Work for school-aged children

Child employment

There are several restrictions on when and where children are allowed to work.

A child may need a permit or licence for some types of work. There are 3 types of permit or licence:

  • work permits
  • children in entertainment – performance licences
  • children in entertainment – chaperone licences

For more information, go to GOV.UK: child employment.

Work permits

Children can work part-time if they are 13 years-old or older but must apply to us for a work permit. We will issue a work permit if we think that the child's health, welfare and education will not be damaged by the job. The child must also be fit and able to do the work.

Employers must get work permits for all children in their employment. The child's parent or guardian, and school head teacher, must sign the application form.

The law states the types of work and the hours children are allowed to work.

Any employer found to be employing children illegally may be fined up to £1,000 for every child.

Children in entertainment - performance licences

Applications for a performance licence are usually made by the child's agent or production company.

Every application must come with:

  • a parental declaration of health
  • permission from the child's school for any time missed

We do not issue open licences. Each assignment or performance must have its own licence. Our child employment officer regularly visits performances to check that children have valid performance licences and that any chaperones are also licensed.

Completed forms should be returned to the address at the bottom of this page.

Children in entertainment – chaperone licences

All children must be supervised when performing. This can be done by their parent(s) or a registered chaperone provided by the production company.

Chaperones are licensed by the local authority in which they live. They must have a recent Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced certificate. Chaperones make sure that the welfare of the child is the biggest factor when on location and supervise the child at all times.

To apply for a chaperone licence, contact the child employment officer:

School Attendance Support Team
Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL

: 01375 652 568