Employing School Children in the Summer Holidays

Employing School Children in the Summer Holidays

We’re rapidly heading to that time of year when school’s out for six weeks which realistically feels more like six months!

So what can we do to keep the kids entertained whilst keeping business disruption to a minimum? Clients’ regularly ask if they can employ their children during the school holidays. It’s a way of keeping the little darlings quiet (theoretically, at least) as well as them independently earning some pocket money. They also gain some valuable work experience! From a business perspective, the wages paid are a tax allowable expense, helping to reduce the tax bill. So, yes you can employ your children during the holidays but there are rules to be aware of before you break the good news to them:

General rules

  • You cannot employ children under the age of 13
  • During school holidays, 13 to 14 year olds can work a maximum of 25 hours a week. This includes a maximum of 5 hours on weekdays and Saturdays and a maximum of 2 hours on Sunday
  • 15 to 16 year olds can work a maximum of 35 hours a week in the school holidays. This includes a maximum of 8 hours on weekdays and Saturdays a maximum of 2 hours on Sunday
  • Children under 16 years of age are not entitled to minimum wage and they don’t pay national insurance. The amount you pay them must be justified by the amount of work which they actually do in your business
  • Children aged 16 to 17 are entitled to at least minimum wage and if you’re a registered employer, you’ll need to record and report their pay as part of your payroll
  • Between the ages of 13 and 16, children can’t work unless they have a child employment permit.  It is illegal for businesses to employ 13-16 year old children without one so you should contact your local council for information on applying for a permit. A young person is ’employed’ when they assist with any business which is carried out for profit, whether paid or not. This also applies to children assisting their parents or relatives in a family business.
  • You should ensure that you hold the necessary insurance such as public and employers liability
  • You must prepare a risk assessment for each set of duties, ensure that you adequately train the child for the job and make them aware of any risks which may be involved. You must also supply the child with any necessary safety equipment and clothing

Types of work allowed

Children can carry out light work in the following areas:

  • agricultural or horticultural work
  • delivery of newspapers/printed material
  • shop work
  • hairdressing salons
  • office work
  • private car washing by hand
  • café or restaurant – but not in the kitchen
  • domestic work – for example: in a hotel

Types of work not allowed

No child of any age can be employed in the following areas:

  • cinemas or night clubs
  • commercial kitchens
  • collecting or sorting rubbish, rags or scrap metal
  • any work more than three metres above the ground/floor level
  • telephone sales
  • fairgrounds or amusement arcades, as an attendant or assistant
  • in the personal care of residents in a residential care or nursing home
  • collecting money, selling or canvassing door to door

The above list is not exhaustive so always check beforehand!

Let’s chat

Need help? Want to know more? Please give us a call on (01386) 764741 and we’ll be delighted to help.