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Licence - child employment

Children and young people can work on a part-time basis. However, there are restrictions depending on their age; the number of hours they can work; and the type of employment.

The law allows a young person to be employed from the age of 14, but local authorities can permit a young person to be employed from 13. The law specifies the permitted hours and types of employment and makes it essential for employers to obtain a work permit for school age employees. It includes the rights of the employee and the responsibilities of the employer.

Children working without a permit may not be covered by any form of insurance, regardless of the policies that the employer has in force. Employers who breach this legislation can face fines of up to £1,000. Read the pdf icon management of health and safety at work regulations [1Mb] document for more information.

Read the pdf icon child employment leaflet [101kb] and pdf icon child employment guidelines [46kb] for more information, or to apply for a work permit, pdf icon complete the employment permit application form [175kb].

Children in entertainment

Licensing of children in entertainment

Policy change regarding the issuing of performance licences


Our policy regarding the issuing of performance licences has recently been under review. An enhanced scheme has been agreed, part of which allows us to turn around performance licence applications which reach us with between three and nine working days notice.


To implement the scheme there will be a cost to the applicant or company of £40 per licence to enable us to increase our capacity to achieve this.

See the change regarding the issuing of performance licences page for more information.

From 6 February 2015 legislation surrounding children in entertainment changed. The pdf icon Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 [100kb] is now in force and the previous regulations (the Children (Performances) Regulations 1968) are now obsolete.

Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 and the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014, we are responsible for the licensing of all young people who are of 'compulsory school age' and under (even babies), who appear in performances either on the stage or television, take part in certain sporting activities, or who work as models.

This licensing requirement does not apply to performances given under arrangements made by a school or when each of the following statements can be applied:

  • There is no payment to be made to the child, or any other person, other than expenses;
  • The child has not performed on more than three days in the last six months (the "four day rule"); and
  • The performance does not require the child to be absent from school.

To apply for a performance licence please pdf icon complete this application form [401kb]. If a child requires time off school to take part in a performance, a letter authorising this leave must be obtained from the child's school and submitted with the application. Read some pdf icon examples of best practice in relation to child licensing in England [425kb].

Performance licences will only be granted if we are satisfied that all pdf icon relevant conditions [30kb] are met and that all pdf icon applicable information [309kb] has been provided. All fully completed application forms should be received at least 21 days prior to the first performance.

Body of persons approval

The Children and Young Persons Act 1963 S37(3)(b) gives a local authority the power to issue an exemption licence to a body of persons to enable an organisation to engage children in public performance without the need for separate performance licences to be issued. This is subject to certain criteria being met, and if granted, is known as a pdf icon body of persons approval [63kb].

To apply, complete a pdf icon body of persons approval application form [54kb].

We will carry out periodic inspections of performances taking place within North Yorkshire to ensure that the restrictions and conditions laid down in the regulations are being strictly adhered to.

Licensing of chaperones

When a child is required to be licensed by the local authority to take part in a performance, whether it is TV, filming, theatre or modelling, the child must be supervised at all times either by their parent/legal guardian or by an approved chaperone.

Grandparents or other family members are not legal guardians unless they have been appointed as such by the courts.

Chaperones act in the place of a parent by exercising the care which a good parent might reasonably be expected to give that child. Their first priority is always to the child and they must take action to prevent the child performing if it would be detrimental to the child's health, wellbeing and/or education.

Chaperones must complete a pdf icon daily record sheet [256kb] for each child performing. A chaperone must also complete and return a pdf icon chaperone referral sheet [177kb] should they have any concerns whilst chaperoning a child.

If you are interested in applying to become a chaperone, please contact the safeguarding administration team on 01609 536916 or email