Skip to main content

Work permits for children under 16

Work permits for young people

Any young person under 16 employed in North Lanarkshire who has not reached their statutory school leaving date must have a work permit. This applies to all employment of under 16-year-olds, even if it is unpaid work.

In Scotland, the law states that children under school leaving age are allowed to work but only if, for example, their safety, health, development, and education are not put at risk.

The Scottish Government has prepared a guide aimed at children between the ages of 13 and school-leaving age looking for employment. The guide provides an overview of what work is and is not permitted and the hours that can be worked.

North Lanarkshire's bye-laws on the employment of children specify in more detail the type of work that can be undertaken. The bye-laws do not apply if the young person is over compulsory age for attending school. 

It is the responsibility of employers to make sure they have a work permit for each child in their employment under 16 and to ensure that a risk assessment of duties is carried out. Work permits should be applied for within one week of the child under 16 starting employment.

The bye-laws are there to protect children at work and an employer could be committing a criminal offence if he/she employs a child without applying for an employment permit.

How to apply

For an application form, please email childperformancelicence&

Applications must be completed by all parties:

  • the young person or parent/guardian
  • the employer
  • school
  • doctor (if required)

If a child changes their job/employer, we will require a new application.

How we deal with a new application

When we receive a completed application, if the type of work and hours are within the bye-laws and there are no objections, the permit will be issued to the child. If the form is completed by all parties, this is confirmation that there are no objections.

If you haven't heard from us within 28 days, please email childperformancelicence& and we will let you know about the progress of your application.

Page last updated:
04 Apr 2024

Help us improve this pageClose

We're sorry this page didn't meet your expectations this time. Please let us know if you have any feedback to help us improve the content.

If you have a question or comment about a council service or would like a reply, please contact us.

Thank you for your feedback