23 Jun 2017

Know Your Rights at Age 14

Age 14? Welcome to the world of work!

Hans Christian Andersen - The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep - silhouette The general rule is that you can get a part-time job from age 14 - but it can only be in what is considered ‘light work’. This means you cannot do any job that could affect your health and safety or get in the way of your education. Examples of work which you can do are:
  • Delivering newspapers and leaflets
  • Shop work, including shelf stacking
  • Office work
  • Hairdressing
  • Working in a café or restaurant, but not in the kitchen
  • Work in hotels and other places offering accommodation
It’s worth checking with your Local Authority before taking on unusual work to be sure it doesn’t contravene local regulations and bylaws

How long can you work?

  • You can work for a maximum of two hours on a school day and only between the hours of 7am and 8am and 5pm and 7pm.
  • You can work on Sundays between 7am and 7pm but, again, only up to two hours.
  • You can work up to five hours on a Saturday between 7am and 7pm.
  • During school holidays you can work five hours a day from Monday to Saturday but, again, only up to two hours on Sundays.
  • You must have a break from work of at least 2 weeks a year.
  • You must have a rest break of 1 hour for every 4 hours worked.

How much pay can you get?

If you are under the compulsory school age of 16 you are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage and you do not have to pay National Insurance.

FountainSoda.jpg Other rights and responsibilities

  • You can go into a bar and order soft drinks.
  • If convicted of a serious criminal offence (in a Youth Court), you can be held in secure accommodation for up to 24 months or get a fine up to £1,000.
  • Wearing a seatbelt is considered your own personal responsibility, so buckle up.
  • Your parents can be granted a justices’ licence which will let you take part in public performances abroad. This can include singing, playing, performing, being exhibited for profit, taking part in a sport or working as a model. (Children and Young Persons Act 1933, section 25.)

Useless factoid

Wedding Bells (1921) - 4
Under a nearly 80-year-old law in New York state, children as young as 14 were allowed to marry if they obtained permission from both their parents and the court. The law was abolished yesterday so now you can only get married in New York state if you are 17 or over and young people aged 17 to 18 will need parental and court approval.

More info

See www.lawstuff.org.uk/at-what-age-can-i (published by the renowned Coram Children's Legal Centre, based in Colchester, Essex)

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