Child work regulations

Work permits are required for all students who wish to work while they are of compulsory school age, until the last Friday of June in the year of their 16th birthday.

Download a Work Permit application form (pdf) which should be signed by a parent and employer and sent in before work starts.

Young people aged 13-14 years

  • School days - no more than two hours in one day between 7am and the start of the school day (one hour maximum) and between close of school and 7pmSaturdays - five hours a day between 7am and 7pm, no child of any age may work more than four hours a day without a rest break of one hour
  • Sundays - two hours a day between 7am and 11am
  • School holidays - five hours on any day except Sundays between 7am and 7pm (you must not work more than 25 hours each week)

You must have two consecutive weeks break in a year, taken during the school holidays.

At 13 years old you are allowed to work in agricultural or horticultural work, shop work, inc shelf stacking, office work, in riding stables, domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation, delivery of newspapers, journals and other printed material, hairdressing salons, in a café or restaurant (but not in a kitchen.

At 14 to 15 years old you can work as above, plus street trading if employed and supervised by your parents in connection with their business or if they have a street traders licence.

Young people aged 15 years

  • School days - no more than two hours in one day between 7am and the start of the school day (one hour maximum) and between close of school and 7pm, no child of any age may work more than four hours in any day without a rest break of one hour.
  • Saturdays - eight hours a day between 7am and 7pm
  • Sundays - two hours a day between 7am and 11am
  • School holidays - eight hours a day on any day except Sundays between 7am and 7pm (you must not work more than 35 hours each week)

You must have two consecutive weeks break in a year during the school holidays.

At 16 years old, the restrictions above apply while you are still of compulsory school age.

A child may not work:

  • on a day that they are away from school because of ill health

  • in a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or night club, except when connected with a performance given entirely by children

  • selling or serving customers with or delivering alcohol

  • delivering milk

  • delivering fuel oils

  • in a commercial kitchen

  • collecting or sorting waste

  • in any work which is more than three metres above ground or floor level

  • in work involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents

  • collecting payment or selling or canvassing door-to-door

  • in work where they are exposed to adult material or in situations which are for this reason otherwise unsuitable for children

  • in telephone sales

  • in a slaughterhouse or part of a butcher’s shop or other premises connected with the killing of livestock, butchery, or in the preparation of carcasses or meat for sale

  • as an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or on any premises used for the purpose of public amusement by means of automatic machines, games of chance of skill or similar devices

  • in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home unless under the close supervision of a responsible adult