head head head

children's work rights

The main piece of legislation covering the employment of young people under 16 is the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, but there are over 200 other pieces of relevant legislation to take into account, including European and international instruments, Acts of Parliament, and local authority by-laws.

This section gives some basic advice on the types and duration of work that national and local laws may permit children to undertake. As much of this law is determined locally and the different regulations can be confusing or even contradictory, you should also consult your local authority, and take individual legal advice if you have a particular query.

  • What kinds of work can be done by 14 year olds?  more...
  • What kinds of work can be done by children of 13?  more...
  • Can a child under the age of 13 work?  more...
  • What work can 15 and 16 year olds do?  more...
  • What special health and safety arrangements should employers of children make?  more...
  • Is there a minimum wage for children who work?  more...

further information

If children are to work whilst still at school, parents need to be aware of what is being demanded of their children. A 2001 TUC report, Class Struggles, found that working too hard too early could hamper children’s education.

One in ten school age workers had played truant at some time to do their jobs, and more than a quarter were sometimes too tired to do homework or schoolwork because of their jobs.