Licence - child employment

Children can work on a part-time basis but there are limits depending on age, the hours work; and the type of employment.

The law allows a young person to be employed from the age of 14, but local authorities can permit a young person to be employed from 13. The law specifies the permitted hours and types of employment and makes it essential for employers to obtain a work permit for school age employees. It includes the rights of the employee and the responsibilities of the employer.

Children working without a permit may not be covered by any form of insurance, regardless of the policies that the employer has in force. Employers who breach this legislation can face fines of up to £1,000. Read the  management of health and safety at work regulations (pdf / 2 MB) document for more information.

Read the  child employment leaflet (pdf / 101 KB) and  child employment guidelines (pdf / 46 KB) for more information, or to apply for a work permit,  complete the employment permit application form (docx / 138 KB).

Children in entertainment

Licensing of children in entertainment

Our policy regarding the issuing of performance licences has recently been under review. An enhanced scheme has been agreed, part of which allows us to turn around performance licence applications which reach us with between three and nine working days notice.

To implement the scheme there will be a cost to the applicant or company of £40 per licence to enable us to increase our capacity to achieve this. The application form must be received fully complete, with required documents included and a commitment to payment agreed. Applications that reach us with ten days notice will continue to be processed free of charge.

To ensure our children are safeguarded and all checks are carried out appropriately, we continue to be unable to process licences which reach us with less than three working days notice and with no less than four working days notice if chaperone and accommodation checks are required to be carried out.

For further information please contact Ursula Hugill on 01609 536916 or email

From 6 February 2015 legislation surrounding children in entertainment changed. The  Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 (pdf / 100 KB) is now in force and the previous regulations (the Children (Performances) Regulations 1968) are now obsolete.

Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014, we are responsible for the licensing of all young people who are of 'compulsory school age' and under (even babies), who appear in performances either on the stage or television, take part in certain sporting activities, or who work as models.

This licensing requirement does not apply to performances given under arrangements made by a school or when each of the following statements can be applied:

  • there is no payment to be made to the child, or any other person, other than expenses;
  • the child has not performed on more than three days in the last six months (the "four day rule"); and
  • the performance does not require the child to be absent from school.

To apply for a performance licence please  complete this application form (pdf / 402 KB). If a child requires time off school to take part in a performance, a letter authorising this leave must be obtained from the child's school and submitted with the application. Read some  examples of best practice in relation to child licensing in England (pdf / 426 KB).

Performance licences will only be granted if we are satisfied that all  relevant conditions (pdf / 31 KB) are met and that all  applicable information (pdf / 310 KB) has been provided. All fully completed application forms should be received at least 21 days prior to the first performance.

Body of persons approval

The Children and Young Persons Act 1963 S37(3)(b) gives a local authority the power to issue an exemption licence to a body of persons to enable an organisation to engage children in public performance without the need for separate performance licences to be issued. This is subject to certain criteria being met, and if granted, is known as a  body of persons approval (pdf / 64 KB).

To apply, complete a  body of persons approval application form (pdf / 55 KB).

We will carry out periodic inspections of performances taking place within North Yorkshire to ensure that the restrictions and conditions laid down in the regulations are being strictly adhered to.

Licensing of chaperones

When a child is required to be licensed by the local authority to take part in a performance, whether it is TV, filming, theatre or modelling, the child must be supervised at all times either by their parent/legal guardian or by an approved chaperone.

Grandparents or other family members are not legal guardians unless they have been appointed as such by the courts.

Chaperones act in the place of a parent by exercising the care which a good parent might reasonably be expected to give that child. Their first priority is always to the child and they must take action to prevent the child performing if it would be detrimental to the child's health, wellbeing and/or education.

Chaperones must complete a  daily record sheet (pdf / 256 KB) for each child performing. A chaperone must also complete and return a  chaperone referral sheet (pdf / 177 KB) should they have any concerns whilst chaperoning a child.

If you are interested in applying to become a chaperone, please contact the safeguarding administration team on 01609 536916 or email