Information on child employment for young people of school age

Frequently asked questions

Are you aged 13-16 and working or thinking of getting a part-time job?

Many children work part-time doing paper rounds or Saturday jobs. It can be good preparation for the future and a helpful source of extra money. If you are thinking of getting a part-time job please read this information first.

How old do I have to be to start work?

You are allowed to do part-time work from your 13th birthday.

What counts as a job?

All young people who work or help in a trade or occupation which is carried out for profit are considered to be employed, even when they receive no payment for that assistance. This includes helping parents with a family business.

Do I need a work permit?

Yes. If you are aged 13 to 16 and still of statutory school age (until the last day of June in Year 11 of your secondary education) your employer must, by law, apply for a work permit from Tower Hamlets Council. Without a work permit you will not be insured against accidents.

Work permits are free.

Can I be stopped from working?

Yes, for the following reasons:

  • if you do not have a work permit
  • if you are illegally employed in a job you are not allowed to do
  • if you are not attending school regularly
  • if you are continually late for school
  • if your school work suffers
  • if your health suffers and you are too tired to learn.

Find out more

We want you to be safe

So please remember:                     

  • Your employer must apply for a work permit during the first week that you work.
  • Your employer is responsible for your health, safety and welfare and should complete a risk assessment with you.
  • Your employer has a responsibility to provide any protective clothing needed.
  • It is your responsibility to follow all health and safety instructions and to be sensible and careful in the work place.
  • Talk to your parents about the work and the pay.
  • Do not do any job that could cause you harm or injury.