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Employment of Children and Young People


Employment of Children

The Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1998, which effectively revoked previous byelaws, and The Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 2006 were introduced in order to implement the child employment provisions of EC Directive 94/33/EC on the protection of young people at work.

West Lothian Council byelaws, introduced as a consequence of the EC Directive and the 1998 Regulations, have been in force since 17 April 2002.   For a copy of the byelaws, see 'Online Tools' on the right.

The Employment of Children Policy, including an application form can be found under 'Online Tools' on the right.  Applications should be submitted to the child's school.   Certificates are issued by the school.

Child Performance Licences

Children of compulsory school age who wish to take part in performances may need to apply for a licence. The performing industries include television, film, theatre, modelling and sporting activities.

A licence is required if one or more of the following applies:

  • Your child is of compulsory school age and lives in West Lothian
  • A charge is made for admission to the performance
  • The performance is taking place within licensed premises
  • The performance is to be filmed

A licence is not required if 1 or more of the following applies:

  • There is no payment to your child for the performance
  • Your child has not taken part in a performance on more than 3 days in the previous 6 months
  • The performance or production is being made by your child?s school

An application form can be found under 'Online Tools' on the right.

Reviewed: 15/09/11

Frequently Asked Questions

Click a question to see the answer.

As a child, what do I have to do before starting a part-time job?

If you are under 16, you must apply for a permit from the school before you commence work with an employer.

As a child, what hours can I work on a school day?

Children may be employed for no more than two hours on a school day subject to a maximum of one hour between 7 am and 9 am and no later than 7 pm in the evening on any day. No child may be employed for more than 2 hours on a Sunday.

If I already have a permit that allows me, as a child, to work, what happens if I want to change my job/employer?

If you want to change your job/employer, you will need to make a fresh application even if you already have a permit that allows you, as a school-age child, to work.

Is it illegal to have a job at age 12?

Yes, it is illegal to have a job at the age of 12. Children aged between 10 and 13 can work only for their own parent(s) and then only in light agriculture/horticulture. A child below age 10 cannot have a job in any circumstances.

What age do I need to be before I am allowed to have a part-time job?

If you want to get a part time job, you need to be at least 13, depending on the nature of work. The Byelaws specify in more detail the type of work that can be undertaken. (The Byelaws do not apply if you are over the compulsory age for attending school).

What is a Children's Entertainment Licence?

A children's entertainment licence is needed for each child who is taking part in a performance where a charge is made (for admission or otherwise) or any broadcast performance or any performance recorded (by whatever means) with a view to its use in a broadcast or in a film intended for public exhibition. The LEA issues licences for school age children to perform in the theatre or on television. Before granting a licence the Education Authority will liaise with the Headteacher of the child's school to ensure that the child's education will not suffer should that licence be granted.

Where can I find information on the employment of children?

Secondary schools have the application forms and Byelaws on the Employment of Children. The Policy including an application form, can be downloaded from this site.