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5.31 Licensing, Employment, Performance and Entertainment


Child Employment Guidance Leaflet

Children Taking Part in Entertainment or Modelling Leaflet

Guidance for Matrons/Chaperones Leaflet - to follow


In August 2015, a slight amendment was made in order to clarify that licensing authorities must also consider the need to protect children from sexual exploitation when undertaking licensing functions.


Caption: chapter contents
1. Introduction
2. Matron/Chaperones
3. Recruitment of Chaperones
4. Risk Assessment
5. The Procedure for Managing Allegations against Adults who work with Children
6. Licensing
  6.1 Statutory Framework
  6.2 Application Process
  6.3 Summary of Children's Allowable Access and Alcohol Purchase and Consumption
  6.4 Conditions Restricting Access by Children
  6.5 Film Classifications
  6.6 Complaints/Concerns/Objections 
7. Employment

1. Introduction

Many children enjoy performing or taking part in a paid activity such as paid modelling or sport. However, laws exist which are designed to protect children's health, welfare and education and prevent them from being exploited. The law applies to all children from birth until completion of compulsory schooling (last Friday in June, during the school year in which the child attains the age of 16).

Under the Children and Young Persons Act of 1963 and Children (Performances) Regulations of 1968, Liverpool City Council, Safeguarding Unit is responsible for the licensing of all school-aged children who:

  • Appear in a performance either on the stage or on television;
  • Take part in certain sporting activities;
  • Work as models.

Licences will be granted if the authority is satisfied that all relevant conditions are met and that all applicable information has been provided. Licensing authorities must also consider the need to protect children from sexual exploitation when undertaking licensing functions.

2. Matron/Chaperones

In recent years the approach towards protecting children has broadened and has become more inclusive of a wide variety of factors. Everyone who comes into contact with children in their role has a duty to safeguard children. This document sets out how Liverpool Safeguarding Licensing Team is committed to ensure that all children are kept safe from harm whilst they are involved in the area of performance/entertainment. Good practice already exists within entertainment/performance industry this policy aims to supplement this practice. Safeguarding children is everyone's business irrespective of their individual role. Safeguarding creates an atmosphere where the welfare of children is actively promoted. Chaperones can help children to achieve their full potential in a safe and supportive environment, it is vital that all partners who work with children are aware of and appreciate the role they have to play. The Children's Act 2004 places a duty on organisations to safeguard and promote the well-being of children. This includes the need to ensure that all adults who work with or on behalf of children are competent, confident and safe to do so. It is expected that all children involved in performance/entertainment in Liverpool will be supervised by an approved adult this includes children subject to Licence regulations, Body of Person or exemptions.

This document sets out the recruitment, best practice, responsibilities, risks and the process for dealing with allegations.

3. Recruitment of Chaperones

The licensing team endeavour to take all reasonable steps to ensure that unsuitable people are prevented from working with children as Chaperones.

Any adult (male or female) may apply to Liverpool Children's Services to be approved as a Chaperone.

The criteria for approval to be an approved Chaperone with Liverpool Children's Services are:

Applicant prepared to undertake a DBS enhanced disclosure.


  • Completion of Application Form;
  • Submission of two references;
  • An awareness of relevant legislation;
  • Undertake a home interview;
  • An awareness of child protection;
  • Undertake half-day induction training.

Liverpool Children's Services shall not approve a Chaperone unless satisfied that they can exercise proper care and control of the child (ren) and that they will not be prevented from carrying out their duties as a Chaperone by other duties.

4. Risk Assessment

Where there is a risk to children measures should be taken to ensure their safety and well being. In order to make the necessary arrangements there is a need to consider risks that can arise for children on the premises/event. The potential risk to children may vary depending on the type of activity taking place.

Some examples and measures:

In appropriate adults working / coming into contact with children.
  • Use safe recruitment process;
  • Verify identity of applicants;
  • Request and follow up references in writing and confirm reference with referee by telephone;
  • Obtain DBS check and clearance prior to appointment.
Chaperones lacking awareness of Safeguarding issues.
  • Raise awareness through Safeguarding Training;
  • Ensure staffs are vigilant and able to take appropriate action if aware of risk.
Chaperones too busy to monitor children activities.
  • Ensure staff levels adequate;
  • Recommended Ratio.

    Max number is 12 over 10yrs and 8 children under 10yrs.
Emergency situation occurs during performance.
  • Ensure Chaperone ratio to children adequate;
  • Ensure chaperones are aware of evacuation procedure;
  • Ensure there is a register of children in performance;
  • In cases where children are mobile between locations/area/premises ensure adequate measures are taken to supervise.
Performance /events using special effects.
  • Signage should be displayed;
  • Chaperone need to be aware that some special effects could be a potential risk for children with asthma or epilepsy (Dry ice/Strobe lighting).

5. The Procedure for Managing Allegations against Adults who work with Children

See also Allegations against Adults who Work with Children Procedure.

