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Child Employment

The minimum age for children to be employed is 13 years. However, 13 year olds can only work in certain circumstances.

 

An Employment Permit is required and MUST be issued in the Local Authority where children work, regardless of where they live or go to school. There are restrictions on the times children can work. This is a summary of the main provision of the legislation. It is not exhaustive.

 

School Days

No child shall be employed on school days except for one hour before school, commencing no earlier than 7am and between the close of school hours and 7.00 pm. No child can work for more than two hours on any one day.

Saturdays/School Holidays

No child shall be employed except between the hours of 7.00 am and 7.00 pm, and then only in accordance with certain restrictions on the number of hours worked.

 

Sundays

No child shall be employed except between 7am and 11am, and for no more than two hours. Children must have a continuous two week break from employment during the year.

 

Working Hours

Children under 15 years of age

  • Maximum hours a day (except Sunday): 5 hours
  • Maximum hours a day without a 1  hour break: 4 hours
  • Maximum hours per week during school holidays: 25 hours
  • Maximum hours per week during term time: 12 hours

 

Children aged 15 years and over*

  • Maximum hours a day (except Sunday): 8 hours
  • Maximum hours a day without a 1  hour break: 4 hours
  • Maximum hours per week during school holidays: 35 hours
  • Maximum hours per week during term time: 12 hours

*There is only one school leaving date in Year 11 which is the last Friday in June each year. An application for a permit should be made (even if the child is over 16) if they are in their final GCSE year at school.

Penalties 

The employer, and any other person (other than the person employed) by whose act or default caused the employment to be in contravention of the provisions of the child employment legislation may be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 (£1,000) on the Standard Scale.


The Association of British Insurers have stated that unless a child were to be registered, the child might not be included under an employer's liability insurance policy.

 

All employment which is not registered, where no Employment Permit is in force, is illegal. All employers must register the employment and all children should have an Employment Permit. The employer must complete a risk assessment and convey this to the parent/carer. 

 

Please note:  Babysitting is not subject to regulation. There are separate regulations on performance and modelling work.


The work permit MUST be issued in the Local Authority where children work, regardless of where they live or go to school.

  

Legal jobs
 Legal Child Employment  Non-Legal Child Employment
Newspaper delivery    Delivering fuel oils 
 Garden Centres   Commercial kitchens 
 Some farm work   Street trading 
 Fruit picking   Fairground and amusement arcades 
 Office Work   Pub and bar work 
 Hairdressers 

Building sites 

 Shop work including shelf stacking 

Cleaning/operating machinery 

Domestic work  Gambling Clubs 
Waiting on tables  Telephone sales 
Stable work Preparation of meat or fish for sale 

 

 

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