As an employer, you need a child work permit to employ a child aged between 13 to 16 years of age. It's illegal to employ a child under 13.
Children do not need a work permit for work experience arranged by the school.
Before you apply
During the coronavirus you must download, print and fully complete the COVID-19 Special Requirements form before you apply.
The COVID-19 Special Requirements form is a comprehensive health and safety assessment which explains the extra requirements needed during the coronavirus pandemic. We cannot progress your work permit application without your completed COVID-19 Special Requirements form.
You must make sure you print off the form and get all parties to sign it. We cannot accept signatures that have been copied and pasted into the form.
You will be asked to upload the completed form during the work permit application process.
When to apply
To apply for a work permit, the employer must complete an online application form for each child they wish to employ within a minimum of 14 working days before they begin work.
Who has to complete the application form
The application form has 3 parts to it, which must be completed by:
- the employer
- the child's parent or guardian
- the child's school
As the employer you must fill out the first part of the online form. On completion this will automatically be sent to the parents and school of the child, based on the information you have provided. Make sure the information is correct before you submit it. You will receive an email once the application has been completed by each party. The application will only be submitted to the Children's Services Licensing Team for consideration once all parties have completed their part.
In line with new data protection laws, the employer, school and parent must now set up an online account. You will only need your email and a password to do so.
A child will need a permit for voluntary employment if the aim of the organisation is to make a profit.
Apply for a child work permit
To complete the form, you will need:
- name, DOB and address of the child
- name, contact number and email of the parent or carer
- name of the child's school
- details of the child's job
- details of the day and hours of the child's employment
- a fully completed and signed COVID-19 Special Requirements form
We aim to process all applications within 21 working days. It can sometimes take longer if we require further information from the employer, parent or school. In some cases we may ask for information from other services within the council or other local councils.
Once the Children's Services Licensing Team have considered and accepted your application, your work permit will be emailed to you and a copy will be emailed to the child's parents.
How long the permit is valid for
The permit is valid whilst the child is employed or until they reach the last Friday in June of the school year in which they are 16.
The employer must make the Children's Services Licensing Team aware of any changes to the child's working times or conditions so they can issue an updated work permit.
Types of work that children can do
Children may undertake 'light work'. This is work that is unlikely to be harmful to the health, safety or development of a child or to their attendance at school.
There are some jobs that children under 16 cannot do. They include:
- selling alcohol, unless in a sealed container
- working in a commercial kitchen (this includes washing up, unless the washing up area is separate to the kitchen)
- collecting or sorting rubbish
- working where harmful chemical, biological or physical agents are used
- working in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home unless under the supervision of a responsible adult
Read legislation for child employment for more information.
Permitted hours of employment
The hours a child can work will depend on their age. The hours differ for 13 to 14 year olds and 15 to 16 year olds. See the tables for the permitted working times by age.
During school term time:
|During school term time||Children aged 13 and 14 years||Children aged 15 and 16 years|
Daily maximum (Monday to Friday)
|2 hours (of which no more than 1 hour may be prior to the start of school hours)||2 hours (of which no more than 1 hour may be prior to the start of school hours)|
|Daily maximum (Saturday)||5 hours||8 hours|
|Daily maximum (Sunday)||2 hours||2 hours|
|Weekly maximum||12 hours||12 hours|
|Earliest start time||7am||7am|
|Latest finish time||7pm||7pm|
|Is employment during school hours permitted?||No||
During school holidays:
During school holidays
|Children aged 13 and 14 years||
Children aged 15 and 16 years
|Daily maximum (Monday to Saturday)||5 hours||8 hours|
Daily maximum (Sunday)
|2 hours||2 hours|
|Weekly maximum||25 hours||35 hours|
|Earliest start time||7am||7am|
|Latest finish time||7pm||
Working for more than one employer
A child can work for more than one employer but they must have a separate work permit for each job. If a child has more than one job, the total hours they work for all jobs must not go over the maximum work hours for their age.
Read our child work permit privacy notice to find out how we use your application information.