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Jobs for Children and Teens in the UK

Earn money with a part-time, temporary or summer job

Baby sitting is a popular way for kids and teens to make money

Jobs for kids and teenagers

In the UK, the jobs market for under 16's is very strictly regulated. If you are looking for a way to make extra money while you're still at school, you are limited as to the kind of work you are allowed to do and also on the hours you can work - see below for details.

If you are looking for a job during the summer holidays, the hours you are allowed to work are longer than during term-time.

How to find a summer job

Find a summer or part-time job by looking online, checking the classified ads in your local paper or freesheet or just by asking around. Ask your parents, their friends, their friends friends and anyone else you can think of, it's important to get the word out as many jobs for teenagers and young people are found by word of mouth.

Go and ask in shops, restaurants, bars (if you are old enough!) cafes or anywhere else you think might be looking for summer, part -time or temporary teenage workers.

You could also print some flyers to leave with potential employers - for safety just leave a phone number and not full address details. Remember to play it safe, especially if you are under 18: tell your parents or another responsible adult what you are planning to do and where you are going.

To read some entertaining stories of other peoples experience with summer work, check out this article in the Guardian.

Babysitting jobs

You can babysit at any age, whether you are paid or not. However if you are under 16, the child's parent remains legally responsible for the child's care and safety. If a parent leaves a child with you when you are under 16, the parent could be prosecuted if the child comes to harm, or action could be taken to put their child into care.

If you are 16 or older, you can be charged with a criminal offence if you deliberately assault, ill-treat or abandon a child in your care.

Pet sitting and dog walking

Many people want to keep their dogs fit, happy and socialised but are too busy to do it themselves. That's where you can make money as a dog walker.

Advertise on posters in vets, pet shops and anywhere else that dog owners gather and print up flyers to hand out to any dog walkers you meet in the park!

Doing a paper round

If you are thirteen or older you can apply for a job as a paperboy or girl.

This has long been a popular way for kids to make money during term time as a morning or evening paper round fits around the school day.

You can find a job delivering newspapers by asking at your local newsagents shop or searching online as some local publications will accept enquiries via an application form.

Stay Safe

Always ensure you are safe when you are making deliveries, especially if you are using a bike during dark winter mornings and evenings.

Make sure you wear hi-viz clothing and a helmet and make sure you have working front and rear lights. It's a good idea to take a cycling proficiency course or similar: you can find out about this via your school or local authority.

A course will teach you how to ride safely on the road and how to carry out basic maintenance checks and take care of your bike.

Work in Food and Catering

part time waitingThe catering and hospitality industry has a big demand for part-time and casual staff, and once you have a little experience you'll find that the work can come your way with increasing regularity - once you prove yourself to be reliable and flexible with hours.

Ask around at local cafes and restaurants but bear in mind that minimum ages apply (see below and link) particularly if you want to work in a kitchen or somewhere that sells alcohol.

If you can do Silver Service, you'll always be in demand for functions as there is always a need for experienced staff. There are no specific qualifications to get started but you should be presentable, reliable and polite.

Working in a cafe or other food outlet can be a suitable part-time job for 16 year olds, but do check the legislation in your area.

Is it legal to work if you're a kid or teenager?

In the UK, according to the governments website, the youngest age at which a child can work part-time is 13, except for some acting and similar work in the theatrical, modelling and film business. Once you are 13, you can do part-time work but you are not allowed to work full-time untill you have reached the minimum school leaving age - you can then work up to a maximum of 40 hours a week.

kids work

There are also extensive rules covering where young teenagers can and can't work: for example you would not be allowed to work anywhere that you may come to harm such as a building site or factory. You would also be prohibited from working in areas such as pubs, clubs, betting shops and casinos. You may need a permit to work from the local authority in some areas

You are also limited on the hours you can work if you are below school-leaving age; you can't work during school hours, before 7am or after 7pm or for more than 4 hours without taking a break of at least 1 hour. You must also be allowed a 2-week break from any work during the school holidays in each calendar year.

School-aged children aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage although teenage workers aged 16 to 17 are entitled to at least £3.87 per hour.

Rules for teenagers working during the school term

During term time children can only work a maximum of 12 hours a week. This includes:

a maximum of 2 hours on school days and Sundays
a maximum of 5 hours on Saturdays for 13 to 14-year-olds, or 8 hours for 15 to 16-year-olds

Rules for teenagers working during the school holidays

During school holidays 13 to 14-year-olds are only allowed to work a maximum of 25 hours a week. This includes:

a maximum of 5 hours on weekdays and Saturdays
a maximum of 2 hours on Sunday

During school holidays 15 to 16-year-olds can only work a maximum of 35 hours a week. This includes:

a maximum of 8 hours on weekdays and Saturdays
a maximum of 2 hours on Sunday

The above is based on information from the UK government website but is not comprehensive - for more information on working when you are a teenager, click the link below for full information on working when you're under 18 years old.



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