Lots of young people take part-time jobs to help them earn extra money while they're studying at school. If you are below the minimum school leaving age, legislation limits the hours you may work and the types of work you are allowed to do.

If you are below the minimum school leaving age, you must apply for an employment permit from the local authority where you will be working.

Under the age of 13

If you are under the age of 13, you must not be employed. There are some exceptions, such as acting or modelling, for which a performance licence has to be issued.

Performance licences are issued by the local authority where you will be working. The local authority will liaise with the child’s school to ensure that their education will not suffer. A child taking part in a performance will require chaperoning by someone licensed by the local authority.

At age 13

13 year olds may work only if permitted by the bye-laws in the area where they live and there may be restrictions on the types of work you are allowed to do.

At age 14 up to school leaving age

If you are aged 14 up to the minimum school leaving age, the law limits the hours you can work and the types of work you can do. For instance, you must not work:

  • During school hours
  • Before 7am or after 7pm
  • For more than an hour before school (local bye-laws may vary)
  • For more than two hours on a school day or a Sunday
  • In any job that may be harmful to your health, well-being or education.

National legislation bans certain types of employment, including working in a betting shop, petrol station, pub, factory or on in any industrial setting (factory, building site, mine etc). Local bye-laws may also restrict other types of work. Check with the local authority where you will be working.

At age 14 young people may work:

  • Up to a total of two hours on school days and Sundays
  • Up to a maximum of 12 hours per week during term time
  • Up to a maximum of five hours (between 7am and 7pm) on Saturdays
  • Up to five hours on weekdays during school holidays, up to a maximum of 25 hours in any one week

At age 15 and 16 young people may work:

  • Up to a total of two hours on school days and Sundays
  • Up to a maximum of 12 hours per week during term time
  • Up to a maximum of eight hours (between 7am and 7pm) on Saturdays
  • Up to a maximum of eight hours on weekdays during school holidays, up to a maximum of 35 hours in any one week

You do not need an employment permit for any work experience placements arranged by your school.

You must have your parents’ or carers’ consent to work part-time.