Children in employment

A child of school age who works part-time must be registered with the local authority and hold a work permit.


It's the responsibility of the employer to apply for this work permit and provide the local authority with a list of tasks that the child will do, together with a risk assessment in relation to these tasks.

Part-time work that children of school age can do

A child under 13 years old cannot work.

A child of 13 years and older is only allowed to do light work. This work must not be harmful to their safety, health and development and must not interfere with their school day.

Restrictions on what part-time work a child of 13 years and older can do

No child of school age can work in a:

  • cinema, theatre or disco, dance hall or night club
  • commercial kitchen
  • slaughter house, butchery or prepare meat for sale
  • fairground, amusement arcade or premises with game and gambling machines
  • collect or sort refuse
  • work more than three metres off the ground or with harmful chemicals
  • work where there is access to adult material unsuitable for children
  • be responsible for the personal needs of residents in care or nursing homes
  • sell or deliver alcohol (except in sealed containers)
  • deliver milk or fuel oils
  • collect money, sell or canvas door to door or by telephone.

Working hours for a child of 13 years and older

Term-time rules

No child can work during school hours or work more than 12 hours in any one week during term time.

This includes:

  • a maximum of two hours on school days and Sundays
  • a maximum of five hours on Saturdays for 13 to 14 year-olds
  • a maximum of eight hours for 15 to 16 year-olds.

School holiday rules

This includes:

  • a maximum of five hours on weekdays and Saturdays
  • a maximum of two hours on Sundays.

During school holidays 15 to 16 year olds can work a maximum of 35 hours a week. This includes:

  • a maximum of eight hours on weekdays and Saturdays
  • a maximum of two hours on Sundays.

General rules

  • a child cannot work before 7am or after 7pm on any day.
  • a child cannot work for more than four hours without taking a break of at least one hour.
  • a child must have two consecutive work-free weeks each year to be taken during the school holidays.

Work permits for a child of 13 years and older

The employer must notify the local authority within a week of a child starting work by completing an application form. The employer must have the parent's consent and their agreement that their child is fit to do part-time work.

Can a work permit be withdrawn?

A work permit can be taken away if:

  • the work a child is doing is illegal, or
  • we believe that the child's health, wellbeing or education is suffering.

For further information please email: cayaewscee@derbyshire.gov.uk or tel: 01629 538139.

Related documents

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