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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49787
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My 17 year old son is being asked to work in excess of 40 hours

Customer Question

My 17 year old son is being asked to work in excess of 40 hours a week, including 16 hour shift is this legal in the UK
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does he get breaks during the shifts?

JACUSTOMER-op2q4egm- : Hi Ben,Yes, half a hour break,
JACUSTOMER-op2q4egm- : Hi Ben,
Ben Jones :

Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied earlier. If your son is 17 years old then he will be classified as a 'young worker' because he is over compulsory school age but under 18. He will have some more stringent daily and weekly limits on working time.

The law says that he may not work more than 8 hours in any one day and 40 hours in any one week (Monday to Sunday) respectively (regulation 5A, Working Time Regulations 1998).

There are further requirements that an employer must ensure that no young workers work during the "restricted period", which is defined as the period between 10pm and 6am or, where a worker is obliged under the contract to work after 10pm, the period between 11pm and 7am.

In terms of rest breaks, young workers are entitled to:

  • Daily rest of 12 consecutive hours.
  • A weekly rest period of 48 hours.
  • A rest break of 30 minutes where daily working time is more than four and a half hours.

It therefore appears that the employer may not be following the law in this case and they can be challenged over this. He may approach them directly and ask that the necessary changes are made to ensure that they comply with their legal obligations. If they refuse or if he is treated detrimentally as a result, he can take this to an employment tribunal for formal resolution.

Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you