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Working hours for young workers 16-18

The hours young people can work are covered by UK law

The law covers:
All young workers (except those who are genuinely self-employed) - a young worker is someone who is old enough to leave school but is under 18 years old
Part-time, casual, temporary and agency workers
Apprentices and those on other training programmes, such as traineeships.

What hours can you work:

  • Young people can’t work more than eight hours a day or more than 40 hours a week
  • Unlike adults, there is no opt out for this
  • If you work for two different employers on the same day, you still can’t work more than a total of eight hours.
  • In England you must be in part-time education or training until your 18th birthday
  • In many jobs night work is not allowed between 10pm and 6am, or 11pm and 7am. Also, you are only allowed to work at night if you work in certain sectors, which include:

- The Armed Forces
- Hospitals
- Retail trade
- Hotel and catering businesses
- Bakeries
- Fisheries
- Newspaper or postal deliveries
- Work in connection with cultural, artistic, sporting or advertising activities.

What rest breaks are you I entitled to:


A rest break of 30 minutes if you are asked to work more than four and a half hours at a stretch. Rest breaks are not in addition to lunch breaks
12 uninterrupted hours off each 24 hour period in which you work
40 hours off work in each seven day period.

For more information on working hours, check out child employment, working hours or contact the ACAS Helpline on 0300 123 1100. See also The Mix and search for 'work hours'