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A Guide To Employment Rights for Under 16s

 youth worker hard hat

This information is to help you with this general subject. If you have been affected by this issue or would like some further information please contact us.

This information is intended as a guide and is not an authoritative interpretation of the law. 

You are allowed to work if you are under 16, but the rules are set by Local Authorities so they are slightly different across Scotland. This information will give you a general idea of what your rights are, but you will need to check with your Local Authority to find out what their regulations say.


If I work will I have rights?

Do I need permission to get a part time job?

How old do I have to be to work?

What kind of work can I do?

Is there work I can not do?

What hours can I work?

How much should I be paid?

Do I have a right to rest breaks?

What about holidays?

What if I am off sick?

What does my employer have to do when I get a job?

What rights do I have if I get the sack, or if something goes wrong?

© Scottish Child Law Centre

The Scottish Child Law Centre seeks to ensure that the information published on its website is up to date and accurate. However, the information on the website does not constitute legal or professional advice and the Scottish Child Law Centre cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use. The Scottish Child Law Centre cannot be held responsible for the contents of any pages referenced by an external link.

Any personal data collected through this website will be treated as confidential in line with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998.



The information provided on this page is available as a leaflet "Employment Rights for People Under 16"  

If you would like a copy of this leaflet, or any of our other publications, please go to the Publications page to submit an order       

Useful websites

Delivering newspapers - download the “ Delivering Safely” Leaflet

Working on a Farm? - download the “Keep Children Safe on the Farm” leaflet