We believe that children of compulsory school age can benefit greatly from part-time work provided that the type of employment is suitable and properly regulated.

There are Byelaws in Torbay which affect both the hours that children may work and also the type of work some children can do.

In order for a child of compulsory school age to work lawfully, he/she must have a work permit.

  Download an application form for a child's work permit

A young person is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they reach the age of sixteen years.

In relation to the employment of children, there are three different types of days. These are:

  1. Days when pupils are expected to attend school
  2. Sundays
  3. All other days when schools are closed

All work permits are issued subject to the approval of the Local Authority. These Byelaws are in addition to any other rules and regulations which appertain to any particular workplace, e.g. Health and Safety Regulations, etc.

Changes in Employment

A work permit is normally issued for a period of around 12 months ending at the end of the following school year. A new application would then be required if the child was continuing with the employment. The licence is valid for the original employer only so if the child changes the type of employment whilst a licence is in issue, a new application form must be completed.

Age related information

The information below relates to children who are 13 years old:

Type of work

Can only be employed in light work in one or more of the following specified categories:

  • Agricultural or horticultural work
  • Delivery of newspapers, journals etc.
  • Shop work
  • Hairdressing salons
  • Office work
  • Car washing (by hand in a private residential setting)
  • In a cafe or restaurant
  • In a riding stables
  • Domestic work in hotels etc.

Hours that can be worked

  • No child shall start working before 7am or finish after 7pm.
  • On days that pupils are required to attend school, they can work for one hour before school and up to two hours after school until 7pm. However, they must not work for more than two hours in total on any school day.
  • On Sundays children can work for a maximum of two hours between the hours of 7am and 7pm.
  • On all other days when the school is not open, children can work for a total of five hours. However they must have a break after 3 hours work of at least one hour.

The total number of hours that can be worked each week during school time is 12 hours.

The total number of hours that can be worked each week during school holidays is 25 hours.

The information below relates to children who are 14 years old:

Type of work

May be employed in light work as long as it is not on the Prohibited Employment list.

Hours that can be worked

  • No child shall start working before 7am or finish after 7pm.
  • On days that pupils are required to attend school, they can work for one hour before school and up to two hours after school. However, they must not work for more than two hours in total on any school day.
  • On Sundays children can work for a maximum of two hours.
  • On all other days when the school is not open, children can work for a total of five hours. However they must have a break, of at least one hour, after 3 hours work.

The total number of hours that can be worked each week during school time is 12 hours.

The total number of hours that can be worked each week during school holidays is 25 hours.

The information below relates to children who are 15 years old:

Type of work

May be employed in light work as long as it is not on the Prohibited Employment list.

Hours that can be worked

  • No child shall start working before 7am or finish after 7pm.
  • On days that pupils are required to attend school, they can work for one hour before school and up to two hours after school. However, they must not work for more than two hours in total on any school day.
  • On Sundays children can work for a maximum of two hours.

On all other days when the school is not open, children can work for a total of eight hours. However they must have a break, of at least one hour, after 4 hours work.

The total number of hours that can be worked each week during school time is 12 hours.

The total number of hours that can be worked each week during school holidays is 35 hours.

No child of any age may be employed:

  • In a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or night club (except in connection with a performance given entirely by children OR under the terms and conditions of an entertainment licence)
  • To sell or deliver alcohol except in sealed containers
  • To deliver milk or fuel oils
  • In a commercial kitchen
  • To collect or sort refuse
  • In any work more than three metres above ground or in the case of internal work three metres above floor level
  • In employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • To collect money or to sell/canvass door to door, except under the close supervision of an adult
  • In work involving exposure to adult material or in situations which are for this reason otherwise unsuitable for children
  • In telephone sales
  • In a slaughter house, butcher’s shop or other place connected with the killing/butchery of livestock or the preparation of meat for sale
  • As an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or in any other place used for the purpose of public amusement by automatic machines, games or chance or skill etc.
  • In the personal care of residents of any residential home or nursing home unless under the supervision of a responsible adult.