This procedure encompasses organisations that use the service of volunteers, people who are self employed and those who work in a freelance capacity. The guidance will include allegations where there is reasonable cause to believe a child suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm. Also allegations that might indicate that s/he is unsuitable to continue to work with children in their position/capacity.

If it is alleged that a person who works with children:

  • Has behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against a child or related to a child; or
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates she is unsuitable to work with children.

There may be 3 considerations:

  • A police investigation of a possible criminal offence;
  • Enquires and assessment by Social Care about whether a child is In Need of protection or in need of a service;
  • Consider action by employer of disciplinary action in respect of an individual.

Every effort should be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against publicity while an allegation is being investigated considered.

The fact that a person tenders his or her resignation or ceases to prove their service must not prevent an allegation being followed upon in accordance with these procedures. It is important that employers keep a clear and comprehensive summary of any allegation made and actions taken.

6. Licensing Act

One of the key objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 is 'the protection of children from harm'. Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership is a responsible authority under the Licensing Act 2003. In this capacity the LSCP is required to ensure that decisions about Licensing pay due regard to the need to safeguard and promote welfare of children. Additional control measure to ensure the safety of Children performing on licensed premises may be required.

6.1 Statutory Framework

The Licensing Act 2003 was approved by Parliament in July 2003. The overall aim of the Act is to modernise the legislation governing the sale and supply of alcohol and public entertainment. In carrying out its licensing functions the Licensing Authority will promote the following licensing objectives which are all of equal importance:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder;
  • Public safety;
  • The prevention of public nuisance;
  • The protection of children from harm.

These four objectives are paramount considerations at all times.

The protection of children from harm is a national licensing objective. The term "children" refers to all babies' children and teenagers i.e. from birth until their 18th Birthday. The Act details a number of offences designed to protect children in licensed premises. The Licensing Authority is concerned to ensure that license holders of fixed premises or organisers of temporary events, create safe environments for children (in terms of their physical, moral and psychological welfare) who may be on the premises. Children should be unable to access alcohol or drugs and be subject to an appropriate level of care and supervision at all times. The Licensing Authority will work closely with the Police and other agencies to ensure appropriate and efficient enforcement of the law, and promotion of best practice, in these respects.

6.2 Application Process

Application forms, the councils licensing policy and further information about the Licensing Act 2003 can be obtained from The Licensing Unit.

There are a number of 'Responsible Authorities' which will be required to be notified of new Licence applications and license 'variations' applications. Liverpool Safeguarding Children's Partnership (LSCP) is designated as the Responsible authority for matters relating to the protection of children from harm.

Applications will include an 'Operating Schedule'. In this, applicants will set out the steps proposed to promote the licensing objectives, including the protection of children from harm. The operating schedule should include a statement of the following matters:

  • Relevant licensing activities;
  • The time during which it is proposed that the relevant licensable activities are to take place;
  • Any other times during which it is proposed that the premises are to be open to the public;
  • Where the applicant wishes the licence to have effect for a limited period, state period;
  • Where the relevant licensable activities include the supply of alcohol, prescribed information in respect of the individual whom the applicant wishes to have specified in the premises license as the premises supervisor;
  • Where the relevant licensable activities include the supply of alcohol, whether the supplies are to be for consumption on the premises or off the premises or both;
  • The steps which is proposed to take to promote the licensing objectives;
  • Such other matters as may be prescribed.

As a responsible authority, the LSCP can make a representation to the Licensing Authority about applications. Responsible authorities have the power to call for a review of an existing license based open one or more of the four licensing objectives.

6.3 Summary of Children's Allowable Access and Alcohol Purchase and Consumption

Sections 145-153 of the Licensing Act 2003 set out a number of offences which affect the access of children to licenses premises.

The Act prohibits children aged less than 16 years old and unaccompanied by an adult, to access licensed premises:

  • Used primarily or exclusively for consumption of alcohol;
  • And or in any event, between the hours of midnight and 5am.

The admission of children to any premises will otherwise normally be left to the discretion of the individual licensee, as the Act does not generally prohibit children from accessing licensed premises. Where children are accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult, additional measure should not normally be necessary. The Licensing Authority supports the view that Children should enjoy access to a range of licensed premises where possible, but cannot impose conditions requiring the admission of children to any premises.

6.4 Conditions Restricting Access by Children

Children have access to a range of regulated public entertainment venues and may be present as members of a viewing audience or as performers in their own right. The Licensing Authority expects licence holders and those organising temporary public events, to make proper provision for child safety and welfare during such events. Notwithstanding public safety issues, supervisory arrangements must be reflected within operating schedules. Suitable monitoring strategies should also be in place to ensure that supervisory levels are appropriate.

Subject always to the provisions of Liverpool Licensing Policy the Licensing Authority will judge the merits of each separate application before deciding whether or not to impose conditions restricting access by children. The Licensing Authority will refer any application involving children, to the Liverpool Safeguarding Children's Partnership (LSCP) for comment.

