Are children permitted to work?
The following restrictions apply:
|Children under 13|
Children under the age of 13 years are not allowed to be employed in any capacity by any person(s) and this also includes parents and guardians.
Employment includes assistance in any trade or occasion which is carried on for profit, whether or not payment is received.
Once a child reaches 13 years of age to the end of their compulsory education, they are allowed to work part-time - but within certain constraints.
|Children 13 to 16|
Children of compulsory school age are not allowed to work before 7am or after 7pm on any day.
Once a child is over compulsory school age (on the last Friday in June in the academic year they are 16), registration for work and obtaining an employment permit under this particular legislation no longer applies, even if the child returns to school after this date - for A levels, GNVQ, etc.
Do children working need a work permit?
During a child's first week at work the employer is required to submit a work permit application form in order to legally register the child's employment with the local authority in whose area the employment takes place.
Hours and place of work, employer details, child details and in some cases additional requirements will all be listed on the work permit. Work permits are specific to the child, the employer and the employment.
The employer is required to carry out a risk assessment and ask the parent to sign it. You will need to send this in with your application. Use the link below to download an example risk assessment form.
How to apply for a work permit
You can download the form below:
Please read the accompanying byelaws before completing the application.
- the employer completes the child's details, hours of employment, type of work and signs the form
- the employer passes the form to the child who asks their parent or guardian to sign the form and check the risk assessment
- the form is then forwarded to the child's school office whose staff will arrange for the form to be signed if they agree to the employment
The form is then emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org who will process the application. If successful, copies will be emailed to the employer and parent or carer.
Please ensure you complete all the required paperwork and email it to us with the required supporting documentation.
Are there any regulations on working hours and types of employment?
A full list of types of employment and hours permissible is listed in Section 1 (Byelaws) in the application form above.
Can a work permit be refused?
A permit may be refused by the Local Authority if it considers that the employment is detrimental to the child's educational needs, or welfare. The child's attendance rate at school is also a consideration.
Can the work permit be used for more than one job?
If a child has more than one job (whether it is with the same employer, another employer or at a different place of employment) each job needs to be registered separately.
What are the penalties for not having a work permit?
An employer who employs a compulsory school age child without a work permit is in contravention of the child employment regulations and action may be taken against them by the local education authority in whose area the employment takes place. This is applicable to all employers by all local education authorities.
Is there any relevant legislation?
For more information contact us at