All children between the ages of 13 – 16 years can partake in work providing their employer has a valid employment permit. It is the responsibility of the employer to apply for one, and it must have been granted prior to the child starting work.
There are limitations on the type of work and number of hours that children can work, for example, a child may not work before 7am or after 7pm. There are other limits depending on the day of the week and whether it is term time or school holidays.
‘Employers should be aware that an inspection may be carried out at the child’s proposed place of work prior to the permit being granted’
‘It is the employer’s responsibility to keep the Service updated about any changes to the child’s working hours or days’
‘Once granted, the permit will be sent to the child’s address’
‘Please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the authorisation process for the permit may differ’
A work permit will only be issued subject to satisfactory school attendance. Information provided may be shared with other relevant parties (Data Protection Act 1998).
The Local Authority may at any time refuse or revoke a child's work permit if they believe that:
- a) The child's health, welfare or education is suffering or likely to suffer as a result of the employment;
- b) The child is being unlawfully employed
An employer and any person (other than the child) who employs or knowingly allows a child to be employed in contravention of any Regulations or Local Authority Byelaws are guilty of an offence and liable to prosecution.
All children who are of statutory school age or younger may require a licence to take part in events such as:
- Paid or professional sport
- Modelling shoots
- Music and dance festivals
- Theatre performances
- Films and television (including voice-over work)
A licence should be applied for at least 21 days before the event and it must be taken into account that each child should be supervised by a licenced chaperone if they are not with their parent, school teacher etc.
Licences are required if the child:
- Is going to be paid
- Will be performing for more than four days
- Will be absent from school
- Has performance for more than four days in the last six months
- Will be employed in sporting activities or modelling work
Apply to become a chaperone
Chaperones look after children who take part in performances for television, film or theatre or in other activities such as sports or modelling. Approved chaperones will have been through a vetting and barring process.
Children must be in the care of either their parent, legal guardian or an approved chaperone at all times. Grandparents, uncles, childminders etc. are not legal guardians unless they are recognised as such by the courts and will need to be approved in order to be the chaperone. Parents, unless they are an approved chaperone, can't be responsible for children other than their own.
Your duties as a chaperone
Your sole concern must be to protect the health, safety, moral welfare and education of each child in your care and make sure they are treated kindly.
You must be familiar with all the rules and regulations around child protection to keep the children in your care safe.
You must stay with the children you are supervising at all times. When they are performing you don’t need to be by their side, but you must always be able to see them.