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Children in Employment and Entertainment

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Children in Employment and Entertainment

What are our aims?

Part-time work or performing should not be detrimental to the child's health, welfare and education.

Our role is to:

  • Give advice and information to children, parents, schools employers, chaperones, productions and agents on the legislation relating to children in employment and entertainment.  
  • Register children in part-time work.
  • Licence both children and chaperones.
  • Approve adults acting as chaperones.
  • Inspect premises where children work, or are suspected of working/performing.

Who are we?

Children in Employment and Entertainment is a part of the County Attendance Team based in Aylesbury and is specifically responsible for the monitoring, inspection and administration of employment permits for compulsory school age children working part-time together with performance licences for all children from birth to the end of their compulsory education (last Friday in June of Year 11).  We also issue Chaperone approvals, which include Enhanced DBS checks and training for adult chaperoning child performers.

Definition of employment:

The definition of employment is "a person who assists in a trade or occupation carried on for profit whether or not the child receives pay or reward for that employment". (Children and Young Person Act 1933 s.30. Buckinghamshire County Council Child Employment Byelaws 1998).  It is illegal for a child to work part-time under the age of 13 years.

Child Performance:

This includes areas such as: films, TV, commercials, theatre, dance/music shows, choirs, banks, modelling (stills and filmed) and the like, whether professionally, or by amateur dramatic and community groups.  Children from birth to the end of compulsory education are permitted to perform.


  • Nationally surveys show that at any one time more than 1.5 million children of compulsory school age are working part-time and an estimated 2.1 million children have experienced work before they leave school. Further studies have shown that it is detrimental to the child's education, health and safety and wellbeing to work over 20 hours per week.
  • The County Attendance Team offers advice to: schools, children, parents, employers and employer associations and takes part in multi-agency working with such departments as: Safeguarding, Trading Standards, Environmental Health and the Police.
  • Employment contraventions fall mainly into 3 areas: prohibited, unregistered and over permissible hours. If employers continued to flout the law PACE (Police & Criminal Evidence) procedures are followed.  This may lead to court action and prosecution.
  • Buckinghamshire has 4 theatres, 1 large studio (Pinewood) and 3 further recording studios. Due to Buckinghamshire's close proximity to London and the M40/M25 road links many productions also film on location in our area i.e. Harry Potter, Midsummer Murders and the like.
  • In 2014 Buckinghamshire issued 1,137 performance licences; 59 chaperone approvals; and 340 employment permits.  In 2014 105 productions took place in our area involving nearly 400 children from all over the UK and abroad.
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