Employment legislation

Do you want more information on the laws on employing young people? This page offers information on health and safety, hours, pay, equal opportunities and resolving disputes.

Further information

Health and safety risk assessments

When recruiting a 16 or 17 year old you are required by law to carry out a risk assessment of the job and workplace in which they will be working to identify things that could harm a young person. For more information visit the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) websites.

Working hours

If you are employing a 16 or 17 year old there is legislation setting out how many hours they can work in a day and how many hours they can work in a week and the rest breaks they are entitled to. There are also restrictions on what night work they can and cannot do. See the Adviceguide website for more information.

Disciplinary and disputes

We offer help to young people with the transition from education to work. Most young people settle in quickly but if you are facing some difficulties with a young person in your employment there is help and advice available.

You will find some useful information on the Advice, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) website or you can call Connexions for advice on 0116 454 1770.


When considering what to pay a new employee we would encourage you to pay them the going rate for the job irrespective of age, taking into account their experience and trainee level. If you would like some advice about what other employers are paying in Leicester you can call us on 0116 454 1770

Employing ex-offenders

Almost 20% of the working population (source Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development - CIPD) have been convicted of a criminal offence and the police have cautioned many more. 

Most ex-offenders are successfully employed and work as well and as hard as people without criminal records. Most juvenile offenders want to put their offending behind them as they get older and have responsibilities such as a family.

For more information about employing an ex-offenders go to GOV.UK or contact the Connexions Employer Services Team on: 0116 454 1770.

Employing young people under 16

The official school leaving date is the last Friday in June of the academic year during which the person turns 16. Young people cannot legally work full-time until after this date. They may work part-time but the hours and types of work they can do are limited.

As their employer of an under-16 you will need to apply for a licence within a week of them starting work.

Equal opportunities

It is in the interests of your business to ensure that you get the best person to do the job, irrespective of their sex, age, race, religion, disability, sexuality or previous convictions. Often things which you think could be barriers to employing someone can be overcome with help from other organisations, such as Connexions, Jobcentre Plus and The Equality and Human Rights Commission. For instance did you know that there is funding available to help you make your workplace more accessible to employees with a disability?

More information is available from the Equality and Human rights Commission or ACAS. You can also get in touch with Connexions, see our section on Connexions.