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Employment bylaws for children and young people

What legislation deals with children in employment?

Fife has its own regulations entitled The Fife Council Byelaws on the Employment of Children 1999 which came into force on 5 September 1999.

What is meant by the term 'child'?

Under this legislation, 'child' means a person who is not for the purposes of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 over school age (in practice this means children who are not yet eligible to leave secondary school).  There are, however, special rules covering children of certain ages.

What kind of work is it illegal to employ children for?

No child of any age may be employed:

  • in a cinema, theatre, discotheque, dance hall or night club, except in connection with a children's performance
  • to sell or deliver alcohol, except in sealed containers
  • to deliver milk
  • to deliver fuel oils
  • in a commercial kitchen
  • to collect or sort refuse
  • in any work above 3 metres from ground (or floor) level
  • if harmfully exposed to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • to collect money or to sell/canvas door to door, unless supervised by an adult
  • in work involving exposure to adult material
  • in telephone sales
  • in a slaughterhouse
  • as an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade
  • in the personal care of residents in a residential care home unless supervised by an adult.

Can children engage in street trading?

Yes, but only if over 14 years of age when supervised by the child's parent for work associated with their business.  The child requires a street trader's licence.

What kind of work can a child aged 14 or over be employed for?

Children aged 14 or over can only be employed for 'light' work.  This means that the tasks and conditions involved must not be harmful to their safety, health, development or attendance at school.

What kind of work can a child aged 13 be employed for?

A child aged 13 can only be employed for 'light' work in one of the following categories:

  • agricultural or horticultural work
  • delivery of newspapers, journals, etc
  • shop work, including shelf stacking
  • in hairdressing salons
  • office work
  • car washing by hand in a private residential setting
  • in a café or restaurant
  • in riding stables
  • domestic work in hotels and other establishments offering accommodation

What conditions do employers have to meet before employing a child?

Before employing a child, an employer must apply to and receive from Fife Council an Employment Permit.  The details to be supplied include:

  • the employer's own name & address
  • the child's name, address & date of birth
  • hours, days and nature of work involved
  • consent of child's parent
  • details of child's school
  • details of risk assessment conducted by employer

What hours of work apply to children in employment?

Children cannot be employed:

  • before the close of school hours (they can however work for up to 1 hour before school starts but not before 7 a.m.)
  • before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on any day
  • for more than 2 hours on school days
  • for more than 2 hours on Sunday
  • for more than 8 hours (5 hours for under 15-year-olds) on non-school days other than Sunday (this normally applies to Saturday and school holidays)
  • for more than 35 hours (25 hours for under 15-year-olds) during school holidays
  • for more than 4 hours in any day without a rest break of one hour
  • so as to prevent them from having at least 2 consecutive weeks without working during the school holidays in any year

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