Child Employment Permits

The youngest age a child can work part-time is 13, except children involved in areas like television, theatre and modelling where they will require a licence to perform

Between the ages of 13 and 16, children can’t work unless they have a child employment permit.  It is illegal for businesses to employ 13-16 year old children without one.

Who needs to apply for a work permit

The employer should apply to the Child Employment and Performance Licensing Officer for a permit if the child will be working in the London Borough of Sutton.  A permit is for a specific job and cannot be transferred.

What type of work is allowed

13 to 16 year olds can do light work in the following areas:

  • agricultural or horticultural work
  • delivery of newspapers/printed material
  • shop work
  • hairdressing salons
  • office work
  • private car washing by hand
  • café or restaurant – but not in the kitchen
  • domestic work – for example: in a hotel

Types of work not allowed

No child of any age can be employed in the following areas:

  • cinemas or night clubs
  • commercial kitchens
  • collecting or sorting rubbish, rags or scrap metal
  • any work more than three metres above the ground/floor level
  • telephone sales
  • fairgrounds or amusement arcades, as an attendant or assistant

The government has also placed other restrictions on the kind of work that children can do – including health and safety, alcohol licensing and gambling laws. The London Borough of Sutton also has Byelaws regarding what work children are permitted to undertake.

Restrictions on working hours

  • No child may start work before 7am or after 7pm on any day.

Monday to Friday 

  • On a school day, a child may work for 2 hours during either 7am-8am or between the close of school and 7pm.

Saturdays and holidays (maximum 25 hours a week) 

  • under 15s can work five hours a day
  • over 15s can work eight hours a day


  • A maximum of two hours of work

All children must have at least two weeks free during the school summer holidays. For more information, please read this

To apply for a Child Employment Permit, please complete the form here or if you have any questions, contact us.

Further information

National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE)