Rules for employers

All employers have to follow national child employment rules, which protect children's rights.

In Brighton & Hove employers also have to follow local employment laws.

Employers need to apply for permission to employ a child if they want to employ a child of school age.

School age lasts until the last Friday in June of the school year in which the child becomes 16 years old.

Work children can do

A child who is between 13 and 16 years old can:

  • deliver newspapers and leaflets
  • work in a shop, including stacking shelves
  • work in an office
  • do hairdressing
  • work in a café or restaurant, but not in the kitchen 
  • work in hotels and other places offering accommodation
  • do light agricultural or gardening work (but cannot use machinery)
  • wash cars

Work children cannot do

A child who is 13, up to school leaving age cannot:

  • work in a cinema, theatre, or nightclub
  • work in construction or with anything involving dangerous, and heavy machinery
  • sell or deliver alcohol
  • deliver milk
  • deliver fuel oils
  • work in a commercial kitchen
  • collect or sort refuse
  • work 3 metres above ground
  • be exposed to harmful physical, biological, or chemical agents
  • collect money or canvas door to door
  • exposed to adult material
  • do telephone sales
  • work in a slaughterhouse/butcher’s shop
  • assist at a fairground, amusement park or arcade
  • work in bingo halls or any other place for licenced games
  • work in residential care
  • work at a racetrack

When children can work

Children need to be at least 13 years old to work part-time, unless they work in TV, film, theatre or modelling.

Children can't work for more than 4 hours without a break.

Maximum hours children can work are listed below. 

  Age 13 to 14 Age 15 to 16
School days 2 hours 2 hours
Saturdays 5 hours 8 hours
Sundays 2 hours 2 hours
Term time 12 hours per week 12 hours per week
School holidays 5 hours per day

25 hours per week
8 hours per day

35 hours per week

More information

Get more information about child employment and working hours for children from GOV.UK.

For more information or to apply for a child employment licence, please contact the CIEE Officer.