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Employment of school age children

It is an employers responsibility to register any child they employ with the local authority and to apply for a work permit.

Work Permit Application Form

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The local authority may refuse, or revoke a work permit if:

  • the child does not attend at school
  • they are frequently late for school
  • their school work suffers because of the employment
  • their health suffers because of the employment
  • the employment is, or becomes, unlawful

The Head teacher or their deputy should sign the work permit application form if satisfied that the employment does not affect the child's education.

There are several types of employment that children are prohibited from undertaking. These are listed on the work permit application form.

It must be pointed out that all children who are employed must have a work permit. If not they are being employed illegally and, more importantly, they may not be covered by any form of insurance should they suffer an injury or have anything stolen (such as a bicycle used for newspaper deliveries) whilst being employed.

Children under the age of 13 years cannot be employed under any circumstances.

Those aged 13 and under 15 can only work for 2 hours on a school day, either 1 hour after 7 am and before school commences and 1 hour after school ends and before 7 pm, or for 2 hours after the end of school and before 7 pm.

Saturdays and school holidays they can work for up to 5 hours per day, to a maximum of 25 hours per week. 

They can only work for 2 hours on any Sunday.

Those aged 15 and 16 can only work for 2 hours on a school day, either 1 hour after 7 am and before the commencement of school and 1 hour after the end of school and before 7 pm, or 2 hours after the end of school and before 7 pm. 

Saturdays and school holidays they can work for up to 8 hours per day, to a maximum of 35 hours per week. 

They can only work for 2 hours on any Sunday.

During the week that children are required to attend at school, they can only work up to a maximum of 12 hours per week, regardless of age.

The information in this leaflet is for general guidance only.

Further information is available in on the Employment of School Age Children.  A guide to Children in Entertainment is also available.

Child Employment and Performance Officer

Children, Schools & Families,
Sedgemoor Centre,
Priory Road,
St Austell,
PL25 5AB

01872 323014