Working Time - 16-18 year olds
- Lunch Break: You should get at least 30 minutes break per day if you work continuously for more than four and a half hours. If you are juggling jobs add the hours up, if it is more than four and a half you still get a break.
- Rest from one day to the next: You should be getting an uninterrupted rest of 12 hours between working days.
- Days off between working weeks: You should get at least 2 days off a week, and they should normally be taken in a row. However 2 days can be reduced to 36 hours if the employer has a technical or organisational reason for doing so.
- Maximum time at work a week: You should not be working for more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. All your jobs have to be included when calculating this maximum time even if they are with different employers.
There are some exceptions to these rules, but it is much harder to change the rules for 16-17 year olds than for over 18s.
*Your employer doesn't have to pay you for breaks unless your employment contract says you will be paid.
- The daily break should not be right at the beginning or the end of the working day, but other than that, the time of the break is up to the employer to decide.
Night Workers - Under 18s
In general, people under 18 should not be working between 10pm and 6am or between 11pm and 7am. That means you can work up to 11pm but then you should not start work before 7am the next morning.
There are exceptions to this rule, for example, if you are working in a hospital or if you are involved in sporting or artistic activities. See the links to other websites for more information on working at night.
I am not getting the time off I am entitled to, what should I do?
See How to tackle problems at work.
If you have lost your job or are treated badly because your employer wanted you to skip breaks or work longer hours than you should, you may have a claim against your employer for unfair dismissal. Have a look at the information on Dismissal (in Ending a job), and Bullying at work.