Even Santa's little helper needs a work permit

Published: 14 Dec 2017

Hertfordshire County Council issues over 800 work permits each year for school age children who undertake paid or unpaid work, including one for Santa’s little helper.

While helping out in the Christmas grotto is allowed there are strict limits on the types of jobs that school age children, aged 13 -16 (born after 31 August 2001), can do and the hours they can work if they are working in a trade or occupation carried out for profit.

For example, working in an office, a hair salon or delivering newspapers are all permitted but they would not be allowed to work in a cinema, a nightclub or a commercial kitchen.

It is the employer’s responsibility to apply for work permits for any school age children they employ.

Children on work experience organised by their school, undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme or babysitting do not need a work permit.

Teresa Heritage, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: "At this time of year lots of children take on Christmas jobs to earn a bit of extra pocket money. This is beneficial as it gives them valuable experience in the world of work, improves independence and self-esteem.

“My thanks to employers for taking on young people this Christmas and I would ask them to take their responsibilities in this area very seriously and make sure they understand the law governing working restrictions and permitted working hours."

Full details can be found at: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolagedworkpermit

Leaflets are also available from the Children's Services helpline - 0300 1234043.