Access and Inclusion - Child Employment

If you are still of compulsory school age you are entitled to have a part-time job, but there are some regulations about the sort of work you can do. These regulations are to protect your wellbeing and to help ensure that having a job does not affect your education. This part of the website sets out the main facts you need to know before you start work. 

You are of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year that you are 16. You don't stop being of compulsory school age as soon as you are 16 or when you receive a National Insurance Number. 

You may only start part-time work when you are 13 years old.

At 13 
you may only do jobs from the following list of light work:

  • Agricultural or horticultural work
  • Delivering newspapers
  • Work in a shop
  • Work in a hairdressers
  • Office work 
  • Work in a cafe or restaurant
  • Work in riding stables
  • Undertake domestic work in hotels or other establishments offering accommodation.              

From the age of 14 you may do work from the above list and other light work provided the jobs are not on the list of prohibited employment shown below.

At all ages you should have a one hour break if you work for more than four hours in one day. Your employer should also ensure that you have a two week break during school holidays each year.

13 and 14 year olds may work the following hours:

Child Employment and the Law - Table Data - 13and14 year olds
SCHOOL DAYS
Not more than 2 hours a day
BETWEEN 7 AM AND START OF SCHOOL DAY - BETWEEN END OF SCHOOL DAY AND 7 PM
SATURDAY
Not more than 5 hours
BETWEEN 7 AM AND 7 PM
SUNDAY
Not more than 2 hours
BETWEEN 7 AM AND 7 PM
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
(including weekends)
Up to a maximum of 25 hours a week. Not more than 5 hours a day between 7 am and 7 pm - Monday to Saturday. Sunday 2 hours between 7 am and 7 pm
TERM TIME
(including weekends)
Up to a maximum of 12 hours a week.

15 and 16 year olds may work the following hours:

Child Employment and the Law - Table Data - 15and16 year olds
SCHOOL DAYS
Not more than 2 hours a day
BETWEEN 7 AM AND START OF SCHOOL DAY MAX 1 HR OR
SATURDAY
Not more than 8 hours
BETWEEN 7 AM AND 7 PM
SUNDAY
Not more than 2 hours
BETWEEN 7 AM AND 7 PM
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
(including weekends)
Up to a maximum of 35 hours per week. Not more than 8 hours a day between 7 am and 7 pm - Monday to Saturday; 2 hours a day between 7am and 7 pm on Sundays
TERM TIME
(including weekends)
Up to a maximum of 12 hours per week.

List of prohibited employment:

While you are still of compulsory school age you can't: 

  • Work in a cinema, theatre, dance hall, disco or night club
  • Sell or deliver alcohol
  • Deliver fuel oils 
  • Work in a commercial kitchen
  • Collect or sort refuse
  • Do any job which involves you being more than three metres off the ground
  • Do a job which may bring you into contact with harmful chemicals
  • Collect money or sell or canvass door to door 
  • Be exposed to adult material which is considered unsuitable for children
  • Work in telephone sales
  • Work in a slaughterhouse, abattoir or butcher's shop
  • Work in a fairground or amusement arcade
  • Work in "personal care" in a residential or nursing home                    

And remember...

  • You are considered to be employed whether you are being paid or not. However if you are doing work experience organised by your school you do not need a work permit.
  • Your employer has a responsibility to take care of your health, safety and welfare when you are at work. You and your parents can ensure your safety by:      
  1. Checking that you are properly trained and know what you are doing - if you aren't sure don't be afraid to ask. 
  2. If anyone at work makes you feel uncomfortable by what they say or do, please tell your employer or parents.

Key documents

 Title  Date  Size
22/01/2013 1052k


Contact us

If you would like to apply to become a chaperone, please contact us on the details below:

Child Employment Team
Children's Services
Blencathra House
Tangier Street
Whitehaven
Cumbria
CA28 7UW

Telephone: 01946 505553

Email: yvette.jackson@cumbria.gov.uk or laura.brown@cumbria.gov.uk