Wiltshire Council is reminding employers if they want to continue employing young people in school Year 11 or under they must apply for a special dispensation to do so.
The council, along with a number of other local authorities, suspended child employment permits during COVID 19.
Employers and the child’s parents can request an exemption to this but they must prove how they will ensure safety standards during COVID-19 by completing short forms from the council website. Any employer, whether they applied for a child employment permit previously or not – needs to send in the evidence.
The council currently has 170 young people in Year 11 or younger who were working and had an employment permit before the council announced these would be suspended. This can be in a number of areas including newspaper rounds or retail. So far only a few applications have been sent in for dispensation and the council is reminding employers they should not continue without having it in place otherwise the child employment permit they have could be revoked.
DfE guidance highlights laws which state young people of statutory school age should only do light work which is not harmful to the safety, health or development of children.
However there are concerns it is more difficult to monitor these arrangements during this time including being able to assess whether appropriate health and safety measures have been taken. There are also concerns that children may be asked to work more hours than their licence permits, or during hours when they would ordinarily be at school.
Employers are reminded that it is illegal to employ a child who is in school Year 11 or under without having a valid child employment permit in place.
Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: “I want to thank those employers who have applied for dispensation so young people can continue to work. We have to be satisfied that employers are properly adhering to the highest health and safety standards for any employee but there is a particular duty of care for someone who is aged 16 or under.
“In order to allow young people to continue to work we ask employers to send in the required applications and information as soon as possible and we will swiftly review and advise. This way employers know they are doing their best for the young people they employ and we can be satisfied that important legal and safety standards are being met.”
The forms which need to be filled in by both employers and parents are:
- A child employment permit application if there is no permit already in place
- Code of conduct agreement – signed by the employer, the child and parents
- Risk assessment document – signed by the employer
- A medical declaration signed by the parents
People can email with any further questions at PNLO@wiltshire.gov.uk