Scroll to content
Contact Us
The Limes College home page

The Limes College

Alternative Provision


Employment Law for Students

Any child of statutory school age must have an Employment Permit issued by the council in which they are working. Without this your child will be working illegally (this can incur a court appearance and a fine of £1000 for the employer) and your child will not be covered by insurance causing concern for their safety.


Between the ages of 13 and 16, children cannot work unless they have an Employment Permit.  It is illegal for businesses to employ children without a permit, this includes employing their own child.


Who needs to apply for a work permit?

The employer should apply to the borough in which the child will be working. A permit is for a specific job and cannot be transferred.


What type of work is allowed?

13 to 16 year olds can do light work in the following areas:

agricultural or horticultural work

delivery of newspapers/printed material

shop work

hairdressing salons

office work

private car washing by hand

café or restaurant – but not in the kitchen

domestic work – e.g. in a hotel


No child of any age can be employed in the following areas:

  • cinemas or night clubs
  • commercial kitchens
  • collecting or sorting rubbish, rags or scrap metal
  • any work more than three metres above the ground/floor level
  • telephone sales
  • fairgrounds or amusement arcades, as an attendant or assistant
  • industrial undertakings 


‘Industrial undertakings’ includes: mines and quarries, any manufacturing, construction or repair of buildings, roads etc and transport of passengers or goods, including handling goods in a warehouse.


The government has also placed other restrictions on the kind of work that children can do – including health and safety, alcohol licensing and gambling laws. The London Borough of Sutton also has Byelaws regarding what work children are permitted to undertake.


Hours children are permitted to work

No child may start work before 7am or work after 7pm on any day.

Monday to Friday - on a day a child expected to receive education, a child may only work for 2 hours 

Saturdays and holidays -children under 15 can work 5 hours a day (maximum 25 hours a week)

children over 15 can work 8 hours a day (maximum 25 hours a week)

Sundays - any child can work a maximum of 2 hours 


If a child has been excluded from school and is required to attend alternative educational provision, absence from the educational provision due to employment, whether paid or unpaid, would again be treated as an unauthorised absence and could lead to action against the parents and the employer if no Employment Permit is in place.

Contact Us

The Limes College, Robin Hood Lane,
Sutton SM1 2SD


The Limes College is part of Alternative Learning Trust which is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Company Number 11788031 Registered office: Sutton West Centre, Robin Hood Lane, Sutton SM1 2SD