A young person is someone who is over the compulsory school age, but under the age of 18.
In England and Wales, a person is no longer of compulsory school age after the last Friday of June of the school year in which they turn 16.
In Scotland, pupils whose 16th birthday falls between 1 March and 30 September can't leave school before 31 May of that year. Pupils aged 16 on or between 1 October and the last day of February can't leave until the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year.
In Northern Ireland, a person is no longer of compulsory school age after 30 June of the school year in which they turn 16.
You must carry out a risk assessmentbefore a young person starts work or work experience at your workplace.
What law applies?
When carrying out your risk assessment, you must follow the Health and Safety Executive's 5-step approach. However, young people and children will be more vulnerable to risks in the workplace, so you should consider other factors that could affect them.
Look at your workplace from a young person or child's viewpoint. Ask yourself:
In particular, look at:
You may find that a significant risk remains despite your best efforts to take all reasonable steps to control it. If this is the case, you must not allow a young person or a child to carry out those activities that may involve risk.
You must also protect them from the risks of accidents or ill health that they're unlikely to recognise because they are inexperienced, haven't been trained or may not pay enough attention to safety.
A young person must not be allowed to do work that:
However, they can do this work if:
Children below the minimum school leaving age must not, under any circumstances, do work that involves the risks mentioned above for a young person.
In addition, they're not allowed to:
Children aged 13 and over (14 in Scotland, but local education authority bylaws are likely to allow children aged 13) are allowed to do the following:
The number of hours a child can work are greatly restricted in term time and on Sundays.