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Part Time Work: What Can I Do?

Taking on an after school job can be a good way to build up your confidence and develop new skills, with the added bonus of earning your own money.

But, it’s important, if you’re still at school, that your part time job doesn’t eat in to study time and that your employer follows the rules for working with people under the age of 18.

What Part Time Jobs can I do as a Student?

There are laws in place that limit the number of hours you can work and the jobs you can do if you are under 18. Different rules apply at different ages. Here’s how it breaks down.

Part Time Jobs for Under 14's

There are part time jobs for secondary school students under 14, but you can only work up to one hour before school or two hours after school each day between 7am-7pm. 

The legal minimum age for work in the UK is 13, but you might be able to do some of these jobs if you are younger:

  • Modelling, acting and singing/performing. You can do these jobs at any age but you will need a performers licence
  • Play sports (e.g. Training at a football academy)
  • Take on chores for your parents or friends
  • Babysitting or pet sitting 
  • A paper round
  • Online – blogging, making a website or selling things online, like your own arts and crafts, are okay. If you write an article or do market research for someone you must tell them your age as they might have their own rules about hiring you. 

Anyone who wants to hire someone under 16 to work must get written permission from the parents and their local authority.

Your local authority will also have their own extra rules about the jobs you can and can’t do. 

There is no minimum wage for children under 16. 

Part Time Jobs for 14-16 Year olds

No one under school leaving age (that’s up until the end of June in the school year you turn 16) can do heavy or dangerous work or any kind of job that gets in the way of them going to school. So, no factory work, shifting pianos or taking a day job at the stock exchange!

Part time jobs you can do from aged 13 include:

  • Shop work – e.g. cashier, shelf stacker
  • Hotel and Restaurant – e.g. dishwasher, waitress / waiter ( but you can’t serve alcohol)
  • Office – e.g. filing and photocopying

You are also allowed to grab your guitar busk from aged 14. But you should still check with your local authority if they have their own special rules on that. 

From 14-16, you can only work up to 12 hours per week or 35 hours per week in the holidays. 

Part Time Jobs for 16-18 Year olds

If you are 16 and past school leaving age, you can work full time up to 40 hours per week. You are only allowed to work up to 8 hours each day with breaks and at least 2 days off per week.   

You can do more jobs at this age but your employer must do a proper health and safety check to make sure if you are up to the job, whether it’s heavy lifting or having computer programming skills.

You are not allowed to do work that involves toxic chemicals, radiation or exposure to extreme hot or cold, unless this is part of your training and /or you are being supervised.

You are generally not allowed to work between 10pm and 6am unless there is a very special reason.

After you leave school you are entitled to earn the minimum wage for workers under 18 which is £4.42 per hour (April 2021 figures).

Part Time Jobs if You're 18 and Over

Once you are 18 the standard adult rules apply to how you work. You can go for any job as long as you’re able and qualified to do what you do.

You are also entitled to the National minimum wage for workers aged 18-20, which is £6.56 per hour (April 2021).

Did you know, that at Success at School, we have a dedicated student careers and jobs board where we post all the latest vacancies?

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