The number of teenagers in part-time work has fallen, again

Many children that are at an age of thirteen and willing to work will benefit a business in many ways

Fewer teenagers have part-time jobs and the figures have been released showing how many child employment permits had been issued in 2012 compared to 2016. They show a dramatic fall, from 29,498 in 2012 to 23,071 but why?

A Saturday or weekend job used to be the norm for many children, but added pressures of getting good GCSE’s and A-Levels amongst other reasons, could be relative to the falling figure.

More often than not, teenagers at secondary school are told they need to get good grades at school to be able to go to university, and/or secure a good job. This is likely to make both children and parents think that adding the responsibility of a job will have a detrimental effect in school and on grades.

Adolescence is the particular age where children have to transition from being carefree to a responsible young adult. Many people believe that having a job as a teenager will aid this transition and teach valuable skills that are necessary in the working world.

Not only does a part time job encourage personal development, how to handle responsibility and juggle priorities, it enables children to showcase the skills in other applications like university and jobs.

When someone enters the world of employment, education, academics or a degree can be fairly essential. Needless to say lectures, exams and assignments will only be able to say so much about how someone will cope in the role. However, many employers believe that it is.

However, many employers believe that it is experience that will create a divide amongst candidates. The university attended and grades achieved are suddenly out of the spotlight.

There’s definitely a stigma for businesses however around the idea of hiring someone so young. ‘They won’t listen’, ‘they will mess around and not care’, ‘they’re just being forced into it’ are common thoughts a business owner is likely to have.

This definitely isn’t true, many children that are at an age of thirteen and willing to work will benefit a business in many ways. It’s important to remember that children that are in school are at a prime learning age, meaning they will absorb new information and skills quicker.

It also provides trainee managers to put their skills into use by having a younger colleague to manage.

Important things business owners should be aware of when hiring someone between the ages thirteen and fifteen are:

1. Child employment permits

Local councils say that businesses intending to hire school-aged children, must apply for a child employment permit. It is important to make sure you are aware that you would not be insured against accidents involving the child, without a child work permit. The only time a child work permit is not needed is when it is work experience arranged by their school.

2. Minimum pay

There are no minimum wage rates for children between the ages of 13 and 15, however children aged between16 and 17 are entitled to £3.72 per hour.

3. Hours

If you are a business owner and commit to hiring a school-aged employee it is vital you are aware of the hours they can work. Children under the school leaving age are not able to work during school hours.

They cannot work before 7am and after 7pm and they may not work for more than one hour before school, unless local bylaws accept it.

They must have a break of at least one hour if they have been working for more than four hours, the law also states children must have at least a two-week break during the holidays in each calendar year.

During term time the maximum hours they can work a week is 12, in the holidays it’s 25, children who are 15-16 can work up to 35 hours. On Saturdays 13-14-year-olds can work a maximum of five hours, 15-16-year-olds can work eight.

4. Health and safety

Employers are responsible for ensuring young people they employ are not exposed to risk due to lack of experience. It is important that the health and safety is organised so that the employee receives the appropriate training. For further advice on health and safety The Health and Safety Executive is available for advice.

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