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School’s out! Employing young people in the holidays

With school holidays looming, many salons think about taking on a young person but you need to tread carefully. Here are a few things to consider:

  • A child is someone under the minimum school leaving age, but this age is defined differently in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • The youngest age a child can work is 14, and then only part-time, unless your local authority allows you to employ 13 year-olds (also part-time only).
  • There are restrictions on the hours and times that a child can work, for example no more than two hours on a Sunday.
  • Someone who is above the minimum school leaving age and who is also under 18 is defined as a young person. 
  • There are also restrictions on the hours that a young person can work, and how much time they need to have for rest breaks and for time off.
  • Employers need to provide them with a written statement of employment as a minimum, but a proper employment contract is a safer option.

Tina Beaumont-Goddard, NHF/NBF Director of Membership, said: “At this time of year we get lots of calls from salon owners wanting advice about employing young people, especially if they’re starting an apprenticeship in September.  There’s a lot of confusion about whether they should be paid the apprenticeship rate or the age-related minimum wage.  It’s vital that employers take expert advice because this is one of the key reasons for under-payment, which can lead to big fines, back payments and naming and shaming.”