The City of Wolverhampton Council are adopting a policy of writing to the parent/guardian of all 13 year old children informing them of legislation concerning Child Employment and what they need to know should their child wish to take on part-time work while still at school. The Law is there to prevent accidents and ensure that children are safe and able to benefit fully from their education.
The law states that all children from the date of their 13th birthday are permitted to engage in ‘light-work’ such as; newspaper delivery or work in a shop, office or cafe.
However, there are restrictions on the amount of hours they are permitted to work and the types of work they are allowed to do. This applies even if the child is working for a parent/relative or the employment is paid or voluntary. The amount of permitted hours remains the same until the child reaches their 15th birthday. Though the types of work remain the same until the child leaves school (Compulsory Education – last Friday of June in Year 11).
Once the child has found work, the employer must apply for a work Permit (EC1) from the Child Employment Officer at the Council. The form states the type of and hours a child will work. This form must be countersigned by the parent/guardian before returning to the Council.
Permits are free of charge, are never refused providing the types of work and hours are safe and legal and will not interfere with the child’s eduation.
- The permit only applies to a particular job, if a child changes employer or type of work; they must apply for a new permit.
- A permit can be revoked by the Child Employment Officer if it is believed that the type of work differs from what was stated on the application form or the work is interfereing with the child’s school work or punctual attendance.
- If a child is working without a permit, they are working illegally, not only does it mean that should an accident happen it is extremely unlikely they will be covered by any insurance but also the employer could be prosecuted in a Court of Law.
More information can be found by visiting the City of Wolverhampton Council websites, e-mailing the Child Employment Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning the Child Employment Officer on (01902) 555233.
Child Employment Officer
Frequently Asked Questions
The children and Young Persons Act 1933 s.18 (as amended by the Education Act 1996)
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.
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.
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.
Yes, see the leaflet entitled ‘At school and looking for part-time work’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Child Employment Officer
Priory Green Building,
Tel: 01902 555233
You can read more in the information booklet provided by Wolverhampton Council in the link below.