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, 136k) (opens new window) and send it to us. There is no charge for this.
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.
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.
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
Education Welfare Service (RH)
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