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Legal Enforcement Policy

This page contains details of the legal enforcement process relating to child employment law or children's performance regulations.


To make sure that high standards are maintained by enforcement officers, we have adopted the central and local government concordat on good enforcement, which has a number of key principles:

  • performance must be measured against agreed standards
  • there will be openness in dealing with businesses, families and young people subject to legal action
  • officers will be helpful, courteous and efficient
  • decisions to prosecute will be taken in an appropriate and proportionate manner
  • officers will aim for a high standard of consistency.

We aim to resolve any difficulties informally by advice, assistance and support. Occasionally, however, circumstances may require the use of formal statutory powers.

Informal action

Essentially the role of the child employment officer and the school attendance improvement team is to resolve difficulties relating to school attendance, child employment and children in entertainment by intervention and the use of a range of skills and strategies aimed at overcoming difficulties and enabling parents and businesses to fulfil their responsibilities.

Much of this is achieved by practical problem solving, persuasion and negotiation in co-operation with the relevant parties.

Formal action

In serious cases of poor school attendance or contravention of child employment/children in entertainment legislation, officers may have to consider formal prosecution.

This will follow only after a number of attempts have been made to resolve the difficulty informally and the necessary co-operation has not been gained.

The final decision on legal proceedings is always made with reference to the particular circumstances of each individual case.


We have a formal complaints procedure. Should you have reason to be dissatisfied with any aspect of the legal process or the conduct of officers, please contact us.

Contact us
Child employment
03000 265 902
Our address is:
  • Children and Young People Services
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UJ