A child of compulsory school age can only legally be
employed in the Royal Borough if the Royal Borough has approved and
issued a Child Employment Permit (a child whose 16th birthday falls
between 1 September and 31 August in the following year remains of
compulsory school age until the last Friday in June of that
academic year). This should be applied for by the employer,
preferably before a child commences employment with them.
download the Child
employment application form [PDF] (file size 62Kb)
Children under the age of 13 years cannot be
employed, and there are different working hours allowed
for children under 15 years and those who are over 15. Specific
rest periods are required. See below for further information on
- children may only do light work and some types of work are
prohibited altogether (contact the Education Welfare Service
for further details)
- an employer must carry out a risk assessment before
employing a child
- National Insurance Numbers are not valid until after the
official school leaving date
- a permit will be refused or cancelled if any employment is
considered to be likely to harm in any way the education, health or
physical development of the child
How many hours can a child work?
Children aged 13 or 14
A child aged 13 or 14 may work during school term time for a
maximum of 12 hours a week and for a maximum of two hours on any
school day between 7am and 8am or between 5pm and 7pm. During
school holiday weeks, the maximum hours increase to 25 hours a
week. On Saturdays, a child may work between the hours of 7am and
7pm for a maximum daily total of five hours. On Sundays, the
permitted hours are between 7am and 7pm but the daily maximum is
two hours. A break of one hour must be provided if the child works
more than four hours during a day.
Children aged 15 or 16
A child aged 15 or 16 may work during term time for a maximum of
12 hours a week and for a maximum of two hours on any school day
between the hours of 7am and 8am or between 5pm and 7pm. During
school holidays the child may work a maximum of 35 hours a week. On
Saturdays, a child may work between 7am and 7pm for a maximum of
eight hours and on Sundays between the same hours for a maximum of
two hours. A break of one hour must be provided where more than
four hours are worked during a day. During school holidays, there
must be at least two consecutive weeks without the child being
Children under the age of 13 years cannot be employed.
How to apply for a Child Employment Permit
The employer should complete and submit the form to the
Education Welfare Service, preferably in advance of the intended
employment’s commencement but no later than within one week of
employing a child. Employers must obtain authorisation from the
Council’s Child Employment Officer for any child to be employed
within the Royal Borough’s area, regardless of where the child
The application form must be countersigned by the child’s parent
or legal guardian and be accompanied by two recent passport size
photographs of the child, a photocopy of the child’s birth
certificate and a declaration from the parent or legal guardian
stating that the child is fit, well and able to carry out the work.
If the child suffers or has suffered from an illness, a medical
examination and report may be required from the child’s General
Practitioner before the permit can be issued.
The child must carry the Child Employment Permit at all times
when working. The employer must keep a copy of the authorisation
form for inspection purposes.
What else should employers do?
Employers should pay particular attention to the child’s safety
and protection in the workplace and to health and safety
legislation and insurance regulations. It is essential that a risk
assessment be carried out before and during the child’s employment.
The Association of British Insurers has stated that unless the
employer has ensured that any child employed is properly registered
for work by the local authority, then any injury or accident or
other liability arising from the child’s employment will not be
covered under the employer’s liability insurance. Employers who
employ children illegally will be prosecuted.
A Guide to Child Employment [PDF file] (file size
Children in entertainment
Children working in entertainment (this includes models and
child performers as well as children in TV, theatre and filming)
require a Child Performance Licence.
editable application form [WORD] (file size 70Kb)
copy of the application form [PDF] (file size 23Kb)
Children working in entertainment also require a nominated adult
to act as chaperone. A chaperone is responsible for the care
and control of the child, including his health, comfort, kind
treatment and moral welfare. For further information on chaperones,
and to apply for a chaperone's licence, see the Chaperones page.