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20/12/13 00:01

Employment rights for young people

Online help for seasonal workers.

Young people working as seasonal staff were today encouraged to make sure they know their rights to have a positive employment experience this Christmas.

Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance was speaking as expanded employment rights information for young people guidance was published on Skills Development Scotland’s My World of Work.

Young people can now access the updated resources on www.myworldofwork.co.uk that offer credible advice on sick leave, sick pay arrangements, holiday entitlement and redundancy rights, building on existing information on a range of important topics such as the minimum wage and zero hours contracts.

Young Scot has welcomed the publication of the guidance, and joined Ms Constance in calling on all young people to make sure they take time to understand key information in their seasonal employment contracts.

Ms Constance said:

"Across Scotland, we know a huge number of people, especially young people, have been drafted in to help deal with the seasonal rush in shops, bars, restaurants and other venues.

“For young people, especially those still at school, it’s a great time of year to get some work experience, earn some money and get a first taste of being in the workplace.

“I’m keen to see young people’s hard work rewarded, and their rights and responsibilities respected. A good working relationship is a two-way process between the employer and the employee, based on shared understanding.

“While I know the vast majority of employers recognise the health and wellbeing of their staff when offering them a contract of employment, it is vital that, if any problems arise, employees fully understand what their rights and responsibilities are.

“And while a contract may set out important information such as how long a working day should last and how long is available for lunchtime and other breaks, at this pressured time of year, the demands on staff may be greater than what is specified.

“So I encourage all young people to make sure they take time to read their contracts to understand both what is expected of them as an employee, and what they can expect of their employer.

“There’s also loads of great resources on My World of Work that are well worth a look. Taking time now to understand important issues can go a long way to addressing any difficult issues further down the line.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said:

“For many young people, seasonal employment might be the first time they experience the world of work. While it is a great opportunity for them to learn new skills, meet new friends, and gain valuable industry experience, it is important that they are aware of their rights and the support available as an employee.

“As the national youth information agency, we’d encourage any young person starting a new job to visit My World of Work website – it’s packed with relevant and handy information that will equip any young employee with the knowledge and confidence to get the very most from their working experience."