Can a child under the age of 13 work?

Children under the age of 13 may not as a general rule be employed. However, local authorities are able to grant a licence allowing younger children to take part in paid performances, sports and modelling. Licences for performances only cover acting or ballet, and need to be accompanied by a declaration that the part to be acted can only be taken by a child of that age, or that the performance is musical or consists only of opera and ballet.

This licence will only be granted if the local authority is satisfied that the child is fit to undertake the work, that proper provision has been made for the child's health and kind treatment, and that his or her education will not suffer.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.