Child employment

For a young person of school age to work their employer must have a work permit.

A child is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they reach the age of 16.

This page gives information about the laws in place around the employment of children. The law applies to all children of compulsory school age​.

A child aged 14 or over may only be employed in light work and children over the age of 13 are allowed to work in certain occupations while still at school.  The law is there to prevent accidents, ensure that children are not exploited, are safe and are able to benefit fully from their education. Full details are included in the byelaws available to download below.

Children involved in public performance

There are special rules which apply to children from birth to school leaving age involved in any kind of public performance.

Public performance includes activities such as

  • filming
  • modelling
  • sport
  • theatre work

The rules do not apply to school plays.

Find out more about children working in entertainment and chaperones.

Permitted employment for children aged 13 and over

A child aged 13 may only be employed in light work in the following categories (full details in the byelaws, available to download above)

a) agricultural or horticultural work

b) delivery of newspapers, journals and other printed material, and collecting payment of same

c) shop work, including shelf stacking

d) hairdressing salons

e) office work;

f) car washing by hand in a private residential setting;

g) in a café or restaurant,

h) in riding stables

i) domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation.

Permitted hours

The total number of hours a child can work depends on the day of the week and whether it is term time or during the school holidays. Children 13 years and over must have at least two consecutive weeks without employment during school holidays each year.

No child may be employed for more than four hours without a rest break of one hour or more.

Sundays

Children 13 years and over may work a maximum of two hours between 7 am and 7 pm (in or out of term time).

 

During term time 

During term time children are only allowed to work a maximum of 12 hours per week

On school days in term time children 13 years and over may work either

  • two hours between the end of school and 7 pm
  • or one hour between 7am and the start of the school day (allowing sufficient time to reach school for the commencement of school) and one hour between the end of school and 7 pm

On Saturdays in term time

  • Children 13 years and over may work five hours between 7 am and 7 pm
  • Children aged 15 and 16 may work eight hours between 7 am and 7 pm

 

During school holidays

Children 13 years and over must have at least two consecutive weeks without employment during school holidays each year

During school holidays children are only permitted to work for a maximum of total of

  • 25 hours per week age 13 and 14
  • 35 hours per week age 15 and over

On week days during school holidays

  • Children 13 years and over may work five hours on any weekday between 7 am and 7 pm provided that they shall not be employed for more than 24 hours in any one week (including Saturdays but excluding Sundays)
  • Children aged 15 and 16 may work eight hours on any weekday between 7 am and 7 pm

 

Contact our Child Employment Officer

Child Employment Officer
Families, Children & Learning
SEN Team
2nd Floor North
Hove Town Hall
Norton Road
Hove
BN3 3BQ

Telephone (01273) 293567