Child employment and licensing for performances, sport and modelling

Child employment - information for young people and parents

You must register to work. 

You cannot apply for a work permit until you have got a job. This is because the application requires details of the employer and the proposed occupation.

This form must be completed by the employer, and signed by the parents. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that a work permit is obtained.

If there are no difficulties with the proposed employment a work permit will be issued which you must carry at all times whilst you are working. The employer will also be notified that a permit has been issued.

The employer has a duty to share with the child's parent an assessment of any risks that the child may face whilst at work.  It may be necessary for the child to attend for a medical examination by the school medical officer.

It is important that every child who wants to work obtains a work permit, so that he/she has the protection of appropriate insurance cover in case of an accident whilst at work.

The law says that no child under the age of 13 years can be employed.

NB. Children are of compulsory school age until the day they are allowed to leave school i.e the last Friday in June, not on their 16th birthday or when they receive their national insurance number.

Information for employers 

  • Have you applied to the education department for a work permit on behalf of the child (the law says you must)? 
  • Have you carried out a risk assessment and shared this with the child's parent/carer? 
  • Do you have employers liability insurance? 
  • Has the child been adequately trained for the job he/she is required to do and made aware of any risks which may be involved? 
  • Have you supplied the child with all necessary safety equipment and clothing? 
  • You shouldn't ask any child to do work which has not previously been agreed with the licensing authority.

Employers must be mindful of the child's welfare when in their employment - employers should encourage the child to tell them if anyone at work is making them feel anxious or uncomfortable by what is being said or done to them.

Licensing for performances, sport and modelling for children 

The rules governing children in entertainment cover children who take part in 'performances' including all broadcast performances, child photography or modelling. Any child engaged in these occupations must have a licence issued by Warrington Borough Council.

The application for a licence must be signed by the parents and accompanied by a photograph. Warrington Borough Council must be satisfied that arrangements for the supervision and protection of the child are adequate, and that the disruption to the child's education is kept to a minimum.

The legislation which demands this licensing is the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, s.37 and the Children (Performance and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.

Key issues covered by the regulations are:

  • Is the child/young person below minimum school leaving age? 
  • Do they reside in Warrington? 
  • Is there a charge made for admission to the performance? 
  • Is the performance taking place within licensed premises? 
  • Is the performance going to be broadcast on TV? 
  • Is the performance going to be filmed? 
  • Is the child/young person fit to take part in the performance? 
  • Education; consultation with head teacher if in school time 
  • Is the activity safe?

No licence is required under the following circumstances:

  • No payment made to child and they have not taken part in performances in the previous six months on more than three days
  • No payment made to child and performance arranged by school 
  • No payment made to child and performance exempted by Secretary of State e.g. scout gang shows

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