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Child employment permit

Apply for a permit to employ children who are aged between 13 and 16 years old.


Children aged 13 to 16 years can hold part-time paid or unpaid jobs as long as the type of job is suitable, and their employer has a work permit for them.

Children working for their parents must also have a permit. 

To issue a permit we must be satisfied that the young person’s health, welfare and education will not be harmed by them working. How many hours a day and week a child can work will depend upon their age. 

Every employer must ensure that children employed by them are protected at work from any risks to their health or safety that may arise because of their lack of experience, absence, awareness of potential risks, or the fact that they have not fully matured. 

A child under 18 years can’t be employed for work which: 

  • is beyond their physical or psychological capacity
  • involves harmful exposure to toxic or radioactive substances
  • involves a risk which can’t be recognised or avoided because of their lack of attention to safety or lack of experience or training 
  • there is a risk to health from extreme cold, heat, noise or vibration. 


Application is free and employers must apply for a work permit for a child within one week of employing them by completing the form under ‘Useful documents’ below.

The form must be completed by the child's employer, headteacher or head of year and the parent or guardian. 

All three sections need to be completed before the application can be processed. 

Please email the completed form to or send it to Children in employment, Pupil services, 222 Upper Street, London, N1 1XR.  

We will issue a permit if we are satisfied that the proposed employment is lawful, and that it won’t harm the health, safety, welfare or education of the child you wish to employ. 

After you apply

Once the permit has been issued, the employer must only employ the child in accordance with the permit.   

We can revoke the permit if we think that the child is carrying out illegal tasks, or we believe the child’s health, welfare or education is likely to suffer. 

We may also visit the child’s place of work to check on health and safety, and to ensure that the terms of the work permit are being met.

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