The school holidays are hanging over us and many barbershops will consider taking on a young person, but this can tricky from a legal point of view. 

 The law treats children and young people different.  

A child is someone who is under the minimum school leaver age, but this can be different across England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  

Children under 14 years of age cannot work unless your local authority allows you to employ 13-year-olds—even then this is only part-time. 

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There are restrictions on the hours and times a child can work, for example, they can work no longer than two hours on a Sunday. 

NHF/NBF director of membership, Tina Beaumont-Goddard 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.”   

If someone is older than the minimum school leaver age, but under 18, is defined as a young person.  

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There are also restrictions on the hours young people can work, as well as how much time they get for breaks etc. 

As a minimum, employers must provide them with a written statement of employment, but a proper contract is a much safer option. 

Tina added, “It’s vital that employers take expert advice because this is one of the key reasons for underpayment, which can lead to big fines, back payments and naming and shaming.”