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Children in employment

Child work permits

If you want to employ a child you may need to pdf icon apply for a work permit [71kb] for them - you can only employ children of 13 or over. You do not need to apply if they only do occasional jobs or work experience. Children can only start full-time work when they reach school leaving age. has more information on child work permits.

The amount of time they can work depends on their age:


School day



13 to 14

Up to 2 hours

Up to 5 hours

Up to 2 hours

15 to 16

Up to 2 hours

Up to 8 hours

Up to 2 hours

Child performers

You will need to word icon apply for a child performance licence [56kb] for each child if you are organising a public performance of acting, singing or dancing (unpaid or paid) or any paid sporting or modelling events involving children. You must apply at least 21 days before the event starts - send the completed form to CAT West, The Avenue Centre, Conwy Close, Tilehurst, Reading RG30 4BZ or email it to You can also apply for chaperone approval - you will have to make sure the children are supervised at all times. 

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