Part-time child employment

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The employment of children in part time work is controlled by legislation and there are strict rules about what a child can and cannot do. A child is a young person who is under the upper limit of compulsory school age. (A child’s compulsory schooling finishes on the last Friday in June of the school year during which they have their 16th birthday and does not finish on their 16th birthday). More information can be found in the Employment of Children Byelaws (PDF, 49KB).

Employing a child - what you need to know

The following is a brief guide:

  • the employer is responsible for all aspects of the child’s safety and well being during the time the child is employed
  • the employer must carry out a Risk Assessment for the child’s duties and share its findings with the child’s parent
  • a child is considered to be employed even though he/she might not be paid or might be paid ‘in kind’
  • a child is employed if they are assisting the employer in his business
  • within 7 days of the child starting work the employer must complete an application form   in order to apply for an Children in Employment Licence for every child who works for him/her, including his/her own children

Any employer who allows a child of school age to work, without first obtaining a work permit, is breaking the law and could be prosecuted. Without a work permit the child is working illegally and without insurance.

An Employment Permit Application Form must be completed by the employer, signed by the parent or guardian of the child and returned to the Child Employment and Entertainment Office.

Restrictions on child employment

  • a child under the age of 13 years cannot be employed
  • no child may work at any time between the hours of 7.00pm and 7.00am the following day
  • a child cannot work for more than 2 hours on any Sunday
  • a child cannot work for more than 2 hours on a school day
  • a child cannot be employed during school hours
  • a child must not work for more than 12 hours in a ‘school’ week

For a complete list of restrictions please refer to the Employment of Children Byelaws (PDF, 49KB).

Children aged 13

Children aged 13 years may only be employed in light work in specified occupations, some of which are listed below.

  • delivery of newspapers/leaflets (but no child must collect money)
  • shop assistant - including shelf stacking
  • domestic work in hotel
  • waiting on in a café/restaurant (subject to certain conditions)
  • office Clerical work (provided not within the confines of a factory)
  • shampooing, sweeping up in a hairdressers

Children aged 13 and 14

A child aged 13 or 14 years must not be employed for more than 5 hours on a Saturday or school holiday and can work up to a maximum of 25 hours a week during school holidays.

Children aged 15 and 16

A child of 15 or 16 years must not be employed for more than 8 hours on a Saturday or a school holiday and can work up to a maximum of 35 hours a week during school holidays.

Prohibited employment

No child of statutory school age may be employed, for reward or no reward:

  • to deliver milk
  • to deliver fuel oils
  • in a commercial kitchen (including a fish and chip shop)
  • in a slaughterhouse or any part of a butcher's shop
  • in any work higher than 3 metres above the ground or floor level
  • to collect or sort refuse
  • to collect money or to sell or canvass door to door
  • in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • in any work involving exposure to adult material or situations unsuitable for children (video shop)
  • in telephone sales
  • in a cinema, theatre, dance hall or night club, except in connection with a performance given by children, for which a licence has been granted
  • on garage premises or selling petrol
  • in a bar or licensed premises during opening hours
  • in a licensed betting office
  • at any machine prescribed as dangerous
  • in a factory
  • to prepare food
  • in the personal care of residents of any residential care or nursing home
  • to sell intoxicating liquor, medicines, etc.
  • at a fairground or similar place of public amusement
  • any work which may be described as dangerous

Apply for an employment permit

General advice for parent and employers on child employment

General advice for children and young people on child employment

Contact us

01270 686199

The Child Employment Office
Floor 5
Delamere House
C/o Municipal Buildings,Earle Street


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