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www.cardiff.gov.uk

Children in Employment

The employment of children is covered by strict rules and regulations which protect children from any harm or being exploited and to make sure the child’s health and education does not suffer.


The Local Authority is the agency who are responsible for overseeing children who have a part time job and prosecuting any employer who breaks the law.  In Cardiff this falls to the Social Services, Safeguarding and Review Team, Education Safeguarding Officers.


A child must have attained his/her 13th birthday before an application for a work permit can be made.


The legislation applies to all children (including the children of the employer) who are under compulsory school age.  (the last Friday in June in the school year in which they have their 16th birthday).  Receipt of a National Insurance Number and Card is not a sign that a child can get a full time job and/or leave school).


Employers Responsibilities


Every child of school age who has a part time job working for an employer whether they are paid or undertaking voluntary work must be registered with the Local Authority and have a work permit.  It is the employers’ responsibility to apply for a work permit in order to employ the child.


If you, as an employer want children to work for you then you must take into account the rules and regulations which control how many hours the child may work, what type of work the child can do and the type of premises the child will be working in. 


The employer must carry out a specific Young Person’s Risk Assessment of any hazards relating to the child employment and inform the parent/guardian of the outcome of the assessment. The employer must also make sure that proper clothing and footwear are worn and that proper training, guidance and supervision is given to the child, together with having appropriate insurance cover.


Within 7 days of the child starting work the employer must complete a Child Employment application form which must be signed by the employer and the child’s parent/guardian. This application gives details of the child, hours of work, place of work and the type of work to be undertaken.


There is nowhere in the legislation which states how much a school aged child must be paid, this is left for negotiations between the employer, child and parent/guardian, however, no payment at all or payment in kind (e.g. free riding lessons or free lunch or goods) is still regarded as being employed. 


Any employer who is thinking of employing a child and has not done so previously is advised to contact the Education Safeguarding Officer of Social Services Safeguarding and Review Team for advice.


Employers should take note of the following:


  • It is illegal to employ a child under 13 years of age.

  • It is illegal to employ a child without having obtained a Child Employment Permit.

  • Children can only be employed in specific types of work (see below)

  • No child can work at any time between 7pm and 7am (Monday to Saturday)

  • No child can work more than 2 hours on a school day.

  • No child can work for more 2 hours on a Sunday between the hours of 7am and 11am.

  • No child can work more than 12 hours during any week they are required to attend school.

  • A child aged 13 or 14 years can work up to 5 hours on a Saturday or school holiday, and can work up to a maximum of 25 hours a week during school holidays.

  • A child aged 15 or 16 years can work up to 8 hours on a Saturday or school holiday, and can work up to a maximum of 35 hours a week during school holidays.

  • A child who works for 4 hours must have a break of at least 1 hour. 

  • A child must have at least 2 weeks’ consecutive holiday per year


The above are only some of the rules and regulations surrounding child employment and you, as an employer, are responsible for ensuring that you are fully aware of the Child Employment Legislation and that any child in you employ is employed legally.


Prohibited Employment for Children


No child of any age may be employed:


  • in a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or night club, except in connection with a performance given entirely by children.

  • 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 meters above ground/ floor level.

  • in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents. 

  • to collect money 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 purpose of public amusement by means of automatic machines, games or chance or skill or similar device.

  • in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home. 


This does not prevent children taking part in a performance under the provisions of a licence granted in accordance with the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 and The Children (Performances and Activities) (Wales) Regulations 2015.


Permitted employment of children aged 14 or over

A child aged 14 or over may be employed only in light work


Permitted employment of children aged 13 

A child aged 13 may be employed only in light work in the following categories:


  • agricultural or horticultural work

  • delivery of newspapers, journals and other printed material 

  • shop work, including shelf stacking 

  • 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


If you wish to apply for a work permit for a child, please download the application form complete and return it along with a recent passport sized photo of the child.


Employment of Children Work Permit Application Form (57kb PDF)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window


Information can also be found on the following website:



For further information please contact the Education Safeguarding Officer​

​​

Education Safeguarding Officer

Safeguarding and Review Team 

Room 342 County Hall 

Cardiff 

CF10 4UW​


029 2233 0876

​​