There is new legislation with regard to the employment of youngsters. Please see below for updated documentation from Wolverhampton City Council along with a useful leaflet and a letter for year 8 parents.:
- What is the relevant legislation?
The children and Young Persons Act 1933 s.18
(as amended by the Education Act 1996)
- Are children permitted to work?
UK legislation dictates that children under the age of 13 years are not allowed to be employed in any capacity by any person/s and this also includes parents/guardians. Employment includes assistance in any trade or occupation which is carried out for profit, whether or not payment is received for assistance.
Once a child reaches 13 years of age to the end of their compulsory education, they are allowed to work part-time – but within certain constraints.
Children of compulsory school age are not allowed to work before 7.00am or after 7.00pm on any day. Once a child is over compulsory school age, registration for work and obtaining an employment permit under this particular legislation no longer applies, even if the child returns to school after this date – for ‘A’ levels, GNVQ etc.
A child ceases to be of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June in the academic year they are 16.
- Does the child need a permit to work?
During a child’s first week at work, it is the employer’s legal responsibility to submit a work permit application form in order to legally register the child’s employment with the local authority in whose area the employment takes place.
Note: Permission notes from school or parent are not acceptable forms of registration. Registration must take place through the Local Authority’s Child Employment Officer.
Hours and place of work, employer details, child details and in some cases additional requirements will all be listed on the work permit. Work Permits’ are specific to the child, the employer and the employment. The employer is required to carry out a risk assessment and supply the parent with a copy.
- How to apply for a work permit
Application forms are available from the Child Employment Officer, contact details below.
The employer completes the child’s details, hours of employment, type of work and signs the form. The employer passes the form to the child who asks their parent or guardian to sign the form. The form is then forwarded to the Child Employment Officer to process the application. If successful, the work permit is posted to the employer with a copy for parent/guardian.
- Are there any regulations on working hours and types of employment?
Yes, see the leaflet entitled ‘At school and looking for part-time work’
- Can a permit be refused?
A permit may be refused by the Local Authority if it considers that the employment is detrimental to the child’s educational needs, health or welfare. The child’s attendance rate at school is also a consideration.
- Can the work permit be used for more than one job?
If a child has more than one job (whether it is with the same employer, another employer or at a different place of employment) each job needs to be registered separately.
- What are the penalties for not having a work permit?
The employment of school-aged children without a work permit is an offence. An employer who employs a child of compulsory school age and/or a parent who knowingly permits their child to work without a work permit is in contravention of the child employment regulations. Legal action may be taken against them by the Local Authority in whose area the employment takes place. If convicted an employer may be fined up to £1,000 in respect of each breach of the Regulations.
- Work experience
The Employment of Children Regulations does not apply to children on school organised work experience placements. If the child is offered a job outside of the work experience placement, then they are bound by the Employment of Children Regulations and the employer must apply for a work permit.
- Who should be contacted if there are any queries about a child that is working?
If you believe a child may be working without a work permit, contact the Child Employment Officer and immediate enquiries will be made to find out if the child is working legally and has been issued with a work permit.