You can't apply for this licence online. Contact your local council.


If you want to employ a child you may need to obtain a work permit for that child from the local authority where your business is based.

A child includes any person who has not yet reached compulsory school leaving age.

It’s illegal to employ children under the age of 13 unless they are taking part in a paid performance (eg a play or film), sport or modelling and you have obtained a child performance licence from the relevant local authority.


Children aged 13 may only be employed if your local authority allows it and only on an occasional basis:

  • by their parents in light agricultural or horticultural work
  • in categories of light work set out in local byelaws

There are strict rules governing the hours that children can work and the types of work they can do.

Check with your local authority to see what kinds of work children are permitted to do in your area and whether a work permit is required.

How to apply

If a permit is required, you will need to complete an application form from your local authority providing details about:

  • your business
  • the child
  • the job which the child is to be employed to do
  • the hours which they’ll be expected to work

You’ll also need to provide:

  • a statement by the child’s parents that the child is fit to work and they agree to the employment (this may be part of the application form)
  • evidence that the job is not dangerous (eg a risk assessment)

An application fee isn’t generally payable.

If a permit is granted you’ll receive a letter of confirmation from the local authority.

Fines and penalties

If you fail to obtain a work permit for a child that you employ, you may be fined up to £1,000.