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Council Services:

Child Employment

Children of compulsory school age may only work if they are over 13 years of age and have a work permit issued by the Local Authority and can only work full time once they have officially left school (last Friday in June in Year 11).

It is the responsibility of the employer to register all school age children working for them, and to carry out a risk assessment.

As well as employment in its normal meaning, the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 states that a person who assists in a trade or occupation carried on for profit is considered as employed even though he or she may receive no payment.

So the rules in the Children and Young Persons Act will apply where, for example, children help their parents in a shop without receiving any payment. The actual words used in the Act are a "person who assists in a trade or occupation carried on for profit".

In today's circumstances the Local Authority considers that any occupation where the aim is to make a surplus would be considered as a trade or occupation carried on for profit so, in Lincolnshire County Council's view, unpaid work at a charity shop would count as employment, but not, for example, unpaid work at a youth club.

The 'LCC A guide to Child Employment' document available to download from this page explains the rules and regulations in place for child employment and how to apply for a work permit.

To register a child for employment, please complete the 'Child Employment Permit Application Form' available to download from this page and return it to the Child Employment Team.

Frequently Asked Questions

My son/daughter is going to work for the family business during school holidays. Do they need a work permit?

If business is carried out for profit, yes. Work permits are not required for babysitting, whether paid or unpaid. If helping at home, no work permit is required, unless 'home' is a guesthouse, for instance. However, working as a shop assistant or office work, for instance, does require a permit.

Can my child work in the kitchen, for example, in a residential home or hotel?

Only if they are in a separate annex away from the cooking area- they must not access the cooking area at any time. For advice, contact the Child Employment Team.

My son has been offered a job. He is 16 and has got his National Insurance number so I presume he doesn't need a work permit. Is that right?

He still needs a permit if he is statutory school age and he will need it until the last Friday in June, which is the school leaving date. Once he has left school, he doesn't need one, even if he is going on to sixth form or college and will be over statutory school age.

I have had a copy of the byelaws and note that work in a commercial kitchen is prohibited. My daughter worked in a hotel kitchen for her work experience, arranged by the school. How does this work?

Work Experience regulations differ from child employment. Arrangements are made between the school and employer for a limited period and appropriate risk assessments and checks are carried out to ensure the health and safety of the young person during their work experience period.

Is there a minimum wage for school age children who work?

The minimum wage comes into force only once the child reaches the school leaving age (last Friday in June of the school year they turn 16. Otherwise, it is an arrangement agreed between the employer and family. For further information visit the national minimum wage rates web pages.

Must a young person have a work permit before starting work?

No, however it is required that the employer sends an application form within seven days of employing the child.

Hours children can work

WhenMaximum hours/day
for ages 13/14
Maximum hours/day
for ages 15/16
Weekdays2 hours2 hours7-8.30am
   Close of school-7pm
Saturdays5 hours8 hours7am-7pm
Sundays2 hours2 hours7am-7pm
School Holidays5 hours8 hours7am-7pm



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Last updated: 4 August 2017

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