Many employers will have welcomed the statement that allows certain businesses to resume operation, but we expect child employment dispensation to be applied for in order for children to be able to work safely.
Hours and tasks
Child employees can only work for the hours granted on your original child employment permit unless permission has been given as part of your application for dispensation. They can also only carry out the work tasks specified on the original permit unless permission has been given for variation. All children must be available to complete school work during school hours.
Year 11 students may work full-time without the need for a child employment permit.
Relaxation of restrictions
It is unclear at this time what the implications of any easing of restrictions might look like. Suspension of child employment permits in North Somerset will remain in place until otherwise advised.
Your child employee cannot work as a volunteer instead. Children volunteering at any business that is carried on for profit normally requires an employment permit. This may include volunteering for charities.
Applying for a new permit
We will still process new applications, with priority given to applications where employers wish children to start work as soon as possible. In these cases, the appropriate dispensation forms must accompany the application.
If you made an application before Covid-19 struck you may still apply for dispensation. We will process these as soon as possible.
Failure to apply for dispensation
If you continue to employ children without applying for dispensation then we may revoke your child employment permits. This will be permanent and permits will have to be reapplied for. The council will work with you in the first instance to try to resolve this and to support you with applications for dispensation.
Employing children without a permit
Employing children without a permit is illegal. You can contact us in confidence at CSHub@n-somerset.gov.uk if you believe a business is employing a child without a permit.
We will always try to work with employers to resolve these matters. However, there may be occasions when it is necessary for us to take action to ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of children is protected. Ultimately the matter may be referred to the Magistrates’ Court, where the maximum penalty is £1,000 per offence or 1-month imprisonment.