Child employment

The employment of children is governed by national legislation, which lays down the hours that may be worked, and local by-laws, which set out the types of work that can and cannot be done.

Applying for a child work permit

No child under the age of 13 can be employed.

Any child of statutory school age wishing to undertake employment of any form must have a Work Permit. A child ceases to be of statutory school age on the last Friday in June in the school year in which he/she reaches 16.

Employers are responsible for obtaining a work permit and should ensure that an application is completed within one week of employing the child and should include a copy of the child’s birth certificate along with the application.

Work permits are issued in connection with a particular company and are not transferable.

Download the Child employment work permit application form

Types of work

  • delivery of newspapers, journals and other printed material
  • agricultural or horticultural work
  • in shops, including shelf stacking
  • in hairdressing salons
  • office work
  • car washing by hand in a private residential setting
  • in a café or restaurant
  • in riding stables
  • domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation
  • in a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or nightclub, except in a performance given entirely by children or under a Child Performance licence
  • to sell or deliver alcohol, except in sealed containers
  • to deliver milk
  • to deliver fuel oils
  • in a commercial kitchen
  • to collect or sort refuse
  • in any work which is more than three metres above ground or floor level
  • in work involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • to collect money or to sell or canvass door to door, except under the supervision of an adult
  • in work involving exposure to adult material or in situations which are for this reason otherwise unsuitable for children
  • in telephone sales
  • in any slaughterhouse or in that part of any butcher's shop or other premises connected with the killing of livestock, butchery or the preparation of carcasses or meat for sale
  • as an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or in any other premises used for the purposes of public amusement by means of automatic machines, games of chance or skill or similar devices
  • in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home unless under the supervision of an adult

Permitted Hours of Work

Children may not work before 7am or after 7pm on any day. No child may work for more than 4 hours without a one-hour rest break.

Term Time: maximum of 12 hours per week as under:

  • Weekdays: maximum of 2 hours per day, one of which may be worked before school starts
  • Saturdays: maximum of 5 hours
  • Sundays: maximum of 2 hour

School Holidays: maximum of 25 hours per week subject to the following daily limits:

  • Weekdays and Saturdays: maximum of 5 hours per day
  • Sundays: maximum of 2 hours per day

Term Time: maximum of 12 hours per week as under:

  • Weekdays: maximum of 2 hours per day, one of which may be worked before school starts
  • Saturdays: maximum of 8 hours
  • Sundays: maximum of 2 hours

School Holidays: maximum of 35 hours per week subject to the following daily limits:

  • Weekdays and Saturdays: maximum of 8 hours per day
  • Sundays: maximum of 2 hours per day

For further information on child employment, please contact Childemployment@havering.gov.uk

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