Child Work Permits

Why do I need a licence?

Employers of children working in Milton Keynes are responsible for applying for a work permit for that 'child'. This is a requirement under Section 18, Children and Young Person Act 1933 and Milton Keynes City Council Byelaws (see Annex E of MKCC's Children's Licensing Policy.) 

Who can apply?

If you want to employ a child above the age of 13 until they reach school leaving age (until the last Friday of June of the school year (1st September to 31st August) in which they have their 16th birthday) you need to obtain a work permit for that child from the local authority where your business is based.

What do the regulations say?

Section 18, Children and Young Persons Act 1933

What is meant by employment?

As well as employment in its normal meaning the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 states that a person who assists in a trade or occupation carried on for profit is considered employed even though they may receive no payment.


Unpaid work at a charity shop would count as employment but not for example unpaid work at a youth club. Therefore any Duke of Edinburgh volunteering activity undertaken at a charity shop will require a work permit.

Work experience

Section 560 Education Act 1996 states that children who are in the last two years of compulsory school age do not need a work permit for work experience arranged by their school where the work experience is provided as part of their education.

What documents are required?

Applications must be sent to the licensing authority for the area where the children are working and not where they live. Applications must be in a specific format but no fee is required.

Risk assessments

As part of the application a risk assessment should be produced specifically relating to the risks associated to the young person potentially being employed.

An employer is required by law to protect their employees, and others, from harm. The minimum they must do is:

i)   identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards)

ii)  decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk)

iii) take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn't possible, control the risk

To reduce the risk of public health issues including risk such as Covid-19 the council would expect to see the following workplace controls in their production risk assessment:

i)   adequate ventilation

ii)  sufficient cleaning

iii) good hand hygiene

Is the permit granted if you do not hear from the Licensing Authority? - (Tacit Consent)

No. This means that you will not be able to act as though your permit is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period of 28 days.

Download application forms and apply by post:

Employers in Milton Keynes are responsible for applying for a work permit for each young person they employ in Milton Keynes, regardless of where the young person lives.

The forms need to be completed by the employer, signed by the parent (in addition to the medical declaration) and then forwarded to our Licensing team.

PLEASE NOTE: The form needs to be completed and returned, with a copy of the risk assessment, to the Licensing Team (see contact details).

Child Work Permit application form

Childrens Licensing Policy

What if the work permit is refused?

Please contact Milton Keynes Council in the first instance.

Is there any prohibitive employment in Milton Keynes?

No child of statutory school age may be employed, for reward or no reward:

  • to deliver milk
  • to deliver fuel oils
  • in a commercial kitchen
  • in a slaughterhouse or any part of a butcher's shop
  • in any work higher than 3 metres above the ground or floor level
  • to collect or sort refuse
  • to collect money or to sell or canvass door to door
  • in employment involving harmful exposure to physical, biological or chemical agents
  • in any work involving exposure to adult material or situations unsuitable for children
  • in telephone sales
  • in a cinema, theatre, dance hall or night club, except in connection with a performance given by children, for which a licence has been granted
  • on garage premises or selling petrol
  • To sell or deliver alcohol, except in sealed containers, in line with our byelaws
  • in a licensed betting office
  • at any machine prescribed as dangerous
  • as an attendant or assistant in a fairground or amusement arcade or in any other premises used for the purpose of public amusement by means of automatic machines, games of chance or skill or similar devices, in line with our byelaws
  • in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home, in line with our byelaws