Work Permits for Children

Children aged 13, 14 and 15 are able to hold certain jobs but there are strict rules concerning hours of work and the type of work that can be done. These rules are to ensure that children are not doing work that could put them in danger or affect their education.

At what age can children work?

When can children work? What hours can children work?
At 13 and 14 years

School Days

Not more than a total of 2 hours in one day during the following periods:

a) In the morning between 7 a.m. and the start of school (1 hour max)

b) In the evening between close of school and 7 p.m.
  Saturdays * 5 hours a day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  Sundays 2 hours a day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  School Holidays* 5 hours a day on any weekday (except Sundays) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., but total hours worked each week must not exceed 25 hours. You must have 2 consecutive weeks break in a year and they must be taken during the school holidays.

 

At 15

years

School Days Not more than a total of 2 hours in one day during the following periods:

a) In the morning between 7 a.m. and the start of school (1 hour max)

b) In the evening between close of school and 7 p.m.
  Saturdays * 8 hours a day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
 

Sundays

2 hours a day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  School Holidays*

8 hours a day on

any weekday (except Sundays) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., but total hours worked each week must not exceed 35 hours. You must have 2 consecutive weeks break in a year and they must be taken during the school holidays.

At 16 years

The hours of employment specified for 15 year olds will apply to you whilst you are of compulsory school age. If you wish, you are legally able to leave school on the last Friday in June in the school year in which you reach the age of 16.

You are not able to take up full time employment until after that date.

*No child of any age may work more than 4 hours in any day without a rest break of 1 hour.

Work that is allowed

Age Work
13

You may only be employed in 'light work' on one or more of the following:

  • Agricultural or horticultural work
  • Delivery of newspapers, journals and other printed material
  • Shop work, including shelf stacking
  • Hairdressing Salons
  • Office work
  • Car washing by hand in a residential setting
  • In a cafe or restaurant
  • In riding stables
  • Domestic work in hotels or other establishments offering accommodation
14 & 15

You may be employed only in 'light work'

You may engage in street trading if you are employed by your parents in connection with their retail business and you are supervised by them and you have been granted a street traders licence by the local authority.

16 The above restrictions will still apply whilst you are of compulsory school age.

 

Prohibited employment for all children of compulsory school age

No child of any age may be employed:

  • In a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or night-club, except in connection with a performance given entirely by children.
  • To sell or deliver alcohol, except in sealed containers
  • To deliver milk
  • To deliver fuel oils
  • In a commercial kitchen
  • To collect or sort refuse
  • In any work which is more than three metres above ground level or, in the case of internal work, more than three metres above floor level
  • In employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • To collect money or to sell or canvas door to door, except under the supervision of an adult
  • In work involving exposure to adult material or in situations which are for this reason otherwise unsuitable for children
  • In telephone sales
  • In any slaughterhouse or in that part of any butcher's shop or other premises connected with the killing of livestock, butchery or in the preparation of carcasses or meat for sale
  • As an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or in any other premises used for the purpose of public amusement by means of automatic machines, games of chance or skill or similar devices
  • In the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home unless under the supervision of a responsible adult.

Work Permit Application Form

File type Document File size
pdf Work Permit Application Form
40 KB

Further Information

For further information about child employment please contact School and Family Support Team on 01639 763600 or e-mail sfs@npt.gov.uk Information can also be found on the following websites: