Child employment

From the age of 13 children are allowed to work part time in certain types of work, such as newspaper delivery or shop work. Children do not need a National Insurance number to work part time as they are not taxed, but they must have a work permit to make the work legal.

Children are considered to be employed if they help in any business that operates for profit, whether they are paid or not. There are jobs children are not allowed to do such, as collect money, serve alcohol or cooking.

Children are not allowed to work before 7am or after 7pm. There are also a limited number of hours a child can work per week.

Permitted working hours

Working hours vary depending on age and whether the employment is during term time or school holidays.  Night work is not allowed.

School term time

A child can work for no more than 12 hours per week. and can work a maximum of two hours on a school day in either of the following ways -

  • one hour starting no earlier than 7am before the start of school and a maximum of one hour between the end of school and 7pm 
  • a maximum of two hours between the end of the school day and 7pm
School holidays

A child under 15 years may work a maximum of five hours per day and no more than 25 hours per week

A child over 15 years may work a maximum of eight hours per day and no more than 35 hours per week

Where a child works for more than four hours, there must be a break of at least one hour at the end of the fourth hour

Saturdays

A child under 15 years may work a maximum of five hours per day

A child over 15 years may work a maximum of eight hours

Sundays A maximum two hours work

The employer is responsible for the health and safety of the child whilst at work and must -

  • carry out a health and safety risk assessment before the child starts work
  • notify parents that appropriate checks have been done
  • make sure that the child has their permit whilst working