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Children in employment and entertainment

A child can work part-time from the age of 13 if they have a work permit, unless they're working in any form of entertainment or modelling. Children working in these areas need a performance licence.

There are rules about the types of work and the hours children are allowed to work at different ages.

Hours children can work

During the school holidays, a child of 13 or 14 can work up to 25 hours a week and child of 15 can work up to 35 hours a week.

During the school term, they can work:

  • on a school day after 7am, for one hour before school and for two hours after school, as long as they finish by 7pm
  • on a non-school day for five hours (eight hours at age 15) between 7am and 7pm with a break of at least an hour after four hours
  • on a Sunday for two hours between 7am and 10am to deliver newspapers.

A child can work full time (up to 40 hours a week) when they leave school, which they can do on the last Friday in June if they'll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays.

Work children are allowed to do

A child of 13 can do light work in the following areas:

  • Café or restaurant waiting tables (not in a commercial kitchen)
  • Hairdresser
  • Hotel (domestic work)
  • Office
  • Riding stable
  • Shop
  • Car wash (by hand in a private residential setting)
  • Farming or gardening
  • Newspaper and leaflet delivery

A child of 14 or 15 can do light work as long as it's not on the list of work children aren't allowed to do.

Work children aren't allowed to do

A child can't work in the following areas:

  • Cinema, theatre, disco, dance hall or night club
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Residential or nursing home in the personal care of residents
  • Slaughter house, butcher's shop or any place where animals are killed or butchered or where meat is prepared for sale
  • Fairground or amusement arcade or any place where people are entertained by automatic machines or games of chance or skill
  • Door to door collecting money, selling or canvassing unless with an adult
  • Selling or delivering alcohol unless in a sealed container
  • Delivering milk or fuel oils
  • Collecting or sorting rubbish
  • Telephone sales
  • More than three metres above ground or floor level
  • Exposed to harmful physical, biological or chemical agents
  • Exposed to adult material or situations which are unsuitable for children