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Seb Anthony

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age laws-youngsters


My 16 year old son has applied to a retail outlet for Sunday work whilst at Sixth Form College.

He has been informed by the store that as he was under 16 on the 30th June 2006 he is not allowed (under EU law) to work more than 2 hours on a Sunday. This renders it impractical for them to employ him.

I cannot find this law...can anyone help?

PS I have asked the company to explain it but the comms chain from head office to store is too long to get any sense out of!
rus slater

3 Responses

  1. employing 16 year olds
    Hi Rus – I’m no legal expert but this just does not make sence.

    IF you son was not at college as a 16 year old he is entitled to fulltime employment – we all recognise that there are certain restrictions – shift work, mine work etc but I would not expect retail to fall into a high risk employment category.

    There are limitations for working for under 16’s – for good reason, but once 16 has been reach this just does not make any sense other than an excuse for the employer to say no…

    I hope that others wiser than I cannot show this ‘law’ to be true – sort of goes against the Human Rights act


  2. In agreement
    Hi Rus,

    I agree with the others once you have turned 16 you are allowed to work the normal legal hours for a 16 year old (which are different slightly from adult working) and there is no reason he can’t work in a shop on Sunday.

    The date he turned 16 is completely irrelevant and I think this is a “fob off” and not a genuine excuse, it may be a misinterpretation of something if it is genuine.

    But I also think your son may have grounds to become an age discrimination test case. If you wanted to put him through that.

    I hope he finds somewhere soon.


  3. thanks and…
    Hi all
    My thanks to all who have answered here and elsewhere.

    I have found the problem and it opens a couple of other interesting issues

    The company has taken advice from lawyers about employing children…however the issue has been fudged by the “legal” definition of “child” as oppsed to “young person”.

    Q. How has this come about?

    A. The company has no HR function so the Finance Director manages HR advised by the lawyers.

    Why do so many firms seem to think that Accountants make the best people to advise on HR matters?

    PS before all the accountants out there take umbrage please note that I’m not anti-accountant.


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