Child employment licence

Licence name
Child employment licence

If you're an employer, find out if you need a licence, how to apply, what conditions you need to meet and how to appeal a licensing decision.

Do I need a licence?

You'll need a child employment licence if you want to hire a child who's of compulsory school age. A child is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they become 16 years of age. 

You'll need a licence whether or not you're going to pay the child for their work.


Only the person wishing to hire a child should apply for the child employment licence.

You should apply to the local authority where the child will be working, not the local authority where the child lives.

How to apply

To apply for a free child employment licence:

  1. Download and complete the child employment licence application form.
  2. Email the completed form to us at at least 21 days before you need the licence.
  3. When you email, you should also include a copy of the birth certificate of the child, a passport-sized photograph of the child, a copy of an identity document for the child and a recent photograph of the child, along with a risk assessment for the place of work.   
  4. We'll aim to get in touch within 10 working days to let you know any next steps.

Download the Child employment licence application form

Conditions to meet

Before we'll give you a child employment licence, you'll need to:

  1. Make sure the work the child is going to undertake doesn't breach any child employment laws. You can view a summary of restrictions to the type of work children can do on the application form above.
  2. Carry out a risk assessment to show us what the potential risks are for the child, including any potential physical, emotional or psychological risks. We'll need to see what actions you're taking to ensure the safety of the child in the workplace.
  3. Show us that the child's education won't be affected by working for you and demonstrate what actions you're taking to ensure this, if necessary.

You can tell us about these conditions and any actions you're taking on the application form.

We may refuse to give you a child employment licence if we believe the work will damage a child's health, care or education.

Does tacit consent apply?

No. We must process your application before it can be granted as tacit consent doesn't apply.

Validity and renewals

Your child employment licence will last until the child is no longer of compulsory school age. A child is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they become 16 years of age.

However, if there are any changes to the hours, days or type of work the child will be doing, your licence will no longer be valid and you'll have to apply for a new one.

Appeals, complaints and redress

You can get in touch with us using the contact details on this page if you want to know more about why we refused your application and what actions you can take before re-applying.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to your local magistrates' court.

Fines and penalties

If you employ a child when you don't have a licence, you'll face a Magistrates' court trial and a fine of up to £1,000.

Contact us