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Child employment rights

Find out when children of school age can legally work and the type of work they can do. Children can only work if they have a valid work permit. Employers are responsible for applying for a child’s work permit.

Apply for a child work permit

Employers are responsible for making sure any child of ‘compulsory’ school age that they employ has a valid work permit or ‘employment card’.

Children are of ‘compulsory’ school age until the last Friday in June in the academic year in which they become 16.

Employers can get a child work permit by completing the Work Permit Application Form (190kb)

They must make sure the:

  • parents (or guardian) of the child they’re employing signs the application form
  • child’s school signs the form, so they’re aware of the child’s employment

Completed application forms should be sent to:

Child Performance and Employment Team
Children and Family Services
County Hall

The work permit is only valid for a specific job with the stated employer. If the child changes job or gets a new job with a new employer, they will need a new work permit.

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