GMB Young Workers

Welcome to
GMB Young Workers

GMB Young Workers is the Network for all GMB members aged up to and including 30. We campaign and organise for better rights, pay and conditions for young people at work. Get in touch with us if you are a young member looking to get involved! 

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What rights do I have as a young worker?


  • You have a right to a work in a safe and healthy environment
  • You have a right to be paid your contracted wages, or at least the National Minimum Wage (current rates here)
  • You have the right to refuse work which could put you in serious danger
  • You have the right to be trained in how to carry out your job safely
  • You have a right to information on the health and safety hazards you are exposed to
  • You have the right to join a trade union


Not a union member yet? For help, advice and protection at work Join GMB


Your Working Hours


Under 18?

  • No more than 8 hours a day / 40 hours per week.
  • Full 30 min break after 4.5 hours
  • 12 hours off between shifts/ workdays and two days per week.

Over 18?

  • No more than 48 hours per week, unless you have agreed to opt out (your choice).
  • At least 20 min break after 6 hours
  • 11 hours off between shifts/ workdays and one full day off per week or two days per fortnight.


Do you work on a computer?


Your employer should adjust your desk, chair and computer to make sure it isn’t going to cause aches and pains or damage your eyes. They should also pay for your eye tests and put some money towards glasses if they are needed to work on a computer.


Do you lift, carry or move things?


You should be fully trained in the safest way to do this before you have to do it. Do not do it if you are feel that it is too heavy or unsafe.


Do you work with chemicals?


If you work with chemicals (such as cleaning fluids or hair dyes) you should be provided with free gloves and small rooms need to have ventilation – open windows or working extractor fans. You may need a mask, don’t be afraid to ask.


Do you work on the road?


Bikes, motor cycles and cars must be roadworthy and safe. You should be provided with protective equipment such as high visibility jackets, suitable helmets, gloves and cold / wet weather clothing. You should be given a phone or radio so that you can contact management in emergencies.


Is violence and abuse an issue?


If you are at risk of violence and abuse at work, your employer needs to do something to try to prevent this from happening to you. This could be things like violence and aggression training, not having workers working on their own or providing security guards.


Is there a risk of slips, trips or falls?


Your employer should do something to make slips and trips less likely, e.g. fitting nonslip flooring, keeping the floor clean and tidy or providing non slip shoes. You shouldn’t work at height for example on ladders, staircases or lifting equipment unless you have been fully trained and feel safe doing it.


Could you get cuts or burns?


You should be trained fully before using knives and food slicers must not be used if the guarding is broken or missing.

Hot items should be carried with gloves or other protection and large pots of liquid shouldn’t be moved without a lid.


Do you work outside?


In winter you should be provided with suitable wet and cold weather clothing, such as boots, waterproof jackets and trousers, extra layers, gloves and hats.

In summer you should be provided with sunscreen and hats, you may be provided with lighter clothing but only if it is safe to do so. In some cases full cover will still be needed to prevent cuts and grazes.

Plenty of water should be available at all times as well as somewhere warm, dry and clean for you to each lunch, make hot drinks, use the toilet and wash your hands.


Fire Safety


You must be made aware of what happens if there is a fire, where you must go and what routes you can take. There should be regular fire alarm tests and practice evacuations.




You should be trained in your role before you have to do the job. Your training should include information about:

  • Any possible hazards and risks,
  • How to protect yourself – e.g. what to wear or how to do the task safely,
  • Basic health and safety and fire evacuation procedures in your workplace.


What to do if an incident occurs


Report all accidents, incidents and attacks to your employer and get them recorded in the accident book. Also tell your GMB Health & Safety Rep or Shop Steward, they will make sure your employer does something to prevent anyone else being hurt in the same way.

If you think it's serious enough, you could also contact UnionLine on 0300 333 0303 to make a claim for compensation. As a GMB member, your legal fees would be covered to ensure you get the justice you desrve.


Not a union member yet? For help, advice and protection at work Join GMB


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