Minimum working age

What is the legal age for a young person to work on a building site?


What is the legal age for a young person to work on a building site?

Legally, the age at which someone may start working in an industrial undertaking is 15, as long as they are no longer of compulsory school age.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a child is over compulsory school age after the last Friday of June of the school year in which their 16th birthday falls (the rules are slightly different in Scotland). Employers must, however, be aware of the greater protection afforded to such ‘young workers’.

They are entitled to more advantageous rights than their ‘adult’ counterparts (those aged 18 and over) in relation to, for example, weekly working time limits, breaks and rest periods. Always remember that someone who has not passed compulsory school age is classed as a child and children cannot be employed at all in an industrial undertaking.

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