HSE's revised guidance on young people - including work experience

Work experience is sometimes seen as over-bureaucratic and burdensome - putting off potential employers, but taking on a young person for work or work experience doesn’t have to be complicated.

To tackle this, HSE has revised its young people guidance to provide the necessary clarity, particularly in relation to work experience.  The work experience section of the guidance is split into sections, providing clear straightforward advice on what each of the parties involved does and doesn’t have to do. 

The requirements for young people are set out more simply than ever before, in plain English.  The most common misperceptions are addressed and clarified.  This includes risk assessment requirements, particularly for work experience, where there is confusion about when a risk assessment is required and who is responsible.  If an employer already employs a young person it is likely they will not have to do anything additional.

The guidance has been developed by HSE with the support of other government departments, businesses and business representatives and education groups.  It will help all those involved in employing young people, to identify what is relevant to them and steer them away from what’s not.     

A young person should be given the same health and safety protections as any other member of the workforce.  This is the same for students on work experience.  Following the guidance means those involved in employing young people for work or work experience will be doing what the law requires. 

The revised guidance consists of web pages - including a section with particular focus on work experience - and a leaflet (INDG364 Young people and work experience:  A brief guide to health and safety for employers) which can be downloaded from the web pages. 

FAQs add further detail, covering some of the more specific topics that might arise for young people and providing links to other existing guidance or information where it might be needed.