Advice on Employing Young People

The Employment and Children Regulations Act 2018 is in place to protect young people in the workplace. The following information includes a basic guide but we strongly recommend that you combine this with the guidance provided by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture.

Here are the basics

Only young people over the age of 13 can be employed to work in the Isle of Man (a child is classed as under 16 for legislation purposes). A young person who has not reached school leaving age can only be employed in light work.

It is worth noting that a young person may have turned 16 in their last year of education but is not considered school leaving age until they leave for study leave in Year 11.

Employment includes any kind of work carried out where the employer makes a profit, even if it is helping in a parent's business.

What hours can a young person work?

    What hours can a young person work?

    • They can work two hours per day on a school day. If this is before school, they can only work one hour before the start of school.
    • They can work four hours on a school day if it is followed by a non-school day.
    • During weekends or holidays, they can work a maximum of 7 hours per day (not before 7am or after 9pm).
    • No young person can work more than 28 hours per week and be employed for more than 6 days in a 7-day period.
    • Young people need to have a two-week break in each year where they are not expected to attend work or school.
    What breaks do you need to give a young person
    • For every two hours of continuous work, they should be given a 15-minute break.
    • If they work between 4 – 6 hours they will need a 15-minute break and then a 30-minute break. For example if they start at 2pm and finish at 8pm they will need a break of 15 minutes at 3.45pm, and a break of 30 minutes at 5.45pm.
    • If they work more than 6 hours they will need two 15-minute breaks and a full lunch hour.

    What records should you keep?

    The Employer should keep a register of each child they employ. Please use this form  

    This information needs to be kept in a secure place in line with data protection guidance. Ensure that you also have an emergency contact.

    Other helpful information

    What kind of work can you employ a young person to do?

    • Work in farming if employed by their parent or guardian on an occasional basis
    • Deliver newspapers
    • Shop work including stacking shelves
    • Hairdressing assistants
    • Office work
    • Car washing by hand
    • Serving/clearing in a café or restaurant but not in the kitchen
    • In a riding stables but not to supervise riding or to be left in charge
    • Work in hotels in a domestic role
    • They can work outside but must be provided with suitable clothing

    What can a young person not be employed to do?

    • Work in a cinema, theatre or nightclub (unless it is in connection with an age appropriate performance)
    • Sell or deliver alcohol (except where it is sold or supplied for consumption with a table meal in a part of the premises used only for that purpose. The effect of this exemption is that, for example, a young person under the school leaving age working as a waitress or waiter is able to carry alcohol to the table lawfully in a restaurant.)
    • Deliver fuel oils
    • Prepare food in commercial kitchens
    • Work with refuse
    • Work more than 3 metres above floor level indoors or out
    • Work in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents. Employment of young people under the age of 16 in this type of work is also likely to be forbidden on health and safety grounds and, as far as hairdressing products are concerned, employers should also note their health and safety guidance
    • Go door to door selling or collecting
    • Work involving adult material not suitable for children
    • Telephone sales
    • In a slaughterhouse or in that part of any butchers shop or other premises connected with the killing of livestock, butchery or the preparation of carcasses or meat for sale
    • In a fairground, amusement hall or arcade
    • Work as a personal carer in a care/nursing home
    • In any other employment that may be from time to time prohibited by other legislation

    Health & Safety of young people in the workplace

    If you are employing young people, you have a duty of care to ensure, as reasonably practicable, that you take care of their health, safety and wellbeing.  

    Please ensure that you let your insurer know that you are employing young people.

    All employers should carry out a risk assessment for their employees. If you are employing young people you should revisit these risk assessments and ensure extra protection due to their lack of experience or absence of awareness of existing or potential risks.

    For employment in low-risk environments, such as offices or shops, with everyday risks that will mostly be familiar to the young person, your existing arrangements for other employees may be enough.  

    If you require advice about Health and Safety at work or carrying out risk assessments in general please visit the Government website

    Employers Tax

    For guidance on how to treat young people for the purposes of income tax please visit this website.

    For information on minimum wage click here.

    For further information on Child Employment please contact:

     Child Employment Officers – The Department of Education, Sport and Culture 01624 685808

    Please note that Just the Job is not a HR specialist. Employers are responsible for checking that the information provided is correct and we would advise you to check the Isle of Man Government website.


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