Child Employment and Children in Entertainment

The Children in Entertainment and Employment Team covers the whole of Hampshire excluding the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth. They are responsible for:

  • Issuing Work Permits for Young People wanting to work or volunteer
  • Issuing Performance Licences for Children and Young People wanting to participate in entertainment or performances
  • Issuing Chaperone Licences to allow adults to assist children and young people in entertainment or performances
  • Issuing Body of Persons Approvals (BOPA) to Organisations
Child employment

Child employment and the law

The hours of work and conditions of Child Employment are described by the Children and Young Persons Acts 1933 and 1963, the Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1998 and Hampshire County Council Byelaws on the Employment of Children 1998. These laws are to protect the health and safety along with the well-being and attainment of education of children.

Children may do light work from the age of 13 years until they are no longer of compulsory school age. A young person is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they reach the age of sixteen years.

Light work means work which is not likely to be harmful to the safety, health or development of children and is not harmful to their attendance at school or participation in work experience.

Permitted work for 13 year olds

Children aged 13 years are permitted to be employed in light work in one or more of the following specified categories:

  • light agricultural or horticultural work. This is provided they are under the direct supervision of a parent/guardian
  • delivery of newspapers, journals, leaflets etc
  • domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation or schools
  • car washing that is by hand and in a private residential setting
  • within a Café or Restaurant
  • retail and shop work
  • hairdressing salons
  • administration within an Office Environment
  • within a Riding Stable or yard

List of Prohibited Employment

No child of any age may be employed:

  • in a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or night club (except in connection with a performance given entirely by children or under the terms and conditions of a performance licence)
  • to sell or deliver alcohol, except in sealed containers
  • to deliver milk
  • to deliver fuel oils
  • within a commercial kitchen
  • to collect or sort refuse
  • in any work which is more than 3 metres above ground or internal floor level
  • in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • to collect money or to sell or canvass door to door
  • any work involving exposure to adult material or in situations which are for this reason otherwise unsuitable for children
  • within telephone sales
  • within any slaughterhouse or in any part of a butcher's shop or other premises connected with the killing of livestock, butchery, or the preparation of meat for sale
  • as an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or in any other premises used for the purpose of public amusement by means of automatic machines, games of chance or skill or similar devices
  • to provide personal care of Residents of any Residential Care Home or Nursing Home
  • other legislation prohibits children's employment within industrial undertaking and street trading.

Important Information for Employers

Employers are required by law to register any children who work for them, whether paid or unpaid. An Application for Child Employment must be made by the employer. A General Risk Assessment will be required from the employer before a Work Permit is issued.

A child can have more than one employer and each job role must have a separate permit issued.

An application for the Employment of a Child must be submitted for approval to the Local Authority in which the employment takes place, within 7 days of commencement of work.

Once the Application is fully completed and signed by the employer, parent and young person, it is the employer's responsibility to email to [email protected]. Applications submitted any other way, will not be processed.

Once the application is received, our Service Level Agreement is to process this within 10 working days and the Work Permit will be emailed to the employer and parent.

It may be necessary for an Employment Officer to undertake a visit to the premises of place of work before a Permit is issued.

Please be aware, an Employer can be prosecuted for employing a child illegally and in addition, the insurance which the employer must have for his employees may not be valid.

Hours of work for 13 and 14 year olds:
Term time:
Monday - Friday
Maximum of 2 hours
Either 1 hour before & 1 hour after school or 2 hours after school
Saturday
Maximum of 5 hours
Sunday
Maximum of 2 hours
Maximum 12 hours per week during term time

School Holidays:
Monday - Friday
Maximum of 5 hours
Saturday
Maximum of 5 hours
Sunday
Maximum of 2 hours
Maximum 25 hours per week during school holidays

Hours of work for 15 and 16 year olds:
Term time:
Monday - Friday
Maximum of 2 hours
Either 1 hour before & 1 hour after school or 2 hours after school
Saturday
Maximum of 8 hours
Sunday
Maximum of 2 hours
Maximum 12 hours per week during term time

School Holidays:

Monday - Friday
Maximum of 8 hours
Saturday
Maximum of 8 hours
Sunday
Maximum of 2 hours
Maximum 35 hours per week during school holidays

Children are only permitted to work between the hours of 7am to 7pm.

Any child employed must have a rest break of no less than 1 hour following 4 hours of continuous employment and during the year have at least 2 consecutive weeks in the school holidays which are free from work.

This information is only a general guide. Employers and parents must consult the relevant legislation for assistance with specific queries.

Apply for a Work Permit

Children in entertainment

Many children participate in performances on stage, television and film while others are involved in modelling or paid sporting activities.

The Children (Performance and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 regulate children taking part in these activities and the Local Authority administers a licensing system designed to protect the child and give paramount consideration to their health, welfare and education.

The regulations apply to all children from birth until they reach compulsory school leaving age. A child is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June in the school year in which they reach the age of 16.

A child may perform without a license for up to four days, but only if:

  • They are not being paid for the performance
  • No absence from school is required and/or
  • They have not performed in the previous six months

Performances arranged by School, Scouts, Guides and Youth Clubs are exempt from licensing. Exemptions do not include Festivals, Choirs and form of Competition. This is not an exhaustive list so please contact us for further details.

