Employers of children in the entertainment and exhibition, still photography and door-to-door sales industries are required to comply with the Code of Practice.
Employers are required to comply with the Code of Practice under the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) (Child Employment) Regulation 2015.
The Code of Practice is designed to:
- protect children in employment from exploitation and abuse and prevent inappropriate or unreasonable demands being made of them
- ensure employers take responsibility for employed children’s interactions with adults while the children are engaged in regulated activities
- ensure that children are provided with a safe environment in which to work.
Authorised employers must provide a copy of the Code of Practice or the parents information sheet to a parent of each child they employ.
You may be exempt from holding an employer’s Authority if:
- are a performer representative who is acting solely in this capacity
- plan to employ a child for the purpose of a fundraising appeal (within the meaning of the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991)
- plan to employ a child for an occasional entertainment or exhibition where the net proceeds are applied wholly for a charitable object
- plan to employ a child who is more than 10 years old, and the employment is outside of school hours and is for no more than 10 hours per week
- plan to employ a child who is a national of a foreign country, who is performing under the auspices of the government of that foreign country.
Exempt employers still need to:
- send a notification to employ children, 7 days in advance
- complete the child details form when cast is confirmed
- comply with the Code of Practice
- develop and distribute a code of conduct
- complete an online fee exemption form.
Once approved, you will be issued with an exemption letter by email.
If you are unable to comply with the Code of Practice, you can apply for a variation. In the application you will need to:
- demonstrate you cannot reasonably work within the Code requirements
- clearly explain the reason for the proposed variation to the child’s parent
- obtain the child’s parent’s agreement that the proposed variation is appropriate for their child and if the Office of the Children’s Guardian is satisfied that the child’s welfare and wellbeing will not be compromised
- provide evidence of the principal’s approval for the child’s planned absence, if the child is employed when they would normally be attending school
Employing babies under 12 weeks old requires specific permission.
If your request is approved, you will receive a notice of variation by email that details the terms and conditions you need to follow.
To apply for a variation to the Code of Practice, complete the application for a variation form and email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
Compliance with the Code of Practice
We conduct compliance activities, such as record audits and site visits to check that an employer is complying with the Code of Practice.
If we identify a breach of the Code of Practice, corrective action or termination of employment may be required.
We may also:
- issue a warning letter
- issue penalties for breaches of the Code of Practice
- place additional conditions upon an employer’s Authority
- suspend an employer’s Authority
- revoke an employer’s Authority
- prosecute an employer.
Fines and penalties
Fines can be applied for breaches under section 92 of the Children's Guardian Act 2019 as well as under the Regulation.