Work permit for children

No child under 13 years of age is permitted to work.

Anyone wishing to employ a young person who is over 13 but still of legal school age must apply for a work permit during the first week of the child's employment.

It is an offence either to employ a young person without a work permit, or to infringe any of the employment by-laws. Checks may be made at any time without notice to ensure that young people with jobs are employed within the Child Employment Regulations and action can be taken against anyone found to be in contravention of these.

Permits are issued in order to ensure the suitability of the workplace and proposed hours of work, and are specific to the individual job.

Permitted hours

Young people may not work before 7am or after 7pm on any day.

Term Time

Maximum 12 hours in any 7 day week

Maximum 2 hours on ANY school day comprising either:

  • 1 hour after 7am and beginning of school day plus 1 hour after the end of the school day and before 7pm.
  • 2 hours after the end of the school day and before 7pm.

Weekends

13 and 14 years: Saturday maximum 5 hours (1 hour break after 4 hours continuous work). Sunday maximum 2 hours

15 and 16 years: Saturday maximum 8 hours (1 hour break after 4 hours continuous work). Sunday maximum 2 hours

Holidays

13 and 14 years: Maximum 25 hours per 7 day week (5 hours in any one day). Sunday maximum 2 hours

15 and 16 years: Maximum 35 hours per 7 day week (8 hours in any one day). Sunday maximum 2 hours

Making an application

Download an application form.

The application for a permit is made to the Local Authority in which the child will be working

The employer is then issued with a licence and the employee is provided with a permit card which they must carry with them at all times while working.

Please see below for Wandsworth's work permit application form. This form has three sections to be filled out by the prospective employer, the child's parent and their school. We also require that you attach a recent passport photograph.

Issues with employment

If at any time a young person's school feel that their employment is having a negative impact on the young person's education they should inform the Education Welfare Service and we will consider whether the permit should be revoked.

Anyone who knows of a child under 13 who is working, a child working without a permit or a child working in unsuitable conditions should immediately report this to the Education Welfare Service at the number below.

Contact

Child Employment
Education Welfare Service
Wandsworth Town Hall
Wandsworth High Street
London
SW18 2PU

Telephone: 0208 871 8306

More information

Visit the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE) website.

DirectGov: Child employment