School days are over - until the end of August at least.

That usually sees many of the school children now on their holidays embark on a CV drop as they seek some summer-time work.

However employers thinking of taking on a teen during the summer should take caution - as specific rules apply around employing younger workers.

Age matters

It's not just a case of whether someone is under 18 - their exact age can have an impact on the rules that apply to their employment.

"There are two categories of young workers," said Joanne Hyde, partner and head of employment at Eversheds Sutherland. "Those aged 14 to 16 and those between 16 and 18, and there are different rules and protections for both."

For the younger of those groupings, the rules and restrictions are particularly tight around employment during term time. However they are also more onerous even where summer time employment is concerned.

"Somebody under 16 can only work a maximum of 35 hours a week and must receive three weeks off entirely during the summer break," Ms Hyde said.

The are also barred from working later into the night and must receive certain breaks during their working day.

Meanwhile any work they undertake must be classed as 'light', with any heavier jobs also out of the question.

For those aged 16-18 the restrictions are less severe - for example they can work up to 40 hours per week.

However they are still not quite as free as adult workers - with limitations on early and late work still applying, along with additional requirements around breaks.

Minimal minimum wage

The minimum wage for younger people is also different to the one that's generally available.

As of March 2019 the national minimum wage for most workers is €9.80 per hour.

However that falls by almost €1 if the worker is aged 19 and by close to €2 if they're 18.

For workers aged under 18 the national minimum wage is €6.86 - representing 70% of the full rate.

Parental supervision

Different parents may have different attitudes towards their involvement in their child's employment, with some opting to have a more hands-on approach than others.

However in certain cases a parent or guardian will definitely have to engage with an employer.

"From a legal perspective an employer who is employing someone under 16 must actually get the parent or guardian's written consent," Ms Hyde said. "A lot of people don't know that - that a parent must be involved where it's somebody under 16.

"Though not for somebody over 16."

Casual approach

An additional factor employers will have to bear in mind this year is recently-introduced regulations covering casual employment.

They were designed to improve the working conditions for employees on the likes of zero hour contracts and apply to all age groups, however they will also impact the way companies will have to interact with summer staff.

"In March of this year additional rules came in to protect generally low-paid workers in a casual environment," Ms Hyde said. "We would see a lot of impact from that in things like catering and the hotel industry."

The legislation has certain requirements, including minimum payments for people called into work but are sent home without work.

Employers must also give employees their core terms of employment within five days of being hired, such as the number of hours the employer reasonably expects the employee to work per day and per week.

This could add extra work to an employer who may only be looking to take on a worker for a short period of time.

"If you can imagine your casual worker who's coming in to do a school camp or to help with the town festival, who may be somebody under 18, that puts in place quite onerous restrictions on somebody employing them," Ms Hyde. "It may be an unintended consequence of this new legislation."