Guidance for Employers, Parents, Schools and Electively Home Educated Students


The law surrounding the employment of children is complicated but if you employ children of compulsory school age you must apply for a work permit.

Information can be obtained by contacting the Child Employment and Performance Officer or alternatively for more information on child employment download the documents below.


School age children often look for part time work to earn extra pocket money. However, ALL children of compulsory school age must have a work permit. This is issued free of charge by the Local Authority. The Local Authority are responsible for ensuring that the work is suitable and does not affect the child's health or education before they issue it. There are laws about the rights of children to work which parents and employers need to be aware of.

If a child is involved in theatre, TV modelling performances or paid sport the rules are different and may require the child to be issued with a performance licence, which again is issued by the Local Authority.

Children taking part in licensed performances must be supervised by a Licensed Chaperone (also sometimes referred to as a "matron"), unless they are supervised by their own parent or guardian. Babcock LDP acting on behalf of Devon County Council provides an information sheet for parents chaperoning their own children without a chaperone licence, to make them more aware of what times their child can work, what the regulations allow and what they should expect to find in place at the location. They are also responsible for the licensing of chaperones and an application pack is available for those chaperones who need to be licensed.

N.B. Grandparents, other relatives, childminders etc. are not legal guardians unless recognised as such by the courts. They cannot chaperone any child other than their own without a licence.


Children are allowed to work from the age of 13 if they have been issued with a work permit from the Local Authority. To help protect children all child employment is regulated by law. Children who are involved in theatre, TV, modelling performances or paid sport are also governed by law and may need to obtain an entertainment license.

More information on child employment and information can be found above for Employers and Parents and for Chaperones here.

If your school would like to request a presentation to pupils about regulation, governing, the employment of children of compulsory school age or information and advice on child entertainment contact the Child Employment and Entertainment Officer:

Child Employment & Entertainment Officer
Babcock LDP
Second Floor,
Milford House
Pynes Hill

Tel: 01392 287223

Elective Home Education

Students who are recieving Elective Home Education are governed by the same laws with regard to child employment issues as any other child. Parents and employers sometimes experience confusion about what work these children can undertake and how many hours they can work for.
Once a child takes up Elective Home Education the parents will be given the information leaflet, A Guide to Child Employment leaflet and a letter explaining about work and work experience for their children once they are old enough to work.
However, most confusion revolves around the issue of work experience, and the following information aims to clarify the situation for both parents and employers.


Child Work Permit Application Form

Guide to Child Employment

Information on Employment for Electively Home Educated Students

Information on Work Experience for Electively Home Educated Students

Scroll to top