Particular scrutiny will occur where, in relation to particular premises or a particular event:

  • There have been convictions of members of the current staff at the premises for serving alcohol to minors, or with a reputation for underage drinking;
  • There is a known association with drug taking or dealing;
  • There is a strong element of gambling (but not, for example, the simple presence of a small number of cash prize gaming machines);
  • Entertainment or services of an adult or sexual nature are commonly provided. It is not possible to give an exhaustive list of what amounts to entertainment or services of an adult or sexual nature. Common sense will be applied. However, such entertainment or services, for example, would generally include topless bar staff, striptease, lap, table or pole-dancing, performances involving feigned violence or horrific incidents, feigned or actual sexual acts or fetishism, or entertainment involving strong and offensive language;
  • The supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises is the exclusive or primary purpose.

In premises where alcohol is sold or supplied, the Licensing Authority would recommend that premises licence holders will include recognised "Proof of Age" schemes within the context of their Operating Schedules. Potential underage drinkers should be confronted by clear and visible signs on the premises that underage drinking is not condoned, constitutes an offence in law and that they may well be required to produce proof of their age to a member of staff. Organisers of temporary events should apply similar safeguards in their undertakings.

The Licensing Authority endorses the work of the Portman Group on ensuring that drinks are packaged and promoted in a socially responsible manner to those who can legally purchase alcohol, and to help prevent the targeting of minors in marketing promotions. The Licensing Authority therefore commends to those selling and providing alcohol, the Portman Group Standards of Proficiency on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic drinks.

Venue operators seeking premises licences and club premises certificates can volunteer prohibition and restrictions in their operating schedules because their own risk assessments have determined that the presence of children is undesirable or inappropriate. These will become conditions attached to the licence or certificate where no relevant representations are received by the Licensing Authority. The Licensing Authority will attach appropriate conditions where these appear necessary to protect children from moral, psychological or physical harm. The Licensing Authority will consider any of the following options where restricted child access is deemed appropriate:

  • Limitations on the hours when children may be present;
  • Limitations on the exclusion of the presence of children under certain ages when particular specified activities are taking place;
  • Limitations on the parts of premises to which children might be given access;
  • Age limitations (below 18);
  • Requirements for accompanying adults (including for example, a combination of requirements which provide that children under a particular age must be accompanied by an adult);
  • Full exclusion of those people under 18 from the premises when any licensable activities are taking place.

6.5 Film Classifications

In order to prevent children from seeing films incompatible with their age, cinema licence holders will be expected to impose and enforce viewing restrictions in accordance with the recommendations of the British Board of Film Classification. Subject always to the provisions of Paragraph 6.3 of this policy, the Licensing Authority will impose such conditions where it considers this appropriate.

The Licensing Authority has not adopted its own system of classification and therefore abides by the recommendations of the British Board of Film Classification. A mandatory condition attached to all premises licences and club premises certificates authorising the exhibition of films requires that all films should have been classified by a body designated under Section 4 of the Video Recordings Act 1984 (the British Board of Film Classification is the only body designated as such) or by the Licensing Authority itself.

6.6 Complaints/Concerns/Objections

The Safeguarding and Reviewing Unit (on behalf of the Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership) will investigate relevant complaints regarding the protection of children from harm.

It may be decided that no action is necessary depending on the circumstances.

If action is deemed necessary the Safeguarding Licensing officer will:

  • Arrange a meeting to address and clarify the issue of concern with the Designated premises Supervisor. The Safeguarding Licensing officer maintains close contact with the police and trading standards officers and will invite officer to attend the meeting if appropriate;
  • The meeting will consider any issues that could affect licensing. It may be decided a plan of action to manage the situation including a monitoring procedure;
  • If an action plan cannot be agreed or if it does not resolve issues a review of the license will be requested;
  • The outcome of the meeting will be shared with Police or /and Trading Standard officers if appropriate;
  • If a review of the license is required a request will be made to the licensing Unit the representation must be relevant to the promotion of the license objective. Representations must be given in writing and may be amplified at the subsequent hearing;
  • A report is submitted to the Chair of Liverpool Safeguarding Partnership and the Assistant Executive Director for Children's Services regularly.

7. Employment

A child is employed if she/he assists in a trade or occupation which is carried out for profit. Whether or not the child receives pay or reward for employment. All children who are employed and are below compulsory School age must have an employment permit. It is the employer's responsibility (within one week of employment) to apply for an employment permit working.

Regulations of Employment:

  • Children are not allowed to work if they are 12 years or under;
  • There are nine permitted types of employment for 13 year olds. There are certain jobs which children can and cannot do;
  • There are different working hours allowed for 13/14 year olds and 15/16 year olds;
  • There is only one school leaving date (last Friday in June each year) There is referred to as the Compulsory School Leaving Age (CSLA) in the UK (Year 11);
  • All children between the age of 13 and CSLA can only be employed if they hold an Employment Permit issued by the Child Licensing Team.

If you require further information please contact the Safeguarding/child Licensing Team.