The law allows a young person to be employed from the age of 14, but local authorities can permit a young person to be employed from 13. The law specifies the permitted hours and types of employment and makes it essential for employers to obtain a work permit for school age employees. It includes the rights of the employee and the responsibilities of the employer.
Children working without a permit may not be covered by any form of insurance, regardless of the policies that the employer has in force. Employers who breach this legislation can face fines of up to £1, 000. Read the management of health and safety at work regulations [1Mb] document for more information.
Read the child employment guidelines [46kb] document for more information, or to apply for a work permit, complete the employment permit application form [193kb].
Children in entertainment
Licensing of children in entertainment
From 6 February 2015 legislation surrounding children in entertainment changed. The Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 [100kb] is now in force and the previous regulations (the Children (Performances) Regulations 1968) are now obsolete.
Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014, we are responsible for the licensing of all young people who are of 'compulsory school age' and under (even babies), who appear in performances either on the stage or television, take part in certain sporting activities, or who work as models.
This licensing requirement does not apply to performances given under arrangements made by a school or when each of the following statements can be applied:
- There is no payment to be made to the child, or any other person, other than expenses;
- The child has not performed on more than three days in the last six months (the "four day rule"); and
- The performance does not require the child to be absent from school.