Who To Call
  • ChildLine 0800 1111
  • Police Scotland 101
  • Social Work 0300 300 1199
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You and the law

Anyone who looks after you has to make sure you are safe, healthy and well at all times.

Punishing children

You and the Law Illustration

It is against the law to punish you in a way that:

  • Is too harsh
  • Hits too hard
  • Harms you.

An adult shouldn’t punish you by hitting you or beating you. It is against the law to punish children in a dangerous way like:

  • Shaking them
  • Hitting them on the head
  • Using something to punish them like a shoe, a cane or a belt.

Home alone

The people who look after you shouldn’t leave you alone if it puts you in danger or if you suffer neglect because you are alone.

If you are under 12 you shouldn’t really be left alone for a long time – for example, for most of the day. You shouldn’t be left alone overnight if you are under 16 years old.

Saturday and part time jobs

If you are under 13 years old no one should make you work at all.

Find out more about the hours you are allowed to work if you are over 13

Begging

If you are under 16 it is against the law for someone to make you beg.

 

Saturday and part time jobs

Young people cannot work during school hours and can only work for 1 hour before school begins. Young people are not allowed to work in industrial places, such as factories and building sites, or do any work that is likely to harm their health, wellbeing or education.


Generally:

  • Young people under the age of 13 are not allowed to work at all
  • Young people between 13 and 16 are not allowed to work before 7am or after 7pm
  • Young people between 13 and 16 are not allowed to work more than 2 hours a day on any day, except Saturdays
  • Young people who are over 13 but under 15 are allowed to work for up to 5 hours on a Saturday
  • Young people who are 15 or over are allowed to work for up to 8 hours on a Saturday.

Who to Call

If you are unhappy or worried about something speak to your teacher or an adult that you trust.

  • ChildLine0800 1111
  • Police Scotland101
  • Social Work0300 300 1199
  • Social Work (Out Of Hours)0300 343 1505
  • NSPCC Helpline0800 800 5000