Did you know that April is Child Employment Month? This national awareness month highlights the law with regards to children of compulsory school age working part-time, and makes sure young workers are protected, treated fairly and aware of their rights.
Children and young people can be employed in part-time work from the age of 13 to the end of compulsory school leavers age, which is the last Friday in June of Year 11.
In order to work, a young person must have a work permit and it is the legal responsibility of the employer to apply for one. It is illegal for a young person to work without one, and an employer can be prosecuted, fined and have their insurance invalidated if they employ a child without one. The permits are free and easy to apply for online. Visit our child employment webpage for information and how to apply online.
Work including babysitting, odd jobs for neighbours or refereeing do not require a work permit. Jobs relating to acting, performing, or modelling require a Child Performance License.
There are many benefits to young people working part-time, including gaining work experience, acquiring social skills, time keeping and responsibility. Earning money can also be another benefit, although they don’t have to be paid to be employed and voluntary work may still require a work permit.
If your child is thinking of applying for a part-time job, there are very strict laws on hours of work and the types of jobs they can do. During term time, a young person must not work more than 12 hours a week. During school holidays a 13 to 14 year old must not exceed 25 hours per week, and a 15 to 16 year old must not exceed 35 hours per week.
They are only permitted to work a maximum of 2 hours on a Sunday, and never before 7am or after 7pm for all ages, all year round.
A young person should not undertake a part-time job if it is harmful to their health, wellbeing or education. They are only allowed to do ‘light work’ and there are several industries young people are not permitted to work in, for example construction, in a commercial kitchen, in a garage or as a mechanic. Be sure to follow the guidance to guarantee the safety of your child.