Children in employment and entertainment

Children in employment (part-time work)

Children in part-time work

Children of compulsory school age, working before or after school, at weekends or during school holidays, must have an employment permit issued by the local authority.

Under the Children and Young Person Act 1933, a child:

  • must be 13 years or over before they get a part-time job
  • cannot work during school hours
  • can only work between 7 am and 7 pm
  • can only work for 2 hours on a Sunday
  • can only work for 12 hours per week in term time
  • must have a 1 hour break if they work 4 continuous hours
  • age 13-14 can only work for up to 5 hours per day and up to 25 hours a week in the holidays
  • age 15-16 can only work for up to 8 hours per day and up to 35 hours a week in the holidays

Children are not allowed to work:

  • in places like a factory or industrial site
  • in most jobs in pubs or betting shops
  • in any type of work that may be harmful to their health, well-being or education
  • in jobs prohibited in local bylaws
  • without having a 2-week break from any work during the school holidays in each calendar year

Permit requirements

  • Employers are legally responsible for applying for permits for the children they employ. They must complete the application form, ensure the parent/guardian signs it, and send it to the relevant licensing officer indicated below within 7 days of the child starting work for the employer.
  • A work permit is normally issued by the authority where the employer is based.
  • Each permit is specific to the job and employer; therefore, if a child has more than one job, a permit is required for each.
  • A permit is not required once the child is no longer of compulsory school age i.e. from the last Friday of June in Year 11.
  • A permit is not required for work experience arranged by the school. If this leads to employment, a permit will be required.

For all licensing enquiries:

Kensington and Chelsea Council licensing

Contact: Angela Williams
Tel: 020 7745 6441

Westminster Council licensing

Contact: Latoya Dyett
Tel: 020 7745 6612

Last updated: 29 November 2019