Child employment

Permits for children who perform

To safeguard children’s health, welfare and education, and to ensure they are not harmed or exploited, children must have a Performance Licence when taking part in any paid work as a model, television performance or in many cases for a live performance.

A licence may not be required if the performance is for 4 days or less, with no other performance having been undertaken within the last 6 months; if the child is not paid; and if the child will not be absent from school. Performances with school or youth groups may be exempt; although you must contact the Child Employment and Performance Licensing Officer in order to apply for a ‘Certificate of Exemption’. This will need to be done at least 21 days prior to dress rehearsals and performances. To issue such an exemption, information will be required regarding the child/children taking part in a performance, in accordance with Section 37(3)(a) of the Children and Young Persons’ Act 1963: Even though a licence is not required, there is a requirement for you to comply with the Regulations of a licensed performance under the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.

Alternatively, it may be appropriate for the Local Authority to issue a ‘Body of Persons Approval’ (BOPA). Please contact the Child Employment and Performance Licensing Officer to discuss this, again 21 days prior to any dress rehearsal or performance. Under Section 37(3)(b) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 a licence is not required for a performance given under arrangements made by "a body of persons" approved by the local authority where the performance is taking place, or in some exceptional circumstances by the Secretary of State.

To issue either a Certificate of Exemption or a BOPA, personal information will be required on each child/children taking part in a performance without a licence, in accordance with the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014.

The law applies to children from birth to statutory school leaving age (the last Friday in June of the school year in which the child reaches 16).

UK children performing abroad must obtain a licence from their local Magistrates' Court.

For further information or discussion, please contact our Child Employment and Performance Licensing Officer via email at gina.rose@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 4953.

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