Many young people get part-time work, and this provides useful income and helps you get ready for the workplace. If you get a job, it’s important that it doesn’t get in the way of studying.
There are laws in place to protect young people from being exploited at work, and to protect their right to learn. It is illegal to work before you turn 13. (Although there are exceptions for performers.)
Crucial: You must stay in learning until you are 18 (this can be an apprenticeship). Find out more about Raising the Participation Age
When you can work
It is illegal to get work before you turn 13. If you do get a job when you are 13 you can only work a certain number of hours, and you can’t work when you’re supposed to be at school or college.
When working at age 13-14 you can:
- Work for five hours on a Saturday
- Work for five hours on weekdays during school holidays
- Only work for 25 hours per week during school holidays
When working at age 15-16 you can:
- Work for eight hours on a Saturday
- Work for eight hours on weekdays during school holidays
- Only work for 35 hours per week during school holidays
What you can earn
The minimum wage changes with age. The current minimum wage is:
- £8.91 for workers aged 23 and over
- £8.36 for workers aged 21-22
- £6.56 for workers aged 18-20
- £4.62 for under 18s
- £4.30 for apprentices
Find out more: about the minimum wage at each age.