Apply for a work permit to employ a child

Children are allowed to work part time from the age of 13, and child employment laws apply to them until the last Friday in June during the year they reach age of 16.

As an employer you must apply for a work permit within seven days of the child starting work with you.

A child is employed when they help in a profit-making trade or business, whether or not they are paid for the work. This includes children working for their family’s business.

If you want to employ a child in Birmingham, you must:

  • Apply to the council for a work permit for each child you want to employ
  • Re-register the children in your employment twice a year (we will send you a reminder)
  • Follow the law on working hours for children and local bylaws set by the council on the types of work that children can and can’t be employed to do
  • Carry out a risk assessment which takes into account the child’s age and maturity
  • Tell the child’s parents about any risks and measures put in place to protect children from these
  • Get a signed and stamped declaration from the child’s school.

If you do not follow these rules:

  • You are breaking the law, and we may take legal action against you
  • You risk not being insured against accidents involving the child, and as the employer may be personally responsible for any compensation claim if the child is injured at work.
  • We will cancel your permit and stop the child from working if the child’s health, school attendance, or school work suffers because of their work with you.

Which council to apply to

You should apply for a licence to the local authority where the child will be working, which may be a different authority to where they live. You can check which local authority if you're unsure.

Apply for a work permit to employ a child

Children under the age of 13 can work or take part in entertainment such as theatre, television, paid sporting activities or modelling, but they will need a performance licence.

Who receives a copy of the work permit?

  • The employer
  • The child’s school
  • The parent

If you wish to report an issue or make a complaint you can do so at If you make a formal complaint we will acknowledge your complaint and contact you about it within 15 working days.

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