Licence - child employment

Apply for a work permit for a child; find out about child performance and entertainment licences, employment regulations, and chaperones.

Children in employment

Children aged between 13 and 16, while they are still of compulsory school age, can legally work. A child whose 16th birthday occurs between 1st September and 31st August (both dates inclusive) is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June. Employers can be prosecuted for employing children illegally.

Only certain types of work and certain hours of work are allowed. Employers must obtain a work permit for school age employees.

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.

For children under 13 all paid work is prohibited except performance work such as theatre, music performance, television or modelling. This is dealt with separately - see the section on entertainment licences below.

For children aged between 13 and 16, the following rules apply. More information is available at the national network for children in employment and entertainment (NNCEE).

When will the work take place?

13-14

15-16

On a school day
  • not more than 2 hours a day between 7am and 7pm;
  • either one hour before school and one hour after school or two hours after school and before 7pm;
  • maximum of 12 hours per week
  • not more than 2 hours a day;
  • either one hour before school and one hour after school;
  • maximum of 12 hours per week
On a Saturday
  • maximum 5 hours per day between 7am and 7pm;
  • at least 1 hour break after 4 hours continuous work
  • maximum of 8 hours per day between 7am and 7pm;
  • at least 1 hour break after 4 hours continuous work
On a Sunday
  • maximum 2 hours
  • maximum 2 hours
During the school holidays
  • maximum 5 hours per day between 7am and 7pm;
  • at least 1 hour break after 4 hours continuous work;
  • may not exceed 25 hours per week;
  • there must be 2 consecutive weeks of holiday each year
  • maximum of 8 hours per day between 7am and 7pm;
  • at least 1 hour break after 4 hours continuous work;
  • may not exceed 35 hours per week;
  • there must be 2 consecutive weeks of holiday each year

The employment of young people is subject to a number of Acts & Regulations, in particular:

  • Children and Young Persons Act 1933 to 1968
  • Employment of Children Act 1973
  • Education Act 1944 to 1996
  • Children Act 1989
  • Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1988
  • North Yorkshire County Council Employment of Children Byelaws 1998

Depending on a young person’s age, the type of work and the hours of work which they may undertake are limited. They will need to apply for a work permit and the type of work will need to be approved.

Examples of work usually approved Examples of work never approved (this is not an exhaustive list)
  • Newspaper delivery
  • Shop work
  • Office work
  • Restaurant/cafe work (not involving cooking)
  • Work in commercial kitchens
  • Work in amusement arcades
  • Cooking food
  • Delivering milk
  • Working in a cinema, theatre or club

 

Our safeguarding unit will consider issuing a work permit on receipt of the application form which has been signed by both the employer and the parent.

Permits are available free of charge.

We must be satisfied that the young person’s health, welfare and ability to take full advantage of their education would not be jeopardised by undertaking such work. The employer is required to complete a risk assessment and share this information with the parent/guardian. On receipt of a request for a work permit, an application form for this purpose is sent either directly to the employer or via the young person to the employer.

  • We suggest that section 2 is completed first by the employer, as this will confirm the hours and days of work.
  • The parent then should fill in section 1 and sign it, in agreement with the information on the form.

We retain the right to insist in certain circumstances that a child has a medical examination to prove he/she is fit for work.

A work permit will be issued to the young person if the application is approved, and is valid for 12 months. The permit will contain the following information:

  • the name, date of birth of the young person;
  • the hours of employment including breaks;
  • the nature of the employment;
  • the place of employment; and
  • the place of education.

The permit must be produced for inspection when required by an authorised inspection officer. The headteacher of the child’s school will be advised when a work permit has been issued.

Children in entertainment

Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 and the  Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 (pdf / 100 KB), 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.

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.

Here are some common examples:

The situation Is a license required?
The performance is arranged by a school No
There is no payment to be made to the child, or any other person in respect of the child, other than expenses No
The child has performed on more than three days in the last six months (the "four day rule") Yes
The child has performed on three or fewer days in the last six months No
The performance requires the child to be absent from school Yes - a letter authorising leave must be obtained from the child's school and submitted with the application
The child does not need to miss any school No

Licences are free if you apply at least ten full working days before the performance.

However, licences can be fast-tracked at a cost of £40 if the application form is received at least three full working days before the performance. The application form must be received fully complete, with required documents included and payment must be made immediately by credit card over the telephone.

To ensure our children are safeguarded and all checks are carried out appropriately, we are unable to process licences which reach us with less than three full working days notice.

The following regulations apply according to the child's age. More information is available at the national network for children in employment and entertainment (NNCEE).

Restriction Age 0-4 Age 5-8 Age 9 and over
Maximum number of hours at place of performance or rehearsal (reg. 22) 5 hours 8 hours 9.5 hours
Earliest and latest permitted times at place of performance or rehearsal (reg. 21) 7am to 10pm 7am to 11pm 7am to 11pm
Maximum period of continuous performance or rehearsal 30 minutes 2.5 hours 2.5 hours
Maximum total hours of performance or rehearsal 2 hours 3 hours 5 hours
Minimum intervals for meals and rest (reg. 23)

Breaks must be a minimum of 15 minutes.

If at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours, breaks must include at least one 45 minute meal break.

If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours but less than 8 hours, they must have one meal break of 45 minutes and at least one break of 15 minutes.

If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for 8 hours or more, they must have the breaks stated above plus another break of 15 minutes.

If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours but less than 8 hours, they must have one meal break of 45 minutes and at least one break of 15 minutes.

If present at the place of performance or rehearsal for 8 hours or more, they must have the breaks stated above plus another break of 15 minutes.

Education (reg. 13) n/a 3 hours per day (maximum of 5 hours per day). 15 hours per week, taught only on school days. Minimum of 6 hours in a week if aggregating over 4 week period or less. 3 hours per day (maximum of 5 hours per day). 15 hours per week, taught only on school days. Minimum of 6 hours in a week if aggregating over 4 week period or less.
Minimum break between performances (reg. 23) 1 hr 30 minutes 1 hr 30 minutes 1 hr 30 minutes
Maximum consecutive days to take part in perforemance or rehearsal (reg. 26) 6 days 6 days 6 days

Note: Regulation 5 allows the licensing authority to further restrict these permitted hours, breaks etc. and place additional conditions on the licence if this would be in the best interests of the individual child.

 

 

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.

It is typically used by organisations such as local dramatics groups, or choirs or orchestras. The body of persons approval lasts for a year, and if you hold several performances in that time you do not need to reapply, although you do need to notify us of all performances and children involved.

You can read  detailed guidelines on the body of persons approval (pdf / 554 KB) here. 

Apply for a performance licence

If you are ready to apply for a performance licence please  complete the performance licence application form (pdf / 402 KB)

If you are an organisation licensing many children at once please complete a  body of persons approval application form (pdf / 474 KB).

Performance licences will only be granted if we are satisfied that all relevant conditions are met as in the guidelines on this page, and that all applicable information has been provided.

If you have any questions you can telephone 01609 536916 or email childlicensing@northyorks.gov.uk.


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 a licensed 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.

If you are interested in applying to become a chaperone, please contact the safeguarding administration team on 01609 536916 or email childlicensing@northyorks.gov.uk.

Useful downloads for chaperones