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Under 16s

You are not allowed to work full time until you are 16 and have finished school. If you are 13 to 15 and want to earn a bit of money you can have a job, but there are lots of rules about the length of time you can work for and the type of work you can do. These rules are there to make sure you are being treated fairly by your boss and that your job doesn't interfere with school.

The main things to remember are:

  • Your employer must give you an employment permit from your Local Education Authority.
  • Your job mustn't be during school time, and you shouldn't be working before 7am or after 7pm.
  • You aren't allowed to work in places like factories or building sites because they could be dangerous.
  • There is no minimum wage for under 16s.

Have a look at the DirectGov website's information on child employment to find out more about what breaks you should be getting and how long you should be working for (see Links to other websites to the right of this page).

Working should be your decision - if you are being forced into working, it is against the law. If you are in this position you can call Childline on 0800 1111 to get help and advice about what to do. Calls are free and they are open 24 hours a day.

December 2011

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