Manchester City Council

Performance licence

  1. Summary

    A licence is required for a child from birth to the end of compulsory education to take part in a performance or activity, including films, tv, radio, commercials, sport, music groups, theatre, amateur dramatics, dance groups and working as a model.

    The hours during which a child can attend at a place of performance are restricted

    • Age 0 - 4 can attend place of performance between 7am – 10pm; or
    • Age 5 - school leaving age can attend place of performance between 7am – 11pm.

    Maximum hours of attendance

    • Age 0 - 4 maximum time at venue 5 hours, maximum performance time 2 hours, maximum continuous time without a break 30 minutes;
    • Age 5 - 8 maximum time at venue 8 hours, maximum performance time 3 hours, maximum continuous time without a break 2 hours 30 minutes; or 
    • Age 9 - school leaving age maximum time at venue 9.5 hours, maximum performance time 5 hours, maximum continuous time without a break 2 hours 30 minutes.

    A child must have a break of a minimum duration of one and a half hours between consecutive performances.  However, where the early performance is less than one hour’s duration and the following performance takes place at the same venue or there is no time required for travel between performances the break may be reduced to a minimum of 45 minutes.

    For children under 5:

    • breaks must be for a minimum of 15 minutes, except where a child is present for four or more consecutive hours, any such breaks must include at least one break of 45 minutes for a meal; and
    • all breaks must be used for meals, rest, education or recreation.

    When a child aged 5 or over is present for more than four but less than eight consecutive hours the child must have a minimum of:

    • one meal break for a minimum duration of 45 minutes; and
    • at least one other break of a minimum duration of 15 minutes.

    When a child aged 5 or over is present for eight or more consecutive hours the child must have a minimum of:

    • one meal break of a minimum duration of 45 minutes; and
    • at least two other breaks of a minimum duration of 15 minutes.

    There is no minimum wage for a child under 16 years.

    The person responsible for the performance or activity should apply for the licence to the local authority where the parent or guardian pays council tax. If you are not sure check which council.

  2. Application, guidance notes or terms and condition

    Warning: Please be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure that you have read and fully understood the statutory requirements for the licence you are applying.  Failure to comply with the regulations may lead to the licence being revoked and/or prosecution:

    Further information regarding children in entertainment and employment can be found on the: NNCEE website or print our handbooks.

    The following documents need to be completed prior to applying as these are required to be uploaded within the process:

    • Parent, carer or legal guardian declaration - completed by parent, carer or legal guardian; and
    • If time off from school is required, consent must be given in advance by the head teacher, this must be on headed paper.

  3. Attachments required

    • Copy of child's birth certificate; 
    • Passport style photograph of the child, taken within the last 6 months; 
    • Parent, carer or legal guardian declaration; 
    • Letter from the child’s school giving consent for the dates of absence (if relevant); and
    • Copy of contract, draft contract or other documents regulating the childs appearance in the performance or regulating the activity for which the licence is requested.
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  4. Processing and timescales

    Please give as much notice as possible when making an application and note that applications made less than 7 days in advance will generally not be accepted.

    Applications will be processed within 10 working days.

  5. Validity and renewals

    A separate licence is needed for each performance or activity.

  6. Email

    If you have any queries regarding making an application please contact premises.licensing@manchester.gov.uk

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