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Employment of secondary aged pupils

In all cases where a child is engaged in paid employment, they must have a work permit or licence issued by the appropriate Education Authority. Schools are responsible for the issue of these licences under the Children and Young Persons (Scotland) Act 1937.

Please note that regulations do not apply to a pupil assisting in a family business. However, guidelines provided in this page should be applied. It is a parental responsibility to apply them appropriately.

Apply for a work permit

The application forms can be filled out and sent to the school for processing. The forms are available in a PDF and a Microsoft Word format:

By-laws for working hours

Permitted working hours for students vary during school term time and school holiday time.

School Term Time

During term time pupils are permitted to work a maximum of 12 hours per week, excluding Saturdays. This includes: a maximum of 2 hours on school days and Sundays. On school days a maximum of one hour may be worked in a morning after 7am and before the commencement of school.

During school days, excluding holiday periods, employed hours need to be worked between 7am and 7pm.

On Saturdays a maximum of 5 hours may be worked by 13 to 14-year-olds and up to 8 hours for 15 to 16-year-olds.

Students aged 16, 17 and 18-year-old can work up to 48 hours in any one week while attending school but have to attend school as necessary during the school week.

Children aged 12 and under, generally of primary school age, should not be engaged in paid employment.

School Holiday Time

On Saturdays, Sundays and on weekdays during school holidays:

  • If you are under 15 years old, you can work up to 5 hours a day, to a maximum of 25 hours in a week.
  • If you are over 15 years old, you can work up to 8 hours a day, to a maximum of 35 hours in any week.

Employment Regulations on break periods must be followed by all employers.