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Breaks at work for an 18 year old

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We have a debate at work (and HR is being contacted) where an 18 year old in full time education who works on a Saturday for 5 hours currently gets a 15 minute paid break.

 

 

 

I've looked around and some sites say under 18's need 30 minutes break for anything over 4.5 hours work, some sites say it's 16-18 year olds inclusive.

 

One colleague says that if she has signed a contract, then the law doesn't matter as she's signed a contract agreeing to just 15 minutes break, but surely that's wrong?

 

Does anyone please have a definitive answer?

 

Many thanks.

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Check the law on breaks. Under 18 then theres a mandatory break time. Over 18, it can depend on an agreement with union or employees.


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Most places say under 18 need a 30 min break over 4.5 hours of work but the odd place says 18 year olds also need that 30 minute break.

 

We also have a 17 year old (who started the whole debate) who insisted on his 4.5 hour contract he was entitled to half an hour, but that's wrong and then one of my colleagues said if they sign a contract waving their right to a break anyway, the law doesn't matter (but I disagree with that bit)

 

From what i've read, I think:

 

16-17 year olds - 30 min break over 4.5 hours work

18 year olds are treated as fully grown adults

 

The law will always come above any contract signed as this would be an illegal contract.

 

I was just hoping for some clarification as my managers don't seem to have a clue.

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What you think is correct, is also my belief. Once you are 18, you are treated as a fit adult, whether you are still in full time education or not.

 

BUT breaks can be industry specific, as it depends on whether you are using computer screens, carrying heavy loads, using dangerous equipment, driving etc.

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Cant sign a contract to waive your legal right, especially if under age


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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It's retail. No real heavy lifting although sometimes can be a little bit (hardware store). Computer screens are tills only.

 

Many thanks for the replies renegadeimp and unclebulgaria67

 

I didn't think it was right about the contract either

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Once the age of 18 is reached, the law applies equally, whether in full time education or not

 

For all workers over 18 years of age, the statutory minimum is :-

 

1. An uninterrupted (unpaid) break of at least 20 minutes where the shift is greater than 6 hours

2. A rest of at least 11 hours in each 24 hour period

3. A minimum rest period of at least 24 hours in each 7 day period

4. A maximum working week of no more than 48 hours (although this can be extended by written consent - rest periods however cannot)

 

Rest breaks can exceed the minimum (as above by contract or collective agreement) but they cannot be less

 

The example that you have given of an 18 year old working 5 hours on a Saturday and receiving a 15 minute break is therefore perfectly lawful and is actually in excess of the minimum required

 

Workers under 18 are entitled to at least a 30 minute break where the shift is greater than 4.5 hours. Daily rest should also be at least 12 hours and there should be a 48 hour period of weekly rest. This applies to those above school leaving age and under 18 years.

Edited by Sidewinder
Clarified wording regarding hours
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Workers under 18 are entitled to at least a 30 minute break where the shift is 4.5 hours or longer.

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

This bit interests me most. Is it 4.5 hours or longer or OVER 4.5 hours.

 

The under 18 works 9am-1.30pm on a Saturday. He is insistent that he is entitled to 30 mins, my workplace say he is not but give him 15 minutes as 'goodwill'.

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No - I apologise for misleading in my original post and have just edited it. It is greater THAN 4.5 hours - I realised as soon as I read it back!


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Most places say under 18 need a 30 min break over 4.5 hours of work but the odd place says 18 year olds also need that 30 minute break. First part correct, second part incorrect

 

We also have a 17 year old (who started the whole debate) who insisted on his 4.5 hour contract he was entitled to half an hour, but that's wrong (he is incorrect unless asked to stay on over his normal finish time as he would then be entitled to a break)and then one of my colleagues said if they sign a contract waving their right to a break anyway, the law doesn't matter (but I disagree with that bit) You are correct - Statute overrides contract

 

From what i've read, I think:

 

16-17 year olds - 30 min break over 4.5 hours work Correct

18 year olds are treated as fully grown adults Correct

 

The law will always come above any contract signed as this would be an illegal contract. Correct

 

I was just hoping for some clarification as my managers don't seem to have a clue. They very often don't....too many firms call people 'Managers' but do not equip them with at least a basic knowledge of the Law

 

...


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No - I apologise for misleading in my original post and have just edited it. It is greater THAN 4.5 hours - I realised as soon as I read it back!

 

Many thanks. That's sorted then and thanks for your replies in red to my other post.

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