The licensing authority is the Local Authority (LA) where the child lives. If a child attends’ boarding school, it is the local authority where the school is located. If a child lives outside of the UK, it will be the LA where the licence applicant lives or has business premises. A child performing abroad must be licensed by their local magistrate’s court.

A complete Performance Licence Application must be submitted 21 days before the Performance takes place. If a licence is requested at shorter notice, every effort will be made to oblige but authorisation cannot be guaranteed.

It is the responsibility of the Applicant to chase up any incomplete, missing or illegible paperwork.

Please Note: When completing the Licence Application, the ‘Applicant’ is:

  • Performances:  Person responsible for the production.
  • Modelling:  Person who proposes to engage the child.
  • Paid Sporting Activity:  Person responsible for organising the event.

For Safeguarding reasons, notification alone will not constitute an application within the deadline, therefore incomplete or part applications will be automatically deleted.

All children performing under a Licence, must be in the care of a Chaperone or their parent. This can only be a Local Authority Approved Chaperone. There are various conditions and restrictions that apply to child performances. Further information and the application form can be found via the below links. (Daily Restrictions in Relation to all Performances Document)

Apply for a Performance Licence

If you wish to apply for a Performance Licence, please submit a Complete Application, to include:

  • Part 1 & Part 2 of the Application Form. Submitted as a whole, signed document and not in two parts, with a handwritten or electronic pdf signature. Signatures are not acceptable if typed in or any other way. (Application for a Performance Licence Document)
  • The Applicant’s Child Protection Policy
  • Venue Risk Assessment
  • Copy of the Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Authorisation of Absence from child's school, where applicable
  • A headshot photograph of the child.

Please be aware that your Child Protection Policy must be reviewed regularly and must be at least biennially.

Please ensure Applications for are emailed to [email protected]. Applications submitted any other way will not be processed.

Chaperone

It is a legal requirement that children engaged in public performances or entertainment under a Licence must be supervised by a Local Authority Approved Chaperone unless they are in the care of either their parent/guardian or agreed tutor.

The Local Authority in which the Chaperone lives is responsible for the approval of Chaperone Licence.

Approved Chaperones are essential to ensure that proper provision is made to secure a child's health, safety and welfare whilst at the place of performance.

The process to become an Approved Chaperone will include an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service [DBS] check, an informal online interview, verifying your identity and two references being taken up.

We aim to process all applications within 12 weeks but please note this is subject to receiving the DBS result from the DBS Service. This timescale is governed entirely by the DBS Service. Once approved, the applicant is issued with a licence valid for 3 years.

Charges for Chaperone Licence

The charges for obtaining a Chaperone Licence, are as follows:

Volunteer Chaperone Licence:
New Licence with DBS £25
New Licence without DBS £18
(If you have an Enhanced DBS with Child Workforce, on Child Barred List and registered on Update Service)
Renewal Licence with DBS  £15
Renewal Licence without DBS £5
(If you have an Enhanced DBS with Child Workforce, on Child Barred List and registered on Update Service)

Professional Chaperone Licence:
New Licence with DBS £80
New Licence without DBS £33
(If you have an Enhanced DBS with Child Workforce, on Child Barred List and registered on Update Service)
Renewal Licence with DBS £65
Renewal Licence without DBS £10
(If you have an Enhanced DBS with Child Workforce, on Child Barred List and registered on Update Service)

Apply for a Chaperone Licence

If you wish to apply to become a registered Chaperone, please complete the following steps.

Step 1: Fully complete the Chaperone Application Form

Step 2: Ensure you have 3 pieces of verification as per the DBS Guidance notes

Step 3: Fully read and Sign the Code of Conduct

Step 4: Ensure you have a recent Headshot photograph of yourself

Step 5: If you currently have an Enhanced Child Workforce DBS with Child Barred List on the DBS Update Service, please ensure you have the DBS Certificate (Page 1). This must be the original certificate not the Update Service notification.

Step 6: Email all the above to [email protected] ensuring the attached documents are clear and readable. Please detail on the email if you wish for an organisation to be invoiced for the cost of the Licence.

Please note:
** Incomplete applications will be deleted
** We do not carry out DBS Checks unless you are applying for a Chaperone Licence

Body of persons approval (BOPA)

The Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014, allows us to issue a Body of Personal Approval Licence to an organisation that would normally be required to individually license any children taking part in performances. This Licence can allow children to take part in performances without the need for individual licences being applied for.

Please view our Guide to BOPA document as this will give you all the information you need to be able to apply.

You must apply at least 21 days before the first performance.

Apply for a BOPA

If you wish to apply to for a BOPA, please complete the following steps:

Step 1: Complete the Application Form

Step 2: Email the completed Application Pack along with your Child Protection Policy and Venue Risk Assessment to [email protected]

Please be aware that your Child Protection Policy must be reviewed regularly and must be at least biennially.

Once we receive your Application Pack, we will fully assess all the information and organise an online interview with you.

If the application is successful, then a BOPA will be produced for individual shows only. A 12-month BOPA approval will no longer be issued.

Contacts

For further information and advice:

Email [email protected]
Telephone 01962 876300

Opening hours: Monday - Thursday: 8:30am to 5pm and Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm

Due to external visits, our officers may not always be available in the office. In this instance, please email or leave an answerphone message.