Are there any restrictions on hours of work for children?

There are restrictions on the hours of work for children (who are defined in employment law as below the compulsory school age – nominally 16 years of age).

Effectively, children may only be employed after reaching the age of 14 and then only on light work. There are general restrictions limiting work to between 7am and 7pm, but not during school hours. Work carried out outside school hours on school days and on Sundays is limited to two hours.

Local Authorities have powers to vary these hours and conditions, so approach your local authority (e.g. City or Borough Council) for details of the rules in your area.

There are special rules for children involved in theatre and television.

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.

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