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Child employment

UK legislation states that children under the age of 13 are not permitted to be employed in any capacity by any person, including their parents or relatives.

See more information about child employment on GOV.UK.

Types of work

Children who are 13 cannot be employed except for in light work in:

  • agriculture or horticulture
  • cafés or restaurants
  • car washing by hand in a private residential setting
  • domestic work in hotels and other places offering accommodation
  • hairdressing salons
  • newspaper delivery
  • offices
  • shops
  • riding stables

Children who are 14 can be employed in light work in the occupations listed above, as well as others which may be subject to byelaws.

Hours of work for 13 and 14 year olds

Children who are 13 and 14 years old can work at the following times.

Weekdays - Monday to Friday

On school days they can work for no more than 2 hours in one day:

  • in the morning from 7am until half an hour before school starts
  • in the evening from the close of school until 7pm

During school holidays they can work for up to 5 hours in one day between 7am and 7pm.

Weekends

On Saturdays they can work for up to 5 hours between 7am and 7pm.

On Sundays they can work for up to 2 hours between 7am and 7pm.

Total hours allowed each week

During the school term no more that 12 hours per week.

During school holidays no more than 25 hours per week.

Hours of work for 15 and 16 year olds

Children who are 15 and 16 years old can work at the following times.

Weekdays - Monday to Friday

On school days they can work for no more than 2 hours in one day:

  • in the morning from 7am until half an hour before school starts
  • in the evening from the close of school until 7pm

During school holidays they can work for up to 5 hours in one day between 7am and 7pm.

Weekends

On Saturdays they can work for up to 8 hours between 7am and 7pm.

On Sundays they can work for up to 2 hours between 7am and 7pm.

Total hours allowed each week

During the school term no more that 12 hours per week.

During school holidays no more than 35 hours per week.

Compulsory school age

A young person reaches the end of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June in the school year during which they become 16 (Year 11).

You do not need a work permit after the school leaving date.

How to apply to employ young people

The employer must obtain a young persons employment card/work permit.

The restrictions and the need for a permit apply until a young person reaches the end of compulsory school age. A young person is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they reach the age of 16. This has not changed following the introduction of the participation age, which requires young people to remain in education, training or employment until they reach 18.

Permits are issued by the local authority in which the employment is to take place, which may differ from the authority in which the child lives. To apply for a permit to employ a young person in Bracknell Forest, an application form should be completed and submitted to the Child Employment Officer within the first week of employment.

Further information on child employment can be found in our guide to child employment and on the National Network for Children in Employment & Entertainment website.

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Contact information

Display Name Child Employment Office

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