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Acas comment for A-level results day

Thursday 17 August 2017

John Palmer, Acas Senior Guidance Adviser said:

"Exam results day can be an exciting time as school leavers plan the next steps on their career paths.

"Whether working part-time while studying, becoming an apprentice or taking on a full-time role many new workers are not aware of their rights or their responsibilities when starting out.

"Employees have rights at work but they are also responsible for being productive and respectful to others. Our 'New to Work' guidance helps young employees navigate the first few months in the world of work.

"Managers can also use the guidance to ensure they welcome their new staff at this challenging time and understand their obligations as employers. Employers who value new staff can reap the business rewards in the longer term."

Key facts

Zero hours contracts

  • The employer doesn't have to provide any minimum working hours.
  • The employee doesn't have to accept any work offered.
  • Employees have same rights to national minimum wage and holiday pay.

16 and 17 year olds

  • Can work a maximum of five days a week.
  • Can work no more than eight hours a day.
  • Must have a 30 minute break in a 4.5 hour shift.
  • Cannot usually do night shifts.


  • Work for around 30 hours within a normal week.
  • Have the opportunity to work towards a recognised qualification.
  • Have a starting salary of £3.50 if they are under 19 years old.
  • A guarantee of job related training leading to a recognised qualification.

National minimum wage

  • Workers are entitled to at least the national minimum wage for their age group - apprentices under the age of 19 or in their first year as an apprentice have a different national minimum wage rate.

Useful resources