The Employment of Children

The employment of children is covered by strict rules and regulations which protect children from any harm or being exploited and make sure the child’s health and education does not suffer as a result of working.

 

The Local Authority is the agency which is responsible for overseeing children who have a part-time job and for prosecuting any employer who breaks the law.  In the Vale of Glamorgan, this falls to the Inclusion Team within the Learning and Skills Directorate.

 

Eligibility for employment

 A child must have attained their 13th birthday before an application for a work permit can be made.

 

The legislation applies to all children (including the children of the employer) who are under compulsory school age.  (Compulsory school age is defined as the last Friday in June in the school year in which a child has their 16th birthday).  

 

N.B. Having a National Insurance Number and National Insurance Card is not a sign that a child can get a full-time job and / or leave school.

The Employer’s Responsibilities

Every child of school age who has a part-time job working for an employer (whether they are paid or undertaking voluntary work) must be registered with the Local Authority and have a work permit.  It is the employers’ responsibility to apply for a work permit in order to employ the child.

 

If you, as an employer, want children to work for you then you must take into account the rules and regulations which control what type of work the child can do, how many hours the child may work and the type of premises the child will be working in. 

 

The employer must carry out a specific Young Person’s Risk Assessment of any hazards relating to the child employment and inform the parent / guardian and Local Authority of the outcome of the risk assessment. The employer must also make sure that proper clothing and footwear are worn by the child and that proper training, guidance and supervision is given to the child. The employer’s insurance cover must cover employing children and be kept up to date.

 

Within seven days of the child starting work, the employer must complete a Child Employment Licence application form which must be signed by the employer and the child’s parent / guardian. This application gives details of the child, hours of work, place of work and the type of work to be undertaken.

 

The legislation does not state how much a school-aged child must be paid - this is left for negotiations between the employer, child and parent / guardian. However, even if there is no payment at all or payment is being made in kind in return for the work (e.g. free riding lessons or free lunch or goods) it is still regarded as being employed and therefore requires a permit.

Any employer who is thinking of employing a child and has not done so previously is advised to contact the Inclusion Team for advice.

 

Employers should take note of the following:

  • It is illegal to employ a child under 13 years of age.

  • It is illegal to employ a child without having obtained a Child Employment Permit.

  • Children can only be employed in specific types of work (see list on following pages).

  • No child can work at any time between 7pm and 7am (Monday to Saturday).

 

  • Times that 13 and 14-year-old children may be given a permit to work:

     

    In term-time, the maximum permitted hours are 12 hours per week.

     


    Hours
    Maximum hoursRestrictions

    Monday to Friday

    (2 hours)

    1 hour before school (after 7am)

     

     

    1 hour after school (before 7pm)

     

     

    OR

     

    2 hours after school (before 7pm

    Saturdays

    (5 hours)

    Between 7am and 7pm

    Sundays

    (2 hours)

    Between 7am and 7pm

     

    In school holidays, the maximum permitted hours are 25 hours per week.

     

    Hours per week
    DAYMAXIMUM HOURSRESTRICTIONS

    Monday to Friday

    5 hours

    Between 7am and 7pm

    Saturdays

    5 hours

    Between 7am and 7pm

    Sundays

    2 hours

    Between 7am and 7pm

     

    Children must have 1 hour’s break after 4 hours continuous work.

    A child must have at least 2 weeks’ consecutive holiday per year.

     

  • Times that 15 and 16-year-old children may be given a permit to work

    In term-time the maximum permitted hours are 12 hours per week

     

    Term time hours
    DAYMAXIMUM HOURSRESTRICTIONS

    Monday to Friday

    2 hours

    1 hour before school (after 7am)

    1 hour after school (before 7pm)

    OR

    2 hours after school (before 7pm

    Saturdays

    8 hours

    Between 7am and 7pm

    Sundays

    2 hours

    Between 7am and 7pm

     

    In school holidays, the maximum permitted hours are 35 hours per week

     

    School holiday hours
    DAYMAXIMUM HOURSRESTRICTIONS

    Monday to Friday

    8 hours

    Between 7am and 7pm

    Saturdays

    8 hours

    Between 7am and 7pm

    Sundays

    2 hours

    Between 7am and 7pm

     

    Children must have 1 hour’s break after 4 hours continuous work.

