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Child employment

The definition of 'employment' as applies to children of statutory school age includes assistance in any trade or occupation which is carried out for profit, whether or not payment is received for that assistance.

Many parents and employers do not know that children below minimum school leaving age who have a job that is part of a business are regarded as 'working' whether or not they are paid. If they are working without a permit they are unlikely to be covered by the employer's insurance policy.

Working in a prohibited occupation or without a licence in a permitted occupation can result in employers or parents being prosecuted and fined up to £1000.

Bury bye-laws

Any child undertaking part-time work must be aged 13 or over.

Read the guidance and make an application for a Child Employment Licence [209kb]
This form needs completing for all school aged children who are in paid employment.

Entertainment licences

Child performers are protected by a series of legislation, in particular, the Children (Performances and Activities) Regulations.

The following types of performance will require a child to have either a licence or an exemption:

  • Theatre
  • Modelling (photographic and catwalk)
  • Television or film
  • Dance school shows
  • Band or orchestra performances (non educational establishment)

A performance licence is issued by the Local Authority where the child lives. For children who live outside of the UK, but come here to perform, licences should be issued by the Local Authority where the applicant lives or has a business address, or alternatively, by the Local Authority where the first performance is scheduled to take place.

Performance licence applications

In order to to apply for a Performance Licence the following documents must be completed and returned to the Licensing Officer at least 21 days before the first performance.

  • Application form (Parts 1 and 2)
  • Absence from school form

These documents should be returned to the Licensing Officer together with:

  • A photocopy of the child's birth certificate or passport
  • 2 passport sized photographs of the child, taken in the last six months

Performance licences

The licence, when issued, will be sent to the Applicant, the child's parent, the child's school, the child's agent and also to the Local Authority where the performance is to take place.

Apply for an entertainment licence

The application must be made on the Entertainment Application form below.

These forms should be completed by the applicant and the parent, and returned to the School Attendance Team at least 21 days before the event. The School Attendance Team may refuse to issue a licence under certain circumstances and therefore the child cannot take part in the event. Time off from school may only be authorised by a licence issued by the School Attendance Team after consultation with the child/young person's Head Teacher.

A child taking part in entertainment must be looked after either by the Parent or Registered Chaperone (Matron). Both these people must be approved by the child's Education Authority.

You should also read through the Best Practice guidance and the restrictions in place for all performances, again detailed in our downloads area.

The following documents can be found in our downloads area and once completed, should be emailed to or alternatively, posted to: Child Licensing Officer, School Attendance and Education Welfare Team, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury, BL9 0EJ

  • Application procedure guidelines

  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

  • Chaperone interview questionnaire

  • Social care check form

  • Application form

For further information contact the Child Employment and Entertainment Licensing Officer (School Attendance and Education Welfare Team).