Employing family members

Family employees and health and safety


As an employer, you have a duty of care towards all people who work for you or come onto your business premises.

If you employ younger family members, remember that they may be inexperienced in operating certain types of equipment or facilities, and may be unaware of health and safety hazards. See employing children and young people.

Health and safety legal requirements

Legal provisions for young workers' safety include:

  • carrying out a health and safety risk assessment or reviewing existing arrangements before employing them
  • assessing psychological factors, eg maturity, awareness, and the need for extra training/supervision
  • assessing physiological factors, eg strength, fitness, and the need for additional protection
  • providing information to parents/guardians about risks and protection measures

See our section on health and safety made simple for business.

Older workers may need refresher training in health and safety matters or to improve or update their skills. You should also consider vulnerability to exposure from excessive lighting, glare and heat.

All employers must carry out a health and safety risk assessment. Those with five or more employees must record significant findings.