Working Time & Young Workers

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Under health and safety law, employers must ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all their employees, irrespective of age.

If your organisation employs young people, you will have to give special consideration to issues such as rest periods, night working and the duties your young workers can carry out.

The working time regulations define a young worker as anyone under the age of 18 and a child as anyone who has not yet reached the minimum school leaving age of 16.

  • Young workers are not allowed by law to work more than 8 hours per day or more than a maximum of forty hours per week.
  • If any young worker is expected to work for more than 4½ hours they are entitled to a 30-minute break.
  • Young workers must receive 12 hours consecutive rest between their shifts.

For more information, see our in-depth Information Note on young workers.