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Having a part-time or holiday job can be a good experience for children. 

It gives them experience of work and extra pocket money as well as encouraging independence and money management.

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. 

This is so that they are working safely and their education doesn't suffer. The employer has a legal responsibility to ensure that they have registered any children in their employment with the local authority, and been issued with a child work permit (certificate) for each child. If a child is working without a permit, the employer commits an offence, and the child may not be covered by the employer's insurance.

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

It is also important to note that that the child receiving their National Insurance number does not mean that they do not need a permit.

The main points are that 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, including protective clothing where necessary
  • Are employed in 'light work'
  • Are working within the regulated hours and proper rest breaks are adhered to

Permitted employment

Children aged 13 years may only be employed in light work in certain occupations.  Examples are below:

  • Delivery of newspapers
  • Shop work - including shelf stacking
  • Hair salon
  • Domestic work in hotels
  • Café or restaurant
  • Office work

Prohibited employment

There are some jobs that children are not allowed to do, including:

  • Operating machinery
  • Preparing meat for sale
  • Industrial work or any work in any part of a factory
  • Work in a commercial kitchen
  • Working with donkeys
  • Dealing with chemicals
  • Collecting money or sell or canvass door to door
  • Collecting or sorting refuse

For a complete list of jobs children can and cannot do refer to the Blackpool child employment byelaws.

The hours children can work

  • Children cannot work
    • Before 7.00am or after 7.00pm
    • Without a rest break of one hour after four hours work
    • For more than 12 hours in any week that they are required to attend school
    • For more than 2 hours on any Sunday
  • On school days - a maximum of 2 hours - either an hour before school and an hour after school, or alternatively 2 hours after school
  • On Saturdays and school holidays (not Sundays) - no more than 8 hours per day for children aged 15/16 years. No more than 5 hours per day for children aged 13/14 years.
  • In any week during school holidays - 35 hours per week for children aged 15/16 years. No more than 25 hours for children aged 13/14 years.

Work permit (Child Employment Certificate)

When the child is offered a part-time job, the employer must apply for a child work permit to the local authority where the employment is to take place. The application form should be completed by the employer and the child's parent/carer and submitted to the local authority child employment team with a copy of the child's birth certificate.

The child needs a permit until they reach compulsory school leaving age, which is the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they turn 16 years. 

The employer must have appropriate employers liability insurance and must carry out a young person's risk assessment and discuss this with the child and their parent.  Advice on risk assessments may be obtained from the HSE or by contacting the child employment team.

There is no fee for the issue of permits.It will be issued in the name as it appears on the birth certificate or deed poll document.

Work experience

A child does not need a work permit for work experience arranged by their school. However if the employer wishes to employ the child after the work experience has ended, the child will need a work permit.

To apply for a child employment application form, please email

Useful links

Child employment team

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