Learning a valuable lesson

Being the parent of teenagers it frustrates me that in this day and age, they are not encouraged to go out and get a part-time weekend job.

In fact, if they are under 16 it is nigh on impossible!


There are so many legislation’s now that employers just won’t take them on:

Working conditions limitations

Young people aged between 13 and the minimum school-leaving age may not do any work, paid or unpaid:

  • before 07.00 or after 19.00
  • for more than two hours on a school day or Sunday
  • before the close of school hours (however, local authority bylaws may allow young people to work for one hour before school)
  • for more than 12 hours a week during term time
  • for more than five hours (13 to 14 year olds) or eight hours (15 to 16 year olds) on Saturdays and during school holidays on weekdays
  • for more than 25 hours in total a week – 35 hours if aged 15 or over – during school holidays
  • for more than four hours without taking a break of at least one hour
  • in any occupations prohibited by local bylaws or other legislation, for example in any industrial setting, pubs, betting shops, or in any work that may be harmful to their health, well-being or education

In addition, young people must have a two-week break from any work during the school holiday in each calendar year.
I remember having jobs from the age of 12 doing paper rounds, working in an Ice Cream kiosk, a nursery (plant kind) and a little cafe.  It gave me my own bit of Independence and helped teach me the value of money.  I didn’t have to bug my parents to by the latest issue of Just 17 or the latest cassette single (remember them?).
We were fairly lucky that when my daughter turned 13, she took on the local free paper round and she did that role for 2 years until she was made redundant – they stopped the free paper thanks to budget cuts.  She then took on another paper round, delivering the local Daily Echo, which was a lot poorer paid and she was unable to find anything else until she turned 16.
Because of the demand for paper rounds, the only local newsagent offering them has a waiting list of over 50 people, meaning it is unlikely that the boys will get a chance to earn any money before they turn 16.
In this day and age, kids need to earn to be able to top up their mobile phone, or pay for their music downloads etc.  As parents we cannot afford to keep paying for this, especially with all the cut backs we have had to make.  Work teaches them a valuable lesson that the world does not in fact owe them a living, which appears to be a very common thought in the minds of teenagers and young people these days.
So what do you think – did you work as youngster and did it give you a good work ethic?  Do you think that our children should be encouraged to earn their own money?

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