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.

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 survey found that working too hard too early can hamper children’s education. Amongst its findings were that 1 in 10 school age workers had played truant at some time to do their jobs, and that more than a quarter were sometimes too tired to do homework or schoolwork because of their jobs.

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.