Working hours and young workers

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Are you under 18 and want to work?

When can I start full-time work?
You can work full-time once you are no longer in compulsory education.  This is the last Friday in June in the school year that you turn 16.  That means that if your birthday is between the end of June and the end of August you will be able to start full-time work if you are still 15.  

Do I need a National Insurance Number to work full-time?
Yes, If you have not already received it you will need to apply. 
Phone Jobcentre Plus on 0845 600 0643 - lines open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday.

Where can I find job vacancies?
Use our job search tools to find out what vacancies there are on this site:

Job Vacancies

Job Vacancies

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Jobs Growth Wales

Asking around is a great approach, start letting people know that you are looking for work.  Lots and lots of people find work this way.  You should also talk to a careers adviser; they will be able to advise you about local opportunities.

What about part-time work?
You can do this while you are still in school.  But there are some rules!  The rules are there because too many young people have been working long hours with very little pay and that can affect your school life.

What are the rules?
These are set by your local authority, so may be different in each area, you need to check with them.  Contact your local Education Department.  Here are the general rules:

If you are under 13 you cannot work except for jobs in:

  • television
  • theatre
  • modelling
  • similar activities

Have a look on the site for further information about this.

If you are 13 and older you can work but the following rules apply:

What am I not allowed to do?
You cannot work: 

  • without an employment permit. You get these from the education department of your local council, if this is required by their byelaws – it is up to your local council to set these
  • in any industrial setting such as a factory or industrial site
  • during school hours
  • before 7.00 am or after 7.00 pm
  • for more than one hour before school (you can only work before school if local byelaws allow it)
  • for more than four hours without taking a break of at least one hour
  • in any jobs that your local byelaws or other legislation says you cannot do – usually pubs and betting shops etc.
  • in any work that may be harmful to your health, well-being or education
  • without having a two week break from any work during the school holidays in each calendar year

Are the rules different during Term time?
Yes you can only work a maximum of 12 hours per week. This includes:

  • a maximum of two hours on school days and Sundays
  • a maximum of five hours on Saturdays if you are 13 to 14 years old, or eight hours if you are 15 to 16 years old.

What about School holidays?
If you are 13 to 14 year old you may work a maximum of 25 hours per week. This includes:

  • a maximum of five hours on weekdays and Saturdays
  • a maximum of two hours on Sunday

If you are 15 to 16 year old you may work a maximum of 35 hours per week. This includes:

  • a maximum of eight hours on weekdays and Saturdays
  • a maximum of two hours on Sunday

Work for under 18s - Further Information

Direct Gov- has information and advice on many employment issues including working part time under 16.
Contact your Local Authority - for details of local byelaws on working under school leaving age and applying for work permits. 

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