Child Employment Permits in Scotland

August 5, 2016 Europe 4334 Views
Child Employment Permits in Scotland

‘Young workers’ is a term used to refer to young people who have not yet attained 18 years but are over the school leaving age. These young workers have employee rights, and there are special laws that enacted to ensure their rights are not violated. Any employer who breaks these strict laws faces prosecution.


Work health and safety

Any employer seeking to employ a person under 18 years should first carry out an assessment of the risks posed to the health and safety of the young worker. Particular attention should be paid to the young worker’s lack of experience and other factors that could mean a risk to their health and safety.

For those under school leaving age, the employer has the responsibility of communicating the results of the assessment to at least one party that has parental responsibilities over the young worker.


Type of work done

Young people between the ages of 16 and 18 can only carry out work they are fully capable of, undertake work that does not put their health at risk and work in areas whereby there is no contact with radiation, chemical agents or any toxic material.

Exceptions to the above regulations apply when the above situations are necessary during training, the levels of risk are reduced to the lowest reasonable levels and when supervision is done by a highly experienced person.

Those who are yet to attain the minimum school leaving age are only allowed to engage in light work. The work should in no way affect school attendance. Employers seeking to employ these young workers should first obtain a permit from the local authority which must be signed by the employer as well as one of the young worker’s parent.


Hours of work

Young people over school leaving age but still under 18 years are not allowed to work more than 8 hours on any given day or more than 40 hours in any given week. Also, the young worker is entitled to at least 12 hours’ rest between work days. In addition to this, they are also entitled to 2 rest days each week.

During the work day, young workers are entitled to rest breaks of not less than 30 minutes after working for more than four and a half hours. Young workers are not allowed to work at night, between 10 pm and 6 am.


Paid holidays

Children under school leaving age are not entitled to a paid holiday legally. Those above school leaving age are, like the rest of the workers, legally entitled to a paid holiday for 5.6 weeks every year.



Those above school going age are entitled to receive a minimum wage. Those below 16 do not have this entitlement.


Sale of alcohol

Those below the age of 18 are not allowed to work in a bar when it is open and there is sale or consumption of alcoholic products. Those above 18 are allowed to work in such an environment, provided that the alcohol sold is not consumed within the premises.


Armed forces

Anyone above the age of 16 can join the armed forces. However, those under 18 need parental consent.



For those babysitting while under the age of 16, those with parental responsibilities over the child being cared for will be held responsible should any harm befall the child. However, if the babysitter is above 16 years, they are held responsible should harm come to the child.

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