Posted on: 02 October 2020

Looking after young employees in the workplace

With the Job Retention Scheme ending in October 2020, the government put their Kickstart campaign into action; providing funding to employers to create job placements for employees aged 16-24, as it is believed that this is the age group that has been hit the hardest by COVID-19.

As a result of the Kickstart campaign you may find yourself in a position where you can take on younger workers, who are likely to have less experience than other employees. Because of this, you may need to make some changes to your existing health and safety training to ensure all members of staff understand the rules.

In this guide, We’ll show you some of the ways that you could look after your inexperienced teenage workers.

Precautions to protect younger workers

Equipment safety

Whilst a young person might have some experience in using work tools from home life or school or college, it is highly unlikely that they will have experience in using tools in a work environment.

An employee with previous work experience may have familiarity in using tools in a previous role, whereas a young person is less likely to so whilst a tool induction is the safest thing for all employees, you will need to pay a bit more attention to your younger workers.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Knowing how to use equipment is just one aspect of keeping your team safe. Another way of keeping your team safe is the type of equipment that your team will wear, known as Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.

Again, older employees are likely to know what kind of PPE is appropriate for the kind of work you do, and why it is so important, but teenage workers are less likely to have this knowledge.

When training your younger workers on PPE, it is important to tell them how to use it properly, but also the importance of why PPE is used.

Consider workers’ rights

Even though a teenage worker may be less experienced, they still have the same rights as any other worker. Consider these rights and how they protect a teen worker:

  • The right to work in a safe and healthy workplace free of hazards
  • The right to refuse to work if you believe the job or working condition is unsafe
  • The right to report safety hazards to a supervisor without punishments
  • The right to training and use of Personal Protective Equipment
  • The right to receive health and safety information about machines, job tasks and hazardous chemicals that may harm health
  • The right to demand payment for your work at the minimum wage
  • The right to work in an environment free from racial or sexual harassment

Mentoring scheme

As a business owner, it is unlikely that you will be able to spend time with a younger member of staff because you will have other things on your plate, but choosing a highly experienced member of your team to mentor your younger employees has its benefits.

Firstly, the younger member of your team will be able to learn from someone with experience, but also your more experienced employee will be getting valuable experience in managing a team member. This is important for them, particularly if they are looking to progress their career into management.

Business insurance with Premierline

With Premierline, it’s simple to compare business insurance quotes online if you know your insurance requirements. However, if your needs are more complex or you need advice on the insurance covers that are right for your business, call us and we’ll be happy to help.

Sources: Zywave Inc. – Hospitality Playing it Safe: Safety for Teen workers

Zywave Inc. – Hotel Safety Matters – Teen Worker Tips 

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