Contract types and employer responsibilities

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Employing family, young people and volunteers


If you hire family members you must:

  • avoid special treatment in terms of pay, promotion and working conditions
  • make sure tax and National Insurance contributions are still paid
  • follow working time regulations for younger family members
  • have employer’s liability insurance that covers any young family members
  • check if you need to provide them with a workplace pension scheme

Volunteers and voluntary staff

When taking on volunteers or voluntary staff you:

  • are responsible for their health and safety
  • must give inductions and training in the tasks they’re going to do

Young people

You can 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. Once someone is 18 they’re classed as an ‘adult worker’ and different rules apply.

As well as following these rules you must do a risk assessment before taking on young workers.

Young people may also have certain employment rights like:

  • statutory maternity pay and ordinary statutory paternity pay if they qualify as a result of their continuous employment
  • paid time off for study and training
  • redundancy pay

Young workers and apprentices have different rates from adult workers for the National Minimum Wage.