Child employment and performance licences

Child employment

Having a part-time or holiday job can be a good experience for children, giving them experience of work and extra pocket money.

However, there are national laws and local bye-laws in place which regulate the type of work children can do and the hours they can work so that they are working safely and their education doesn’t suffer.

We produce an advice leaflet that explains the regulations in more detail. 

Children and young people in employment [PDF 480KB]

The main points of this are

Children of compulsory school age may only work if they:

  • Are over 13 years of age
  • Have a work permit issued by the local authority
  • Have suitable clothes and shoes if working outdoors
  • Are employed in ‘light work’

Permitted employment 

Children aged 13 years may only be employed in light work in specified occupations, some of which are listed below. 

For a complete list, refer to the employment bye-laws.

  • Delivery of newspapers
  • Shop work – including shelf-stacking
  • Domestic work in hotels
  • Cafe or restaurant 
  • Office work

A work permit is required whether or not a child is being paid for the work and even if they are working for a family business. 

To obtain a work permit, a completed application form should be sent to the child employment team together with a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

The application form should be completed by both the parent/carer of the child and the employer. 

It is important that the employer carries out a risk assessment and discusses this with the child and parent.

Employment of a child application form [PDF 439KB]

There is no charge for the issue of work permits. The permit will be issued in the name as it appears on the birth certificate unless a deed poll document is sent in with the application form.

As a general rule a child must have good school attendance and punctuality. Each child's attendance is considered before a permit is issued.

A child does not need a work permit for work experience arranged by their school.

If the employer with whom the child undertakes the work experience decides to employ the child part time after the work experience has finished, then a permit will be required.

Child performance/activities licence

Legislation and guidance

The child performance and activities licensing legislation sets out the arrangements that must be made to safeguard children when they take part in certain types of performances, paid sport or paid modelling and what the law requires of people responsible for putting on these performances and activities.

Streamlined and simplified regulations, the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 came into force on 6 February 2015.

The Department for Education has produced an advice document which you should read alongside these Regulations. 

A guidance document which includes examples of best practice has been developed from the experience of many different sectors involved in the industry. This document together with other useful information in respect of child employment and entertainment can be found on the NNCEE website.

Applying for a licence/exemption

Every child from birth to compulsory school leaving age, who is taking part in a performance or activity, which falls under the remit of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 Section 37(3)(a) must have a licence or exemption issued by their Local Authority.

The person responsible for the production of the performance or organisation of the activity will make the application for the licence or activity. The completed application should be submitted to the local authority in whose area the child resides, together with supporting documentation as outlined in the application form.

Application for a licence [PDF 396KB]

If reasonable steps have been taken by the responsible person to ensure that the child's performance benefits from the exemption under the '4 day rule,' then a non-licensed notification should be completed and sent to the local authority in whose area the child resides.

Non licence performance notice [PDF 203KB]

The licence holder is responsible for keeping records of each child's performance and these records must be kept for six months after the performance.

The licence holder may be asked to produce these records to the local authority during or after an inspection. A daily record sheet is useful to record this information.

Before issuing a licence, the licensing authority must be satisfied with the arrangements for the supervision and welfare of the child, and that disruption to the child's education is kept to a minimum.

The licence holder is responsible, throughout the period covered by the licence, for ensuring that the child is in the charge of a responsible adult.

This person is known in law as a chaperone. The child must be supervised at all times by a chaperone that has been approved by their local authority, unless they are under the direct supervision of their parent or legal guardian.

Chaperone service

If you are a Blackpool resident and wish to apply to become an approved chaperone, you should contact the child employment team. An application pack will be sent to you with instructions on what you need to do to apply.

Before contacting us we recommend that you read our guidance for chaperones,which will explain the role of the chaperone and our approval process.


Child employment team

PO Box 4, Town Hall, Municipal Buildings, Blackpool, FY1 1NA
Telephone 01253 476578