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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Can an under 18 year old solely sign, and be held accountable,

Resolved Question:

Can an under 18 year old solely sign, and be held accountable, for a employment contract?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Can you please explain your situation in a bit more detail

Customer:

My daughter, who is 17 and been working at a beauty salon for 7 months has handed her notice in. She currently works but is also at college (full time).

Customer:

Her employer is now being funny with her. She was given a contract of employment, which she signed and passed back to the salon. There are things in the contract that, I think, are unlawful but given the fact that she signed it without our consent, can she be held to it?

Ben Jones :

what are these things specifically?

Customer:

The employer stated that she would have to pay back money that was spent on training and was told that she couldn't work in the industry in a 5 mile radius of the salon

Customer:

Is the contract legally binding, given the circumstances?

Customer:

She was also told that she would need to work a day a week for free and this was classified as a training day

Ben Jones :

The legal age for contracts is 18, however those under 18 can still legally enter into contracts of employment as long as they are for their benefit, such as a simple contract to undertake work and be paid for it. As the issues here are really of a contractual nature (contractual arrangements to repay training fees and restrictive covenants) then she can indeed argue that as she did not have the legal capacity to enter into the contract, it would be void.

Customer:

Specifying that she can't work in the industry within a 5 mile radius and specifying a free, worked, 8 hour training day, surely that is not legal. Apologies if this is now over the original remit, please say so if it is.

Ben Jones :

it's ok, the restriction on the radius is a restrictive covenant - it can be legal but only if it is reasonable. But again, if this is a contractual matter, which it really is, then the age issue would make it void anyway. As to the training day, it would depend on whether this is classified as working time, i.e. being at the employer's disposal, carrying out tasks, etc - it would not really be a training day then and should still be paid

Customer:

It was treated as any other working day, not specifically used for training. The salon are breaking all sorts of laws and then bullying the employers when they threaten to leave. She works, one day 9am to 8pm, this I have since found out is also illegal.

Customer:

Thank you for your help

Ben Jones :

yes, 8 hours a day is the limitr

Customer:

Again, many thanks for your help Ben. I imagine we will be chatting again in the coming weeks. Take care.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome. Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the advice I have provided as that is an important part of our process. Thank you and feel free to bookmark my profile for future help:



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Customer:

Will do

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46182
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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