Statement regarding child work permits

As you are aware, we are going through a difficult and unsettling time with COVID-19. We are taking guidance from the Government and the World Health Organisation, to monitor progress and delay the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The situation is under constant review and we are doing all we can to protect the public.

The Government has now closed all schools across the country except where it is necessary for the school to provide a child care provision for the children of key workers. This step was taken to safeguard children and slow the spread of COVID-19. As a result, we have decided to postpone the issue of any new work permits until such time that schools reopen and social distancing is no longer required.

For all pupils who hold current work permits, we are writing to parents/carers and employers to outline the Government’s position on safe working, key workers and non-essential travel. We require that they take responsibility for making the decision on whether they wish those under the age of 16 years old to continue working at a given establishment/employer. We have asked parents/carers to discuss what risk assessments and assurances employers can give regarding ensuring safe working practices. This is in order to support their decision on whether their child is safe to continue working in that environment.

The Local Authority’s position with regards to S.18 Children and Young Persons Act 1933, permits that children under the age of 16 years are only able to work when it is not “harmful to the safety, health or development of children”. 

We would therefore like to remind you that:

  • no work is premitted between 9.00am and 3.00pm (Monday-Friday) during term time. This is in order to provide protected learning time for students to carry out any work set by the schools or any other educational activities.
  • during holiday periods, work can be carried out between the hours of 7.00am and 7.00pm for a maximum of 5 hours per day for 13 and 14 year olds (maximum 25 hours per week). Also, for a maximum of 8 hours per day for 15 and 16 years olds (maximum 35 hours per week).
  • children are only to work in essential sectors, and only where the work cannot be performed at home
  • children with underlying health conditions, correct at time and date of issue of this statement, or who are pregnant, should not work outside of their home
  • children who show symptoms must not work for a period of 7 days following the end of the symptoms
  • children who live with someone who shows symptoms must not work for a period of 14 days following the end of that person (or any other person who subsequently displays symptoms) showing symptoms
  • work places have in place appropriate risk assessments and provide appropriate PPE

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and look forward to when schools reopen and social distancing is no longer required.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult and unprecedented times. Should you have any additional queries, please email

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