Child employment

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.

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