Child Employment

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

Child employment licences | North Yorkshire Council

NYC Policy Change Regarding the Issuing of Performance Licences

NYC policy regarding issuing of Performance Licences has been reviewed and an enhanced ‘Fast Track’ system introduced along with our standard system for issuing performance licences. 

The standard system which is free of charge, enables us to process a fully complete licence application accompanied by the relevant documents, to undertake required checks and issue a performance licence 10+ working days before the child’s first working day. 

The fast track system which carries a fee of £40 per performance licence enables us to increase our capacity to process a fully complete application pack and issue a performance licence between 9 and 3 working days before the child’s first working day. The fee is payable before the licence application can be processed and the relevant checks undertaken.

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 less than three working days before the child is due to start working.

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

Working in the Entertainment Industry

Children from birth up to the end of statutory school age working in entertainment require a performance licence if:

  • The child or anyone connected with them is being paid for the performance (other than out of pocket expenses)
  • The child is required to be absent from school to rehearse and/or perform

If none of the above apply then A Body of Person Approval (BOPA) will need to be applied for.  This is granted to the organisation that is responsible for the performance and is issued by the authority where the performance is taking place. It removes the need to apply for individual licences and is the organisation which is approved not the child.  The same principles apply in terms of safeguarding the child and ensuring there is proper provision to secure the child’s health and kind treatment. A BOPA can be granted for a single performance or for a series of performances undertaken over one year and so will need to be renewed annually.

In instances where a child is due to perform, where no payment is to be made, the child will not need to be absent from school and has not performed on more than three days in the last six months then a Licence Exemption can be applied for.  Once a child has performed on four days in a six month period then a licence will be required for any further performances (be that a performance licence of BOPA).


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 a licensed 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 533080.

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 NYC website.  The Chaperone application form is now on there along with other useful information and links. Information is under Child employment licences and covers Child Employment Licences  - Performance and Entertainment Licences and Chaperone Licences which includes the information about how to apply and the relevant links. Home | North Yorkshire Council

Work Permits: 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.

Useful Documents

Child Employment Guidelines

Performance Licence Application Form

Work Permit Application Form 

Child Employment Letter to Schools June 2018