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Wisbech accountant on students and summer jobs

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Here is the fortnightly Barwell's Banter column, written by Nickie Barwell of Barwell Accountants of Wisbech...

It’s summertime and the school holidays are upon us. As well as having time out and enjoying the summer it may be time for the older children to consider finding a part time job to bring in some pennies.

You can start a part time job from the age of 13 (exceptions being TV, theatre and modelling).

Many students apply for summer jobs. Photo: iStock
Many students apply for summer jobs. Photo: iStock

However, some jobs are not available at that age as it depends on the type of work and the insurance the business needs to employ people of that age.

If you are aged 13 or 14 you can work a maximum of 25 hours per week in school holidays, no more than five hours on a Monday to Saturday and a maximum of two hours on a Sunday.

In term time you can work a maximum of 12 hours per week. If you are 15 or 16 you can work a maximum of 35 hours per week in school holidays. You can work full time once you reach school leaving age.

Many people think that you only are only liable to start paying tax when you reach a certain age.However, every single person regardless of their age is a potential tax payer and has their own personal tax free allowance (£12,570 for the current 2022/23 tax year).

National insurance is different as this only becomes an issue once you reach 16 years of age and if you are an employee earning above £242 per week.

You will be sent a national insurance number automatically just before your 16th birthday if you live in the UK. If for whatever reason you didn’t receive one you need to call the national insurance helpline if you are under 20. If you are over 20 you need to call Jobcentre Plus.

Another fundamental issue for young people starting out in work is the minimum wage.

However, school aged children are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. The hourly rates from April 2022 are :

16 to 17 year old £4.81

18 to 20 year old £6.83

21 to 22 year old £9.18

Apprentice rate £4.81

The £4.81 rate for apprentices applies to age 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year.

All other apprentices are entitled to the age related minimum wage.

A part time job during holiday or term time can be a great way to learn about a particular profession or trade and there is also the possibility that a part time job may lead to a full time position being offered once you leave school.

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