Child employment permits

Children aged between 13 and school leaving age - the last Friday in June in school year 11 - must have a child employment permit if they work for a profit-making organisation, whether they are paid or not. 

There are restrictions on the type of work children can do. There are listed in our guide below. Please contact us if you need to know more.

A permit is not needed for work experience arranged by a school.

Apply for a child employment permit

Employers must apply for an employment permit from the local authority where they are based, and submit a risk assessment form within seven days of the young person starting work. Without a permit, a child may not be covered by your employer's liability insurance.

Employment permits are specific to the child, their employer, the place and type of work and the hours worked. If a child has more than one job, they will need a permit for each job.

Complete and return both forms to childemployment​&performance​

A permit can be refused or revoked if the employment is likely to be harmful to the child's education, safety, health or development.

What happens next?

Once processed, two permits will be sent out - one for the child to keep and one for the employer for a licensing officer to inspect, on request.

Permitted hours and rest periods

  • Children cannot work during school hours, before 7am or after 7pm any day, or for more than two hours on a Sunday.
  • Children cannot work more than two hours on a school day and no more than 12 hours per week in term time.
  • There are set one-hour 'rest periods' after four hours of work.
  • There are different working hours allowed during school holidays:
    - For 13 and 14-year-olds a maximum of 25 hours per week and 5 hours in any one day.
    - For 15 and 16-year-olds maximum of 35 hours per week and 8 hours in any one day.
  • Each year a minimum of two weeks holidays must be given.