Children of compulsory school age can work from the age of 13. Compulsory school age is until the last Friday in June during the school year of their 16th birthday. They must have a work permit provided by us, where the employment is taking place, even if it is a family business.
Young people are considered to be employed whether or not they receive payment. However, they cannot work before 7am or after 7pm. There is no minimum wage for under 16s, but as of April 2017, young people aged 16 to 17 have a minimum wage of £4.05 per hour.
A separate application should be submitted for each job. Applications contain:
- a risk assessment form, to be completed by the employer
- a Parental Declaration of Health form, to be completed by a parent or guardian
- a school declaration, to be completed by the child’s school
The license can be taken away if the child’s health, attendance, or school work is affected by their job.
The employer will be sent an employment permit to be kept on record and presented in the event of an inspection. Employers should be aware that:
- they are responsible for ensuring the child has a work permit
- they should ensure their liability insurance covers the child’s employment
- their insurance company may challenge a claim if they employ a child without a permit
- a child cannot work during usual school hours or for more than four hours without a break of at least one hour
It is a criminal offence to employ a child of compulsory school age without an employment permit, to employ a child under the age of 13, or to breach any regulations regarding the employment of children. We will take legal action against anyone committing such offences.
For more information see:
- our Education Welfare Service child employment leaflet (PDF, 477.26 KB)
- our online Licence Register where all applications and licences are recorded
- GOV.UK for the rules about employment of children
Apply for a permit (PDF, 238.62 KB)
Licence applications should be emailed to email@example.com.