Raising awareness of child employment laws in West Sussex

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From paper rounds to shop work, many young people across West Sussex will – at some point – be employed in a part-time job.

As part of Child Employment Month, Education Welfare officers will be visiting employers across the county to offer help and advice about employing school age children.

The visits by West Sussex County Council officers will highlight relevant byelaws which are in place to safeguard the education, health and welfare of young people.

Child Employment Month, organised by the National Network for Children in Employment and Entertainment (NNCEE), will run throughout April and aims to increase awareness of the law and ensure young people are working safely and legally.

The law states that children cannot work full-time if they are of compulsory school age, although children aged 13 and over are able to undertake some part-time positions.

Before any young person can undertake any work, they must have obtained an Employment Certificate from West Sussex County Council and both the child’s parents and school must have agreed to allow the child to take up employment.

Once the hours and nature of work are confirmed, the certificate will normally be issued. The conditions will then continue to be monitored.

More than 270 certificates were issued in West Sussex between September 2012 and December 2012, for jobs such as shop work, making teas in care homes, paper rounds, waiting/waitressing, light cleaning and warehouse duties.

Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “There are benefits of school age children having part-time jobs.

“As an introduction to the world of work, they can learn some important lessons in responsibility while also earning some extra pocket money.

“However, it is vital for us to ensure young people are not exploited and are able to work safely, without concern.”

Any employers, parents or students who would like further information can contact the Child Employment Team on 0845 075 1007 or at childemployment.entertainmentteam@westsussex.gov.uk