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Frequently Asked Questions

What age can I legally work?

From age thirteen, only part-time and only in specific areas. Any work you do must not affect your school work or attendance at school.

Do I need a work permit?

Yes. It is a legal requirement. Dudley MBC licenses all children who work in the Dudley borough, even if they live or go to school in another authority.

Does a 16 year old need a work permit?

Yes, if the child is still in compulsory education.

What is compulsory education?

A child whose 16th birthday falls between 1st September and 31st August remains of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June of the academic year of their 16th birthday.

How do you apply for a work permit?

Through the employer. The application form is also available through Dudley MBC’s website or by contacting 01384 814314 to request a hard copy.

What happens next?

We always check the child’s date of birth, attendance and the nature of the work.
If authorised: The permit is sent to the employer with a copy for the child. The child’s employment details are entered on our database and this information may be shared with other colleagues.
Please note that if there are concerns about your child’s attendance, the permit may be revoked, refused, or issued on a temporary basis only.

How long does an Employment Permit last?

The Employment Permit lasts for as long as the young person has the job or until they leave school. A young person who changes job or changes hours of working will need to have a new work permit.

Can I start work before I receive my work permit?

Yes as long as your employer has submitted the application

What hours can children work?

Please go to permitted hours of work for information about the hours children can work.

As a child, can I work for more than one employer?

You can work for as many employers as you like – but each separate job must be covered by a separate work permit. The limits on working times/hours will apply to the total hours of all your jobs. For example; you can work for 3 different employers on a Sunday, but your total hours for all three jobs combined must not exceed the permitted 2 hour maximum.

Is there a minimum wage for children? / Earnings

No – the minimum wage legislation only applies once a person has completed compulsory education. Dudley MBC cannot become involved in rates of pay for any child. Wages are set by the employer and should be reasonable for the amount and type of work done.

I am a parent and my child works in the family business. Do I need to get a work permit?

Yes, a child requires a permit even if working for a family member.

I’m not being paid for the work I do; do I still need a work permit?

Yes, a work permit is needed for work whether it is paid or unpaid.

Can the licence be withdrawn?

Yes, if your child’s attendance is poor, or we are concerned about your child’s welfare in any way.

My child has received a National Insurance Card. Can they start full-time work?

No, not until s/he is over official school leaving age: the last Friday in June of Year 11.

What type of work can I do?

Follow this link for further details on permitted/prohibited employment

Do I need a permit to babysit?

No because babysitting does not fall under child employment regulations. Guidance is available on request, please contact Child Employment Officer for further information.

Do you find employment for pupils seeking part time work?

No. The Local Authority is not authorised to act as an “employment bureau”. The role of the council is to ensure that the employment remains within the confines of the law – and thus (as far as possible) safe for the child.

Where can I get more information?

The National Network for Child Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE) offers further guidance and information about children in entertainment.

If you have any concerns relating to children in entertainment please contact your local Child Employment Officer (see contact details below).

Things to think about

Health and Safety

The employer must complete a risk assessment before the child starts work. The employer must also ensure that the child is properly protected when working and has appropriate clothing for indoor and outdoor work.

Child Protection

Child employment is a child protection issue. The work permit safeguards your child’s employment and welfare. If you or your child have any concerns, please contact this department.

Work Experience

This comes under different legislation and must be approved through your child’s school

Employers Who Don’t Apply for Work Permits

An employer who employs a compulsory school age child without an employment permit is in contravention of the child employment regulations and action may be taken against them by the local authority in whose area the employment takes place. This is applicable to all employers by all local authorities.

Any queries? Please contact:

Child Employment Officer
Education Investigation Service
Council House, Priory Road
Dudley, DY1 1HF
Tel: 01384 814314 Email: