Child Employment Awareness: Young People in the Workplace

Published: 28 May 2024

A headline reads: "Child Work Permits: It's your responsibility!" with an array of images depicting young people in work

As we approach the Summer season, the Isle of Wight Council is raising awareness of child employment legislation to ensure children engaged in part-time employment do so legally and safely.

Children and young people can be employed in part-time work from the age of 13 to the end of compulsory school leavers age, which is the last Friday in June of Year 11.

In order to work, a young person must have a work permit and it is the legal responsibility of the employer to apply for one. It is illegal for a young person to work without one, and an employer can be prosecuted, fined and have their insurance invalidated if they employ a child without one. The permits are free, valid for 12 months and easy to apply for. Rachael Williams, the Isle of Wight Council’s Education and Inclusion Manager, said: “Employment can offer wonderful opportunities for young people to gain experience and valuable skills. However, the welfare of children is paramount and if they are taking part in part-time work opportunities, we need to ensure their needs are being met by employers and that children who do work are doing so safely."

"The Local Authority will work with businesses to confirm that they are complying with all the relevant legislation related to Child Employment. This can include visiting businesses across the Island to carry out checks on workplaces that may employ children of school age to make sure young people in part-time jobs are safe and working legally.”

“This should not be seen as a barrier to offering young people part-time employment, the council will provide support and guidance to anyone who requires it."

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Education and Corporate Functions said: “The Isle of Wight Council supports young people in their entry into the world of work.”

“It is vital that the opportunities presented to young islanders are safe and legal. Familiarise yourself with the legislation and lead the way as a place of work that offers our young people the best start in their careers.”

If anyone suspects a young person is working illegally either by working more hours than is permitted for their age (or later than 7pm), or undertaking work that is not permitted, you can report it anonymously to the council, which will contact the employer to provide advice and support regarding child employment.

For more details on child employment and to make an application for a work permit, please visit the council’s website: Child Employment