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If you’re aged under 18, employment law is slightly different to the law for people over 18. Check out our handy guide to find out more.
Many people can’t wait to leave school and start earning. For some, college and university aren’t desirable options, and they want to start working straight away.
However, there are guidelines about what under 18s can and can’t do in employment. Employment law can be tricky when it comes to under 18s, but the basic rules are as follows:
If you’re still at school the law is:
If you’ve left school but are still under 18 you cannot be made to work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours per week, with exceptions only in extreme circumstances.
National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law. However, the amount of NMW depends on the person’s age and whether they are an apprentice. To find out more about NMW, see here.
There is no set national minimum wage until you are over school leaving age.
When you are over school leaving age, the current rates, as of March 2017, are:
|Year||25 and over||21 to 24||18 to 20||Under 18||Apprentice|
|October 2016 (current rate)||£7.20||£6.95||£5.55||£4.00||£3.40|
You might have heard about ‘zero-hour contracts’ in the news. The main issue is the difference between a ‘worker’ and an ‘employee’. For more information, see here.
For more information on when you can leave school, or what your rights are, speak to your school Careers Adviser. If you’ve left school and you’re looking for work, you can sign up to the Youth Employability Service by calling 0300 300 1180.