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Employment of Children and Young People Including Child Performance Licences

The Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1998, which effectively revoked previous byelaws, and The Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 2006 were introduced in order to implement the child employment provisions of EC Directive 94/33/EC on the protection of young people at work.

West Lothian Council byelaws, introduced as a consequence of the EC Directive and the 1998 Regulations, have been in force since 17 April 2002.   You can pdf icon download a copy of the byelaws [52kb].

The pdf icon Employment of Children Policy, including an application form [51kb] can be downloaded. Applications should be submitted to the child's school. Certificates are issued by the school.

Child Performance Licences

Children of compulsory school age living in West Lothian who wish to take part in performances may need to pdf icon apply for a licence [64kb]. The performing industries include television, film, theatre, modelling and sporting activities.  The new Children (Performances and Activities) (Scotland) Regulations 2014 came into force on 20th February 2015.

A licence is required if one or more of the following applies, except in cases where one of the exceptions noted further below applies:

1. Your child takes part in a sport, or work as a model, where payment is made (other than to cover expenses).

2. Your child takes part in a performance and a charge is made for admission (or otherwise) in relation to the performance.

3. Your child takes part in a performance in licensed premises.

4. Your child takes part in a performance which is to be broadcast, included in a radio or television programme service or recorded (by whatever means) with a view to its use in a broadcast, radio or television programme service or in a film intended for public exhibition.

A licence is not required for any child to take part in a performance if no payment is made (except to cover expenses) and one of the following apply:-

1. Your child has not taken part in a performance on more than three days in the six months before the performance.

2. The performance is given under arrangements made by the school.

Body of Persons Approval

If children are not being paid for their performance, it may be possible for the organiser of the performance to apply for Body of Persons Approval instead of individual child performance licences.  For more information see the Scottish Government's Getting it Right for Young Performers guidance.  If you would like to apply for Body of Persons Approval instead of individual child performance licences, please e-mail us and we will help you to apply.

As a child, what do I have to do before starting a part-time job?

If you are under 16, you must apply for a permit from the school before you commence work with an employer.

As a child, what hours can I work on a school day?

Children may be employed for no more than two hours on a school day subject to a maximum of one hour between 7am and 9am and no later than 7pm in the evening on any day. No child may be employed for more than 2 hours on a Sunday.

If I already have a permit that allows me as a child to work, what happens if I want to change my job/employer?

If you want to change your job/employer, you will need to make a fresh application even if you already have a permit that allows you, as a school-age child, to work.

Is it illegal to have a job at age 12?

Yes, it is illegal to have a job at the age of 12. Children aged between 10 and 13 can work only for their own parent(s) and then only in light agriculture/horticulture. A child below age 10 cannot have a job in any circumstances.

What age do I need to be before I am allowed to have a part-time job?

If you want to get a part-time job, you need to be at least 13, depending on the nature of the work. The Byelaws specify in more detail the type of work that can be undertaken. (The Byelaws do not apply if you are compulsory age for attending school).

What is a Children's Entertainment Licence?

A children's entertainment licence is needed for each child who is taking part in a performance where a charge is made (for admission or otherwise) or any broadcast performance or any performance recorded (by whatever means) with a view to its use in a broadcast or in a film intended for public exhibition. The LEA issues licences for school age children to perform in the theatre or on television. Before granting a licence the Education Authority will liaise with the Headteacher of the child's school to ensure that the child's education will not suffer should that licence be granted.

Where can I find information on the employment of children?

Secondary schools have the application forms and Byelaws on the employment of Children. pdf icon Download the Policy including an application form [51kb].