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Child employment

If you want to employ a young person between the age of 13 and 16, you must register with the council.

Before you apply for a child employment licence, you will also need the child's parent or carer to fill in a consent form. You can then upload the completed consent form when you make your online application.

You must also be aware of the council's employment byelaws.

Apply for a child employment licence

Permitted types of employment

A young person aged 13 plus may be employed in light work in one or more of the following specified categories:

  • Agricultural or horticultural work
  • Delivery of newspapers, magazines and other printed materials subject to conditions
  • Shop work including shelf stacking
  • Hairdressing salons
  • Office or clerical work
  • Car washing by hand in a private residential setting
  • In a café or restaurant subject to conditions
  • In riding stables
  • Domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation.

Prohibited types of employment

No young person of any age may be employed in the following:

  • In a cinema, theatre, dance hall or nightclub except in connection with a performance given entirely by children
  • To sell or deliver alcohol, except in sealed containers
  • To deliver milk
  • To deliver fuel oils
  • In a commercial kitchen
  • To collect or sort refuse
  • In any work which is more than three metres above ground level or, in the case of any internal work, more than three metres above floor level
  • In employment involving exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • To collect money or to sell or canvas door to door
  • In work involving exposure to adult material or in situations which are for this reason otherwise unsuitable for children
  • In telephone sales
  • In any slaughterhouse or in that any part of any butcher's shop or other premises connected with the killing of livestock, butchery, or the preparation of meat carcasses for sale
  • As an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or in any other premises used for the purpose of public amusement by means of automatic machines, games of chance or skill or similar devices
  • In the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home unless under the supervision of a responsible adult (this is subject to conditions - please contact us for further information).

Hours of work

Children cannot work before 7am or after 7pm.

13 and 14 year olds

School holidays

  • Five hours a day
  • Maximum of 25 hours per week

Term time

  • Maximum of 12 hours per week      
  • Two hours outside of school hours.
  • One hour only before school.

Weekends

  • Maximum of five hours on a Saturday and two hours on a Sunday

15 and 16 year olds

School holidays

  • Eight hours a day
  • Maximum of 35 hours per week

Term time

  • Maximum of 12 hours per week      
  • Two hours outside of school hours.
  • One hour only before school.

Weekends

  • Maximum of eight hours on a Saturday and two hours on a Sunday

Rest breaks and holidays

After four hours of work, children should take a minimum break of one hour.

All employed children must take two consecutive weeks holiday per year from any form of employment.

Please note, we do not source employment for young people, only permit them to work.

Contact us

Please email us at attendance_service@sandwell.gov.uk or call
0121 569 8147

We are based at: 

Attendance and Prosecution Service
Sandwell Council House
Freeth Street
Oldbury
West Midlands
B69 3DE