation in this regard means:

  • Working under a contract of employment (not a worker contract), or as a self-employed person, or otherwise than for reward (i.e. unpaid volunteer, or in an office holder position (e.g. as a company director):
  • For at least 20 hours per week, (not including time when they are participating in actual guided learning)
  • Under a contract or arrangement which is or is expected to be, of at least 8 weeks’ duration.

Please note that a typical “contract for services” which we use for supplying temporary workers will not suffice, neither with short term work of less than 8 weeks. If you are seeking to supply a young person into work, there are certain limitations which you must comply with accordingly.  Aside from a maximum 40 hour working weeks, a young person must be allowed:

  • At least 12 hours of uninterrupted rest within any 24-hour period in which they work; and
  • A rest break of at least 30 minutes if a shift will last longer than 4 and a half hours; and
  • At least 48 hours of rest each week – uninterrupted.

Additionally, young workers aged 16-17 must not work between the hours of midnight and 4 am. They also cannot work after 10 pm or before 7 am unless they will be working in:

  • Agriculture
  • Retail Trading
  • Postal or newspaper delivery
  • A catering business, hotel, public house, restaurant etc.
  • Bakery

Please be mindful of this and ensure you follow the correct guidelines. Thanks for reading.