April is Child Employment Awareness Month, and people who employ children aged between 13 and 16 are reminded that they need permits to comply with employment laws. These permits are free of charge from the council local to the young person’s place of employment.
No child aged below 13 is allowed to work in England unless they are taking part in a performance and have a licence.
Employers who break the law are risking the safety of young people and can face a fine of up to £1,000. They could also invalidate their insurance.
Donna Hulme, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Child Employment Officer and a member of the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment, which organises Child Employment Awareness Month, said: "It is important that any child is employed strictly in accordance with the law.
“These rules are not just red tape; the welfare of children is paramount.
“If children are taking part in part time work opportunities, we need to ensure that their needs are being met by employers and that any children who are in work are doing so safely."
The 1933 Children Act and Local Authority Byelaws govern the employment of children and say that teenagers aged between 13 and 16 years old can take part in light work in a number of different areas including shops, offices, cafes, restaurants, car washing and riding stables.
Children are not allowed to work in settings such as factories, betting shops, fish and chip shops, theatres and garage forecourts. Door to door selling, canvassing, street trading, cash collection, delivering milk and any kind of building work are also prohibited.
Children cannot be employed before 7am or after 7pm on any day, or work for more than 4 hours without a break of at least 1 hour; nor can they work for more than 2 hours on a Sunday between 7am and 7pm. During term time, no child can be employed for more than 12 hours per week, and there are also guidelines for the number of weekends and hours that children can work during holiday periods.
Anyone wishing to employ a child should register the employment by notifying the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Child Employment Section, Safeguarding Service, Priory Green Office, Whitburn Close, Pendeford WV9 5NJ, within 7 days of the commencement of the employment. For more information about Child Performance Licences, please visit Children in Employment and Entertainment
For more information about Child Employment Awareness Month and the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment, please visit The National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment.