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Having a part time job if you're under 16

Having a part time job if you're under 16

You will need to register for an Employment Permit through the Local Authority where the employment takes place.

If you are employed in the Wokingham borough you will need to complete our Child Employment Application Form (PDF document). You don't need a work permit if you are doing odd jobs for neighbours, babysitting, or on work experience organised by school. When you reach 16, you won't need a work permit. 

UK legislation dictates that children under the age of 13 years are not allowed to be employed in any capacity by any person/s (this also includes parents/guardians/relatives) whether they are paid or unpaid.

Children can only start full-time work once they’ve reached the minimum school leaving age - they can then work up to a maximum of 40 hours a week.

You can leave school on the last Friday in June as long as you’ll be 16 by the end of that year’s summer holidays.

You must stay in some form of education or training until your 18th birthday if you were born on or after 1 September 1997.

Your options are:

  • full-time education - eg at a school or college
  • an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • part-time education or training - as well as being employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

When you're 13

At 13 years you may only do the following:

  • Deliver newspapers
  • Shop work
  • Office work
  • Work in a hairdressing salon
  • Wash cars by hand
  • Work in a café or restaurant clearing tables etc. but not in a kitchen
  • Light work in a riding stables
  • Domestic work in hotels
  • Light agricultural and gardening work - no machinery to be used

13-year-olds may not be employed, except in light work, in one or more of the following specified categories:

  • Agricultural or horticultural work
  • Delivery of newspapers
  • Shop work
  • Hairdressing salons
  • Office work
  • Car washing by hand in a private residential setting
  • In a cafe or restaurant
  • In a riding stables and domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation

When you're 14

At 14 you can only do light work - this applies until you reach the end of year 11. 14 year olds can also take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.

For further guidance on the restrictions on child employment visit the:

Whilst you are of compulsory school age (until the end of Year 11) you may not do any of the following:

  • Sell or deliver alcohol
  • Deliver milk
  • Deliver fuel
  • Work in a kitchen
  • Use chemicals
  • Collect and sort refuse
  • Work in telephone sales
  • Work in a butchers or slaughterhouse
  • Work more than 3 metres above ground - on ladders etc.
  • Work in a cinema, nightclub etc.
  • Work in a fairground or amusement arcade
  • Undertake the personal care of residents in a nursing home
  • Work in a factory or in an 'industrial undertaking'

For further guidance on the restrictions on child employment visit the GOV.UK website.

When you're 13 and 14

In term time you can work:

  • Maximum 12 hours in any 7 day week
  • Maximum 2 hours on ANY school day (1 hour after 7 a.m. and beginning of school day plus 1 hour after the end of the school day and before 7 p.m.:
  • OR 2 hours after the end of the school day and before 7 p.m.
  • Saturday maximum 5 hours (1 hour break after 4 hours continuous work)
  • Sunday maximum 2 hours

In holidays you can work:

  • Maximum 25 hours per 7 day week (5 hours in any one day) (Sunday 2 hours only)

When you're 15 and 16

In term time you can work:

  • Maximum 12 hours in any 7 day week
  • Maximum 2 hours on ANY school day (1 hour after 7 a.m. and beginning of school day plus 1 hour after the end of the school day and before 7 p.m.:
  • OR 2 hours after the end of the school day and before 7 p.m.
  • Saturday maximum 8 hours (1 hour break after 4 hours continuous work)
  • Sunday maximum 2 hours

In holidays you can work:

  • Maximum 35 hours per 7 day week (8 hours in any one day) (Sunday 2 hours only)

There are specific regulations for young people taking part in performances: in theatres, filming, modelling, television broadcasting etc. Contact us for more details.

Employment permit application forms must be signed by your employer, your parent or guardian and head teacher. If you can't get the headteacher's signature, because of school holidays, send the Employment Permit Application Form directly to:

Child Employment Officer
Brambles Neighbourhood Team
Budges Gardens
Wokingham 
RG40 1PX

Email: child.employment@wokingham.gov.uk

When you've completed the employment permit application form send it to us. This should be done within 1 week of starting work.

Once processed we will send the permit to your employer. They will give it to you after copying it for their records. You must keep it with you at all times when you are working. The card should be returned to the address on the back of the card when you leave your job.

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