Child Employment

General information about child employment, licensing of children in entertainment and the licensing of chaperones, including application forms, can be found on the NYCC website.

NYCC Policy Change Regarding the Issuing of Performance Licences

NYCC Policy regarding the issuing of Performance Licences has recently been under review and an enhanced scheme, part of which allows us to turn around Performance Licence applications which reach us with 10+ working days notice will continue to be processed free of charge.  

To implement the scheme there will be a cost to the applicant or company of £40 per licence to enable us to increase our capacity to achieve this.  The application form must be received fully complete, with required documents included and a commitment to payment agreed.  Applications that reach us with 10 days notice will continue to be processed free of charge.

Please note:  to ensure that our children are safeguarded and all checks are carried out appropriately, we continue to be unable to process licences which reach us with less than three working days notice and with no less than 4 working days notice if Chaperone and Accommodation checks are required to be carried out.

For further information please contact : Tel: 01609 536916 or e-mail   

What Does the Law Say?

The law allows a young person to be employed from 14, but Local Authorities can permit a young person to be employed from 13. The law specifies the permitted hours, types of employment and makes it essential for employers to obtain a work permit for school age employees. It includes the rights of the employee and the responsibilities of the employer. Children working without a permit may not be covered by any form of insurance, regardless of the policies that the employer has in force. Employers who breach this legislation are risking the safety of young people and can face fines of up to £1000.

Any employer who allows a child of school age to work, without first obtaining a work permit, is breaking the law and could be prosecuted.

Working in the Entertainment Industry

Children from birth up to the end of statutory school age working in entertainment require a performance licence. You do not require a licence, however, if:

  • the performance is unpaid;
  • does not require you to be absent from school;
  • the child has not performed for more than 4 days in the last 6 months.

Under the 1968 Performance of Children Regulations, the producer in charge of the performance is responsible for ensuring all children are properly licensed to perform.


When a child is required to be licensed by the local authority to take part in a performance, whether it is TV, filming, theatre or modelling, the child must be supervised at all times either by their parent/legal guardian or by an approved chaperone.

Grandparents or other family members are not legal guardians unless they have been appointed as such by the courts.

Chaperones act in the place of a parent by exercising the care which a good parent might reasonably be expected to give that child. Their first priority is always to the child and they must take action to prevent the child performing if it would be detrimental to the child's health, wellbeing and/or education.

For chaperone queries please contact or call 01609 532477

For detailed information about chaperones and how they carry out their duties and guidance about the types of work which require a performance licence visit the NYCC website.

Useful Documents

Child Employment Guidelines

Performance Licence Application Form

Work Permit Application Form (Updated July 2020)

Child Employment Letter to Schools June 2018

Risk Questionnaire for Home Filming

Risk Assessment Questionnaire May 2020

Covid-19 health declaration form