4. Work experience

As an employer taking on a young person for work experience, you have the main responsibility for their health and safety. Always check they know how to raise health and safety concerns.

Under health and safety law, work experience students are your employees, like any other young person you employ. There are very few work activities a student cannot do because of health and safety law.

Risk assessment

What you cover in your risk assessment depends on the level of risk.

Review your risk assessment before they start if you:

If you have employed a young person on work experience in the last few years, don’t repeat your risk assessment if the new student has a similar level of maturity and understanding, with no particular or additional needs. (The organiser or parent should tell you if they have.)

Talk about the placement in advance with organisers and take account of what they and the parents or carers tell you about:

Explain to parents/carers of children what the significant risks are and what has been done to control them. You can do this in whatever way is simplest and suitable, including verbally, and is very often done via the school or college.

When you induct students, explain the risks and how they are controlled, checking that they understand what they have been told.


Your existing employers' liability insurance policy will cover work placements provided your insurer is a member of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), or Lloyds, so there is no need for you to get any additional employer's liability insurance if you take on work experience students. The ABI website confirms this.

For many insurers, a definition of who is to be treated as an 'employee' would include:

If in doubt, check with your insurer.

If you don’t currently require employers' liability insurance and are going to take on a work placement, discuss the situation with your insurer to check you have adequate insurance cover.

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