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Child Employment Petition

Published: 17th June 2021

The NNCEE has launched a petition calling on the Government to review and update the legislation on children under 16 working in part time jobs such as paper rounds, in shops and cafes etc.  We would really appreciate it if you could support us and sign the petition and also share with friends and families and ask them to sign as well.

The legislation is not fit for purpose and needs bringing up to date. Most LA officers are concerned that there are no safeguarding responsibilities placed on the employers by child employment legislation, nor any mandatory safeguarding checks that need to be carried out before issuing a permit. We would like to see requirements placed on the employer for safer recruitment or DBS checks to be in place for those employees who have the supervising responsibility for young people.

Under the current legislation anyone can be an employer and employ a young person into a role. No checks are carried to certify this nor are there any safeguarding checks made by the LA. Young people in their employment can be working in isolation carrying out a newspaper round or they can be working alongside a member of staff for several hours a day for many weeks. Young people have no contact points or if they have a complaint or are concerned about the environment they work in there is nobody for them to go to for help, guidance and support.

The employment market has changed considerably over the years and yet the legislation has not so the opportunities available to young people have grown but the old legislation does not allow them the opportunities. For example they cannot work in cinemas, they can only work for two hours on a Sunday and it is difficult for staff and employers to navigate their way through legislation which is inflexible and unsuited to modern employment opportunities and business operating hours.

Whilst we would still wish for legislation to protect young people’s education and leisure time, we need up to date rules and regulations that reflect how businesses have changed (increased opening hours on a Sunday for example) and how schooling has changed (an increase in Elective Home Education and the establishment of Academy Trusts for example).

There is also no minimum wage for those aged 13-16, something that needs to be looked at so we can put the correct measures in place to ensure that our young people are not exploited or put at risk.

The NNCEE recognises that young people really value the benefits that having a part time job brings, and the skills the young people acquire whilst carrying out the job go a long way in helping them to prepare for working life or their next step in education. Our employers also tell us how much they value the contribution our young people make to their businesses, whilst also expressing frustration at the limitations of the legislation. It is for these reason that ask you to support us in sharing this petition and asking the government to review the legislation.

When you sign the petition you can click on the link to share with your personal Facebook, Twitter and even WhatsApp. If you are able to do this to help us gain further support and signatures that would be really helpful. 

We know how long it took to change the legislation on Child Entertainment and ideally we want the issue debated in Parliament and to do this we need to obtain 100,00+ signatures.

We hope you will join us in signing and sharing the petition as this could be our time to help make the change to ensure the legisaltion is fi for purpose in the 21st centrury and safeguards children.


Click this link to see the petition and start sharing it:


Thanks in advance for your support.