     

    A child must have at least 2 weeks’ consecutive holiday per year.

     

  • 15-year olds in Y11 who are leaving school

     


    • Children who are 15 in Y11 BUT will turn 16 on or before  September 1st (i.e. during the school Summer holidays) cease to be of Statutory School Age on the last Friday in June and can enter the workforce full-time after they cease to be of Statutory School Age even though they are still 15 and will not be 16 for up to two months (i.e. during July or August).

    • Although a 15-year-old may present a National Insurance number, they will still require a Child Employment Permit to work until they are no longer Statutory School Age.

  • 16-year olds

     
    • A child is of Statutory School Age and needs a Child Employment Permit until they are 16 AND they cease to be of Statutory School Age (See point 3 below).

    • Although a 16-year-old may present a National Insurance number, they will still require a Child Employment Permit  to work until they are no longer Statutory School Age See point 3 below).

    • A 16-year-old in Y11 ceases to be on Statutory School Age on the last Friday in June in the Summer Term.

    • Until that time, they may only work a maximum of 12 hours a week in term time.

    • Children who are 16 and on study leave from their school in the Summer Term leading up to their exams are considered to still be at school so can only work 12 hours a week until after the 30th June.

    • Children who are 15 and on study leave from their school in the Summer Term leading up to their exams are considered to still be at school so can only work 12 hours a week until they cease to be Statutory School Age on the 30th June.

     

    The above are only some of the rules and regulations surrounding child employment and you, as an employer, are responsible for ensuring that you are fully aware of the Child Employment Legislation and that any child in you employ is employed legally.

     

 

Prohibited Employment for Children

No child of any age may be employed:

  • in a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or night club, except in connection with a performance given entirely by children.

  • to sell or deliver alcohol, except in sealed containers.

  • to deliver fuel oils.

  • in a commercial kitchen.

  • to collect or sort refuse.

  • to carry out any agricultural work involving heavy strain.
  • in any work which is more than three meters above ground / floor level.

  • in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents. 

  • to collect money or canvass door to door 

  • in telephone sales.

  • in any slaughterhouse or in that part of any butcher’s shop or other premises connected with the killing of livestock, butchery, or the preparation of carcasses or meat for sale.

  • as an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or in any other premises used for the purpose of public amusement by means of automatic machines, shooting ranges, games or chance or skill or similar device.

  • in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home. 

  • in any job involving dangerous chemicals, processes, machines or tools.

     

  • in any job involving lifting / moving loads likely to cause the child injury.

     

  • in cleaning machinery or operating machinery.

  • in any business involving betting / gambling club.

     

  • to work at any racecourse or track where any sport is carried on.

  • in working in billiard rooms / private clubs.

  • in preparation of meat or fish for sale.

 

This does not prevent children taking part in a performance under the provisions of a licence granted in accordance with the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 and The Children (Performances and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015.

Permitted Employment 

 

  • Permitted Employment of Children aged 13 
     

    In the Vale of Glamorgan, children aged 13 may only be employed in the delivery of newspapers, journals and other printed material.

  • Permitted employment of children aged 14 or over

     

    A child aged 14 may be employed only in light work in the following categories:

     

    • agricultural or horticultural work that does not involve heavy lifting / dangerous machinery.

    • delivery of newspapers, journals and other printed material 

    • shop work, including low level shelf stacking 

    • hairdressing salons (but not using chemicals)

    • office work 

    • car washing by hand in a private residential setting 

    • in a café or restaurant*

    • in a riding stables 

    • domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation

     

    The prohibitions listed in the section ‘Prohibited Employment for Children’ still apply within these ‘permitted’ employments.

     

    *Work in cafes, restaurants and pubs is particularly complicated so please seek advice from the Inclusion Department before offering a child a job to avoid disappointment.

Applying for a Child Work Permit 

 

 

 

For further information contact Mr. C Lavelle, Licensing and Data Officer Inclusion Department.

  • 07703 468811