Child employment

There are laws and regulations to protect children that are thinking of or working part-time.

The youngest age a child can work part-time is 13, except children involved in areas like:

  • television
  • theatre
  • modelling

Children working in these areas will need a performance licence.

Child employment permit

A work permit must applied for within seven days of the child/young person starting work.

Without applying for a permit, the employer is breaking the law and can be prosecuted. There’s also a risk that the employer won’t be insured against accidents involving the child.

When allowing a child to work please ensure the work undertaken is in line with child employment law with regards to permitted types of work, permitted hours and appropriate risk assessments have been undertaken.

An application form must be completed by the employer, signed by the parent or guardian of the child and emailed to When authorised, a work permit will be issued to the child and notification will be sent to the employer.

What is the law?

Children and young people can only work in a limited number of jobs and for a limited number of hours, until they reach the minimum school leaving date. This is the last Friday in June of the year they turn 16. 

Any child over the age of 13 years may work in their spare time, as long as they have an employment permit and follow the constraints listed below.

Please note, a child is permitted to work in a permitted place of employment within permitted hours as long as a child employment work permit application has been submitted within seven days of starting work.

Children aged 13 

May only be employed in light work in specified occupations, some of which are listed below. For a complete list, refer to employment bylaws.

  • delivery of newspapers
  • shop work - including shelf stacking
  • domestic work in hotels
  • cafe or restaurant
  • office work

Working hours

Young people cannot work:

  • During school hours
  • More than 12 hours in any school week
  • Before 7am or after 7pm
  • More than two hours on a school day. Either two hours after school or one hour before and one hour after school
  • More than two hours on a Sunday
  • More than five hours on Saturdays and holidays for 13 and 14 year olds or eight hours for 15 and 16 year olds
  • More than 25 hours per week in school holidays for 13 and 14 year olds or 35 hours for 15 and 16 year olds 

All young people must have a one hour break after four hours and must have two consecutive weeks holiday from any employment during school holiday time.

School days

On school days, children may work for up to two hours, outside of school hours. However, they can only be employed for up to one hour before school on any day they are expected to attend.


A child may work for up to two hours on a Sunday between the hours 7am and 7pm.

Prohibited employment

No child of statutory school age may be employed, for reward or no reward:

  • to deliver milk
  • to deliver fuel oils
  • in a commercial kitchen
  • in a slaughterhouse or any part of a butcher's shop
  • in any work higher than three metres above the ground or floor level
  • to collect or sort refuse
  • to collect money or to sell or canvass door to door
  • in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • in any work involving exposure to adult material or situations unsuitable for children
  • in telephone sales
  • in a cinema, theatre, dance hall or night club, except in connection with a performance given by children, for which a licence has been granted
  • on garage premises or selling petrol
  • in a bar or licensed premises during opening hours
  • in a licensed betting office
  • at any machine prescribed as dangerous

Who to contact

For more information, a copy of the employment bylaws for Salford or an application form, please contact the child employment team on 0161 603 4350 or email

This page was last updated on 26 July 2022

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