National legislation and local bye-laws regulate the employment of children.

Employers conducting a business for trade or profit are required by law to register any child who works for them (whether paid or unpaid).

An application form for the employment of a child must be submitted for approval to the Local Authority in which the employment takes place, within 7 days of commencement of work. The application form must also be signed by the child’s parent/guardian.

The Child Employment Officer will check each application to ensure the employment is within the regulations and, if appropriate, issue a work permit authorising the employment.

If a child is found to be working in contravention of the regulations, unregistered or in breach of any conditions of the permit, the employer could face legal action.

Liability insurance, which the employer must have for his or her employees, will not be valid for any child employed illegally.

It is a requirement that a Risk Assessment be carried out for each application.

Children are not allowed to work in places that could be dangerous for them, or do work where there is equipment or hazards which could injure them, for example a factory, warehouse, garage or kitchen.

No child may take up employment until they reach 13 years of age. Under 14 years of age a child may work only in employment on the Permitted List.

There are restrictions on the hours and times a child is permitted work to work.

Full-time working cannot be taken up before he/she reaches compulsory school leaving age.

A child is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they reach the age of 16.

This is the only date a child is eligible to leave school even though they may already have been issued with their National Insurance number.

Further advice, information and application forms can be obtained from your local Child Employment Office.


Child Employment
Floor 2 Core 1
Civic Offices

Telephone: 023 9284 1419
Fax:   023 9284 1725