Buckinghamshire county council byelaws

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Last updated: 12 March 2019

Made under Section 236 of the Local Government Act 1972

Buckinghamshire County Council, in exercise of the powers conferred on it by section 18(2) and 20(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, hereby makes the following Byelaws:

Citation and commencement

  1. These Byelaws may be cited as the Buckinghamshire County Council Byelaws on the Employment of Children 1998 and shall come into force on 22nd October, 1998.

Interpretation and extent

  1. In these Byelaws, unless the context otherwise requires:

"the authority" means Buckinghamshire County Council;

"child" means a person who is not yet over compulsory school age as defined in section 8 of the Education Act 1996.

"employment" includes assistance in any trade or occupation which is carried on for profit, whether or not payment is received for that assistance;

"light work" means work which, on account of the inherent nature of the tasks which it involves and the particular conditions under which they are performed -

a. is not likely to be harmful to the safety, health or development of children; and

b. is not such as to be harmful to their attendance at school, their participation in work experience in accordance with section 560 of the Education Act 1996, or their capacity to benefit from the instruction received or, as the case may be, the experience gained.

"parent" includes any person who has for the time being parental responsibility for a child within the meaning of section 3 of the Children Act 1989.

"public place" includes any public part, garden, sea beach or railway station and any ground to which the public for the time being have or are permitted to have access, whether on payment or otherwise;

"street" includes any highway and any public bridge, road, lane, footway, square, court, alley or passage, whether a thoroughfare or not;

"street trading" includes the hawking of newspapers, matches, flowers and other articles, playing, singing or performing for profit, shoe blacking and other like occupations carried on in any street or public place;

"year", except in expression of age, means a period of twelve months beginning with 1st January.

Prohibited Employment

  1. No child of any age may be employed -

a. in a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or night club, except in connection with a performance given entirely by children;*

b. to sell or deliver alcohol;

c. to deliver milk;

d. to deliver fuel oils;

e. in a commercial kitchen;

f. to collect or sort refuse;

g. in any work which is more than three metres above ground level or, in the case of internal work, more than three metres above floor level;

h. in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents;

i. to collect money or to sell or canvass door to door;

j. in work involving exposure to adult material or in situations which are for this reason otherwise unsuitable for children;

k. in telephone sales;

l. in any slaughterhouse or in that part of any butcher’s shop or other premises connected with the killing of livestock, butchery, or the preparation of carcasses or meat for sale;

m. as an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or in any other premises used for the purpose of public amusement by means of automatic machines, games of chance or skill or similar devices;

n. in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home’

Permitted employment of children aged 14 and over

  1. A child aged 14 or over may be employed only in light work.

Permitted employment of children aged 13

  1. A child aged 13 may not be employed except in light work in one or more of the following specified categories:

a. agricultural or horticultural work;

b. delivery of newspapers, journals and other printed material;

c. shop work; including shelf stacking;

d. hairdressing salons;

e. office work;

f. car washing by hand in a private residential setting;

g. in a café or restaurant;

h. in riding stables; and

i. domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation.

Employment before school

  1. Subject to the other provisions of these byelaws, children may be employed for up to one hour before the commencement of school hours on any day on which they are required to attend school.

Additional condition(s)

  1. No child may be employed in any work out of doors unless wearing suitable clothes and shoes.

Notification of Employment and employment permits

  1. Within one week of employing a child, the employer must send to the authority written notification stating:

a. his own name and address;

b. the name, address and date of birth of the child;
c. the hours and days on which the child is to be employed, the occupation in which the child is to be employed, details of the task involved and, if different from (a) above, the place of employment;

d. a statement of the child’s fitness to work, and of approval for the child to be employed, completed by the child’s parent;

e. details of the school at which the child is a registered pupil; and

f. a statement to the effect that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out by the employer.

  1. Where, on receipt of a notification, the local authority is satisfied that:

a. the proposed employment is lawful;

b. the child’s health, welfare or ability to take full advantage of his education would not be jeopardised; and

c. the child is fit to undertake the work for which he is to be employed,

It will issue the child with an employment permit.

10.   Before issuing an employment permit, a local authority may require a child to have a medical examination.

11.   The employment permit will state:

a. the name, address and date of birth of the child;

b. the hours and days on which the child is to be employed, the occupation in which the child is to be employed, details of the task involved and the place of employment.

12.   A child may be employed only in accordance with the details shown on his employment permit.

13.   A local authority may amend a child’s employment permit from time to time on the application of an employer.

14.   The local authority may at any time revoke a child’s employment permit if it has reasonable ground to believe -

a. that the child is being unlawfully employed, or

b. that his health, welfare or ability to take advantage of his education are suffering or likely to suffer as a result of the employment.

15.   A child must produce his employment permit for inspection when required to do so by an authorised officer of the authority or a police officer.

Street Trading

16.   No child under the age of 14 may engage in street trading and a child aged 14 or over may not engage in street trading unless:

a. he is employed to do so by his parent, in connection with their retail business and under their direct supervision; and

b. he has been granted a licence to do so (“a street trader’s licence”) by the authority and is acting in compliance with the terms of that licence.

17.   The authority shall not grant a street trader’s licence to any child if it has reason to believe that the employment of the child in street trading would be prejudicial to his health, welfare or ability to take full advantage of his education or the child’s street trader’s licence has previously been revoked.

18.   A street trader’s licence shall prohibit the holder from engaging in street trading on a Sunday.

And shall

a. be valid for not more than 12 months and shall expire on 31 December;

b. prohibit the holder from touting or importuning to the annoyance or obstruction of any member of the public in any street or public place’ and

c. require that the child notify the authority within one week of any change of address.

19.   The authority may suspend or revoke a street trader’s licence if it has reason to believe that the holder’s continued employment in street trading would be prejudicial to his health, welfare, or ability to take full advantage of his education, or if the holder:

a. is found guilty of any offence connected with the street trading;

b. commits any breach of these byelaws or the terms of his street trader’s licence;

c. uses the licence as a means for begging, immorality or any other improper purpose; or

d. fails to notify the authority within one week of any change of address.


20.   The Byelaws with respect to the employment of children (and street trading) made by Buckinghamshire County Council on the sixth day of October 1982 and confirmed by the Secretary of State on the twenty eighth day of January 1983 are hereby revoked.

The common seal of Buckinghamshire County Council was affixed on 16 October 1998.

*This does not prevent children taking part in performances under the provision of a licence granted in accordance with the Children and Young Persons Act 1963, and the associated regulations.

Buckinghamshire county council byelaws PDF (33 KB)

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