Department of Education

At what age am I allowed to work?

At what age am I allowed to work?


You can be legally employed to do ‘light work’ from the age of 13. Light work is work that is not likely to affect your health, safety or education, such as a paper round.

From the age of 14, you can be employed in a wider range of ‘light work’ jobs, but there are still some that you can’t do such as work in a factory or on a building site.

There are lots of special laws in place to protect you. These concern:

  • Your health and safety
  • What jobs you can do
  • When you can work
  • How many hours you can work

Once you are 16 and have completed your compulsory schooling, many of these restrictions are lifted. You can then work full time as a ‘young worker’ with a wider choice of jobs available to you.


Find out more about your employment rights at Directgov.

The Citizens Advice Bureau also offers lots of information and advice.



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