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Information about employing children during the coronavirus pandemic.

First published:
14 May 2020
Last updated:

This guidance is national guidance that applies across Wales. 

Please consider if local restrictions are in place when reading and implementing this guidance.

Can young people continue to work with a permit?

Yes, provided the activity is in line with the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 and associated guidance, the regulations are kept under regular review and could be amended every few weeks.   

It also remains that all work permits issued for the employment of children of compulsory school age is restricted by provisions in Part 2 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and Part 2 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963. 

It also remains that all work permits are issued under the employment of children of compulsory school age and is restricted by provisions in Part 2 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and Part 2 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1963. 

Local authority officers should assess child employment permit applications on a case by case basis with priority given to the measures in place for the safeguarding of children’s health and wellbeing by the employer; and that employment would not be taking place during what would be regarded as the school day.  The LA would need to discuss with the employer the steps they are taking to protect the wellbeing of young people and take the Welsh Government Coronavirus legislation and guidance in to account when making any decisions.  Further information on the regulations and guidance is available.

Key areas for consideration include:

  • does the child have an underlying health condition?
  • social distancing
  • expected interaction with the public
  • what protection equipment will be issued, for example gloves and hand wash?

Can children or young people continue to deliver newspapers?

The delivery of newspapers is a valued community resource, generally undertaken by young people, and for many people in receipt of the newspaper it is often a vital source of national and local information. To carry out these deliveries many employers of young people will require a permit to be able to do so.  

Newsagents are listed as a business or service that may continue under The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020.  However, a person responsible for carrying on a business, or providing a service, listed in the regulations must, during the emergency period:

  1. take all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between any persons on the business premises (except between two members of the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)
  2. take all reasonable measures to ensure that persons are only admitted to the business premises in sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that distance
  3. take all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between persons waiting to enter the business premises (except between two members of the same household, or a carer and the person assisted by the carer)

Local authorities may continue to issue permits to young people to make these deliveries subject to a successful work permit application and employers adhering to the restrictions set out in regulations. However, they must be reassured the safety of the child is paramount in any decision.  

The regulations and guidance will need to be checked regularly to ensure that whatever decision or action is proposed is compatible with the requirements at the relevant time. Further information on the regulations and guidance is available.

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