Monday, November 30, 2015

Apprentices and Other Young Workers

Working Time for Young People - Are you Complying?
It is relatively common knowledge that the Working Time Regulations state that workers cannot be compelled to work more than 48 hours per week, calculated as an average over 17 weeks.  Most people also know that workers are able to opt out of this restriction, so that they are able to work long hours on a regular basis and thereby benefit from a higher income.
But many employers are unaware that this does not apply to young workers, including some apprentices.  Young people are defined as those who are over school-leaving age* and are under 18.
Young workers are not allowed to work more than 8 hours in any day, and no more than 40 hours in any week.  This is not worked out on an average basis, it applies to each individual day and week.  They are also entitled to at least a 30 minute break in any day when they work longer than 4.5 hours.  Young workers are also not permitted normally to work between 10pm and 6am.
There are some exceptions to these restrictions, but they are few and far between. There are also health and safety measures that apply to young workers, to take into account their relative youth and lack of experience, compared with adult workers.
Please get in contact if you would like any more information about employing young workers.
(* in England young people can leave school on the last Friday in June if they will turn 16 by the end of the summer holidays)

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