Children can work part time from the age of 13, however there are legal restrictions on:

  • the age at which children can start work

  • the type of work they can do

  • their working times and hours.

The work undertaken must not affect the child's health or education.

It is a criminal offence for anyone, including parents and guardians, to employ children under the age of 13 in any capacity.

The hours of work and conditions are governed by the Children and Young Persons Acts 1933, the Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1998 and Icon for pdf Byelaws 2002 [18.41KB] Visit the GOV.UK website for more information.

  • A child is employed if they assist in any trade or occupation carried out for profit. It does not matter whether the child is paid or not for the work done. This includes working for a parent or relative.

More information on volunteers can be found Icon for pdf 2019 volunteers [11.17KB].

Employers have a legal duty to inform the local authority (in which the employment takes places) if they employ a young person of compulsory school age, even if the young person has already turned 16 and has a National Insurance Number. Compulsory school age is right up until the last Friday in June in school year the child attains the age of 16. The regulations include children who are Electively Home Educated.

Employers of school age children:

· Must apply for a permit within seven days of the young person starting work. 

  • Must ensure that relevant insurance cover is provided.

  • Must undertake a comprehensive risk assessment of the work involved and make the findings known to the young person's parent/guardian.

  • Must ensure that suitable clothing and footwear are worn by the young person.

  • Must not allow school age children to work outside the hours permitted

It is a criminal offence to employ a child of compulsory school age without an employment permit, to employ a child under the age of 13, or to breach any regulations regarding the employment of children

Anyone breaking the laws and byelaws covering child employment face a fine of up to £1000.

For further information about child employment or to request an application email childemployment@sunderland.gov.uk

If you're worried about a child working without a permit or outside the restrictions please contact childemployment@sunderland.gov.uk