Q460: How old does a child have to be to work?
The child must be at least 14 years old to be employed, and there are strict restrictions on the hours and conditions for this. These restrictions can be varied by local by-laws to a certain degree. Such by-laws would vary depending on the type of trade and age of the child. It is possible that the local authority will have a by-law which states that children under 13 can do light agricultural and horticultural work for their parents or guardians. To see if any such by-laws exist in your area please contact your local authority, using the link within related information.
The main restrictions are as follows:
- must not work during school hours
- must not work for more than two hours on a school day
- not work for more than 12 hours during a school week (1 hour between 7am and 830am and 1 hour between end of school and 7pm or 2 hours between end of school and 7pm)
- not for more than 2 hours on a Sunday (between 7am and 11am)
- not for more than 5 hours a day if he/she is under 15 years old on any day that is not a school day and not a Sunday (Saturday and school holidays)
- not for more than 8 hours a day if he/she is over 15years old and over on any day that is not a school day and not a Sunday (Saturday and school holidays)
- for more than 35 hours in a week if he/she is aged 15 and over
- for not more than 25 hours in a week if he/she is under 15
- he must have at least two consecutive weeks off in any year during which he/she does not work and is not at school.