Employment of children and young people
London Borough of Tower Hamlets' child
employment team is responsible for safeguarding the welfare of
children in the work place as well as registering and monitoring
all child employment within the borough. Employing school age
children is regulated by the following law:
- Children and Young Persons Act 1933 & 1963
- Education Acts 1944 & 1996
- Children Act 1989
- Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1998.
- Tower Hamlets Council Byelaws
There are strict regulations governing child
employment and it is important that employers, parents and young
people are aware of and adhere to the following guidance at all
The regulations apply to all children aged 13
and above and apply until they can legally leave school on the last
Friday of June in Year 11 of their secondary education. They
continue to apply after the young person’s
sixteenth birthday if this falls before the school leaving
A child is employed if she/he assists in a
trade or occupation which is carried out on a for profit basis
whether or not the child receives pay or reward for that
- children must be at least 13 years old to
- thirteen year olds may only do certain types
of light work - there are jobs they are not allowed to do
(see more information on prohibited and
- they must have a work permit issued by the council in the area
the child is working and carry it with them whilst at work.
- children remain of compulsory school age
until the last Friday in June of the school year in which their
sixteenth birthday falls
- having a national insurance number does not
mean that the young person can leave school or work full-time
- if a child works in a family business, or
receives no payment, they must still have a work permit
- employers must apply for an employment permit
within one week of the child starting employment - a work permit can be refused or
cancelled if the employment is considered to be harmful to the
health, safety, education and/or development of the child
Child safety at work
The employer is responsible for the health and
safety of the child. A risk assessment must be completed and the
results shared with the parents. The following five steps
will help you in assessing risk in the workplace:
- Look for hazards.
- Decide who might be harmed and how.
- Evaluate the risks deciding whether the
existing precautions are adequate or should be amended.
- Record the findings of the risk assessment,
keep on file and give a copy to the parents.
- Review the assessment periodically and revise
Particular attention should be paid to the
young person’s lack of experience in the workplace.
Contact Environmental Health or the Heath & Safety Executive for
more detailed information.
Download the information on these web pages as
How to contact us
If you would like further information or
clarification regarding any issue relating to the employment of
school-age children please contact:
Child Employment Team, Pupil Services
Tel: 020 7364 5006
Fax: 020 7364 4311