Working restrictions by age

All performances must follow the child performance regulations from the 2014 Children in Performance and Activities Regulations.

These regulations restrict the length of time a child can perform, how many breaks they need and state how many of hours of education are needed if a child is performing or rehearsing in school time.

Children aged 0 to 4

If a child is aged between 0 and 4 they can:

  • be at the location of the performance or rehearsal for a maximum of 5 hours
  • be at the location of the performance or rehearsal from 7am at the earliest and no later than 10pm
  • perform or rehearse continuously for a maximum of 30minutes at a time
  • perform or rehearse for a maximum of 2 hours a day
  • perform or rehearse for a maximum of 6 days in a row

A child must be given a certain amount of breaks from performing or rehearsing.

They must also be given breaks of:

  • a minimum of 15 minutes
  • at least one 45 minute meal break if the child is at the place of performance or rehearsal for more than 4 hours
  • at least 1 hour 30 minutes between performances

Children aged between 5 and 8

If a child is aged between 5 and 8 they can:

  • be at the location of the performance or rehearsal for a maximum of 8 hours
  • be at the location of the performance or rehearsal from 7am at the earliest and no later than 11pm
  • perform or rehearse continuously for a maximum of 2 hours 30 minutes at a time
  • perform or rehearse for a maximum of 3 hours a day
  • perform or rehearse for a maximum of 6 days in a row

They must also have breaks of:

  • at least one 45 minute meal break and at least one break of 15 minutes if at the place of performance or rehearsal for over 4 hours but under 8 hours
  • at least one 45 minute meal break, and at least two 15 minute breaks if at the place of performance or rehearsal for 8 hours or more
  • 1 hour 30 minutes between performances

They must also get a certain amount of education time.

Children aged 5 to 8 must get a minimum of:

  • 3 hours of education per day (maximum of 5 hours)
  • 15 hours of education a week, taught on school days
  • 6 hours of education in a week if totalling over a 4 week period or less 

Children aged 9 or above

If a child is aged 9 or above they can:

  • be at the location of the performance or rehearsal for a maximum of 9 hours 30 minutes
  • be at the location of the performance or rehearsal from 7am at the earliest and no later than 11pm
  • perform or rehearse continuously for a maximum of 2 hours 30 minutes at a time
  • perform or rehearse for a maximum of 5 hours a day
  • not perform or rehearse for more than 6 days in a row

They must also be given breaks of:

  • at least one 45 minute meal break and at least one break of 15 minutes if at the place of performance or rehearsal for over 4 hours but under 8 hours
  • at least one 45 minute meal break, and at least two 15 minute breaks if at the place of performance or rehearsal for 8 hours or more
  • at least 1 hour 30 minutes between performances

The child must get time for education. For children aged 9 or above they must get a minimum of:

  • 3 hours of education per day (maximum of 5 hours)
  • 15 hours of education a week, taught on school days
  • 6 hours of education in a week if totalling over a 4 week period or less