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Employers Responsibilities (Child Employment Permits)

Every child of school age who has a part time job working for an employer whether they are paid or undertaking voluntary work must be registered with the Local Authority and have a work permit.  It is the employers' responsibility to apply for a work permit in order to employ the child.

If you, as an employer want children to work for you then you must take into account the rules and regulations which control how many hours the child may work, what type of work the child can do and the type of premises the child will be working in.

The employer must carry out a specific Young Person's Risk Assessment of any hazards relating to the child employment and inform the parent/guardian of the outcome of the assessment.  The employer must also make sure that proper clothing and footwear are worn and that proper training, guidance and supervision is given to the child, together with having appropriate insurance cover.

Within 7 days of the child starting work the employer must complete a Child Employment application form which must be signed by the employer and the child's parent/guardian.  This application gives details of the child, hours of work, place of work and the type of work to be undertaken.

There is nowhere in the legislation which states how much a school aged child must be paid, this is left for negotiations between the employer, child and parent/guardian, however, no payment at all or payment in kind (e.g. free riding lessons or free lunch or goods) is still regarded as being employed.

Any employer who is thinking of employing a child and has not done so previously is advised to contact the Education Welfare Service for advice.

Employers should take note of the following:

  • It is illegal to employ a child under 13 years of age.
  • It is illegal to employ a child without having obtained a Child Employment Permit.
  • Children can only be employed in specific types of work (see below)
  • No child can work at any time between 7pm and 7am (Monday to Saturday)
  • No child can work more than 2 hours on a school day.
  • No child can work for more 2 hours on a Sunday between the hours of 7am and 11am.
  • No child can work more than 12 hours during any week they are required to attend school.
  • A child aged 13 or 14 years can work up to 5 hours on a Saturday or school holiday, and can work up to a maximum of 25 hours a week during school holidays.
  • A child aged 15 or 16 years can work up to 8 hours on a Saturday or school holiday, and can work up to a maximum of 35 hours a week during school holidays.
  • A child who works for 4 hours must have a break of at least 1 hour.
  • A child must have at least 2 weeks' consecutive holiday per year

The above are only some of the rules and regulations surrounding child employment and you, as an employer, are responsible for ensuring that you are fully aware of the Child Employment Legislation and that any child in your employ is employed legally.

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