Employers responsibilities when employing children

Employers are responsible for ensuring any child of compulsory school age (aged between 13 years and 16 years) they employ has a valid work permit issued by us. A young person will reach the end of compulsory school age on the last Friday in June of the year they will turn 16 (for example, they are in Year 11 and 16 years old or will turn 16 by 31 August).

Work permits

Employers must apply for a work permit within seven days of a child starting work.

In the workplace

Employers are responsible for the child’s welfare and their health and safety at work.

They must make sure the children they employ have the proper clothes and shoes needed to do their jobs.

Employers must complete a risk assessment of the work the child will be doing.


Employers must have relevant insurance cover in place. If a child is working without a child employment permit, there is a risk that the employer would not be insured against accidents involving the child.

Children do not need a work permit for work experience arranged by their school.

The Local Authority can take legal action against an employer if they:

  • Do not get a work permit for all the children of school age that they employ.
  • Employ children in a job or place of work they are not allowed to work in.
  • Employ children to work outside the hours allowed.