Children in employment
Children can be employed in certain occupations from 13 to 16 years old.
It’s illegal to employ a child without a work permit.
Children under the age of 13 can’t be employed.
If your child takes part in a licensed performance, they must be supervised by a responsible adult known as a chaperone.
How to apply for a work permit
As a parent or guardian, you and your child’s employer must fill in the work permit application form (pdf, 141k) (opens new window) . There is no charge for this.
You can scan and email the completed form to: Julie.firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to:
Education Welfare (PV), PO Box 3176, Bristol City Council, BS3 9FS.
We’ll send a work permit card to the employer only for the job on the application form. We’ll also send you a letter confirming this.
You must let us know if your child leaves this job. They’ll need a new work permit if they want to work for another employer.
We may inspect the workplace and speak to the employer. We’ll write a report and let you know if there are any problems.
Work that children aren’t allowed to do
Your child isn’t allowed to:
- work in an industrial setting like a factory
- work in a cinema, theatre, disco, dance hall or night club except in connection with a performance given entirely by children
- sell or deliver alcohol unless it’s in tins or bottles
- deliver milk
- deliver fuel oils
- work in a commercial kitchen
- collect or sort rubbish, recycling or other waste
- work more than 3 metres above ground level or, in the case of indoor work, more than 3 metres above floor level
- work in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
- collect money, sell or canvas door to door unless they’re with an adult
- work where they would be exposed to adult material
- work in telephone sales
- work in a slaughterhouse, butcher’s shop or anywhere that involves preparing meat for sale
- work in a fairground, amusement arcade or anywhere the public can play automatic machines, games of chance or skill or similar devices
- give personal care to people in residential care or nursing homes
Children in entertainment and sport
Your child may need a licence to:
- perform on stage, in television, film or commercial work
- take part in paid or professional sport
- work as a model
If your child performs on stage, television, film or in commercials, they can perform without a licence for up to four days but only if:
- the performance is unpaid
- they don’t need time off school
- they haven’t performed in the last six months
Contact our Child Employment and Licensing Officer on 0117 352 1376 to find out about becoming a chaperone.
Education Welfare Service (PV)
PO Box 3176
Bristol City Council
Bristol, BS3 9FS
Mon to Thurs: 8.30am to 4.30pm
Fri: 8.30am to 4pm
A duty Welfare Officer is available to answer queries:
Mon to Thurs: 3pm to 4.30pm
Fri: 3pm to 4pm.
Tel: 0117 352 1438 or 0117 352 1454
Fax: 0117 352 1096