Children working has long been a part of British life, in fact, it’s only in relatively recent times that much thought has ever been given to whether or not it is appropriate for children to work or not?
We only need to go back to Victorian times to consider the horrors of something like the work-houses and this is why we should ask questions of what type of work is appropriate for children? It should be something that allows them a little extra pocket-money, which can be very welcome considering how many families are struggling these days, it should also teach them the value of hard work and financial responsibility.
What Age Is Appropriate?
You can look at this in two different ways that you can consider this question, the first being what age, legally is it possible for your child to be allowed to work to earn money, and the second question is when is it appropriate? So firstly the absolute minimum that children in the UK should be working is 13, with some limited exceptions such as theatre or film acting and modelling, but there are certain rules regarding that as well. 13 to 16-year-olds cannot work during school hours and can only work up to 12 hours per week during term time and 25 hours per week during school holidays. 16 to 18-year-olds can work full-time jobs but should not be allowed to work more than 8 hours in a 24 hour period and no more than 40 hours a week.
How Much Should They Be Paid?
Unfortunately, there is no minimum wage for under 16s, but this should not mean that they should not be asking for a fair rate of pay. A good place to start with figuring out what to ask for would be the minimum wage, for those under 18 (but over 16) is £4.35 per hour, or for apprentices it’s £3.90 per hour, a young person should be looking to be offered something not too far off these levels of pay.
Make Sure They Are Not Exploited
Any organisation that involves working with children should have it’s staff properly certified to be able to work with children and/or vulnerable adults, this involves a disclosure check and criminal records check. If you are looking to have your child work in creative areas such as acting or modelling then you need to make sure that you are dealing with organisations that respect the child protection and safety practices that are essential in this line of work, a way to do this is to go through a reputable agency, there is a good list of top kids agencies available here.
What About Making Their Own Money
Many kids have actually taken the plunge of running their own businesses, this is often encouraged via school entrepreneurship weeks and interest fades after a small project. But some really make a go of it and, as we can see here, kids can actually come up with some great ideas.
What Types Of Jobs Can They Do?
Other than running their own enterprise, there are many things that kids can do to make some cash, from the traditional paper round to doing some odd jobs around the neighbourhood, mowing lawns etc.