Employing Younger Workers

Employing Younger Workers

Most salons will end up employing people under the age of 18 at some point, and when this happens there are special rules you need to follow. This article relates to salons in the UK.
Employing Children

Children aged between 13 and 16 don’t pay National Insurance, so you only need to include them on your payroll if they earn more than their Personal Allowance (April 2022: £12,750). There are several restrictions on when and where children are allowed to work. These restrictions differ depending on whether it is term time or a holiday period.

Under 16

School-aged children are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Children under 16 do not pay National Insurance, so you only need to include them on your payroll if their total income is over their Personal Allowance.

Once someone reaches 16

Young workers aged 16 to 17 are entitled to at least £4.81 per hour (2022 National Minimum Wage).

If you’re a registered employer, you’ll need to record and report their pay as part of running payroll. If they earn more than £123 a week, you’ll also need to do other regular PAYE tasks like making deductions.

Good Salon Guide members can access the full article which includes details on all the restrictions, template employment contracts, and unlimited one-to-one advice over the phone.


It is illegal to discriminate against employees, job seekers and trainees because of their age. This is called Age Discrimination. There are four types of Age Discrimination:

  1. Direct discrimination: treating someone unfairly because of their actual or perceived age (they look young).
  2. Indirect discrimination: when a policy or practice applies to all workers but disadvantages people of a particular age.
  3. Harassment: when unwanted conduct related to age creates an offensive environment for that person.
  4. Victimisation: unfair treatment of an employee who has made or supported a complaint about age discrimination.

There has been a great deal written and said about Age Discrimination, and you shouldn’t directly ask how old someone is or ask leading questions related to the same point at interview. However, once you have employed someone then you may need to ask their date of birth to make sure you comply with the rules.