Paying young people and children

Source: HM Revenue & Customs | | 02/01/2019

When a new employee is added to the payroll it is the employers' responsibility to ensure they meet the employees’ rights and deduct the correct amount of tax from their salary. This includes any employees who are family members.

It is possible to employ young people if they are 13 or over but there are special rules about how long they can work and what jobs they can do. Children younger than 13 can work in certain areas such as television, theatre and modelling but their employer will need to apply for a child performance licence. There is no National Insurance for children under 16 and they would only need to be included on a payroll if their total income is over their Personal Allowance.

Young workers (aged 16 to 17) have different rates from adult workers for the National Minimum Wage. The current hourly rate for this age group is £4.20 and will increase to £4.35 from 1 April 2019. Any payments to young workers need to be handled through the payroll. If the workers earn more than £116 a week, then the employer will also need to do other regular PAYE tasks like making deductions.

There are different rules if you take on volunteers or voluntary staff, but the employer is still responsible for health and safety and must give inductions and training in the tasks they’re going to do.



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