Teenagers are the focus of Child Employment Fortnight

It’s great to get a part time job, but important to stay safe. That was the message sent out to hundreds of teenagers during Child Employment Fortnight.

The child employment team from East Sussex County Council changed tactics for this year’s event and visited a number of schools across the county to educate youngsters on employment.

Throughout the year the team provides advice and guidance to employers to ensure they adhere to legislative requirements and local bylaws on child employment, including a limit on working hours and the need for a work permit, designed to keep young workers safe.

In previous years the child employment team have used Child Employment Fortnight to target employers and identify those that are breaking the law, but this year they used the event to promote safe working among young people.

They spoke to 360 students in PHSE classes and more than 1600 in assemblies during the event, which ran from Monday 18 March and Friday 29 March.

“While it’s the employers that face the penalties if a child is not working in accordance with the law, it is important for young people to understand the restrictions and stay safe,” said Matt Dunkley, Director of Children’s Services

“There is a general lack of awareness about many aspects of law and Child Employment Fortnight gave us a chance to get the message across to young people.”

He added: “Our message is we think it is good to work, it gives you confidence, allows you to earn your own money and looks good on your CV, but you have to be safe.”

The law, which covers children from the age of 13 to the June in the year they are 16, includes:

  • Every young person must have a permit
  • Young people cannot work before 7am and after 7pm
  • They are restricted to working a maximum of 12 hours a week during term time and 25 hours a week in school holiday periods
  • They are restricted to working a maximum of two hours on a school day and two hours on Sunday
  • The rules still apply for voluntary work and work in a family business.