Employers have blind spot over under-age work

Businesses employing teenagers to work in places like pubs, shops and hotels
are largely unaware of their legal obligation, a law firm has warned.

Employers must take account of a range of laws when hiring teenagers for full-
or part-time work, ranging from official work permits to risk assessments.

A report by law firm Associa Employment found smaller employers were
especially confused by the rules.

Two separate reports from the Better Regulation Taskforce and the TUC show
that teachers and parents are equally baffled.

Mark Thompson, legal team leader at Associa, said employing staff not above
compulsory school age was fraught with potential litigation if the rules were

"This is a serious issue for business," he said, "as not
being aware of these laws is no defence against potential fines of £1,000 for
most infringements. Fines for health and safety breaches could be even

The report found that many employers were not aware they were required to
obtain a work permit from the local authority for every school age child in

Bosses were also in the dark about the restrictions on the working day, with
youngsters prohibited from working before 7am, after 7pm, during school hours
or for more than two hours on a Sunday.

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