The status of child models

As a matter of principle, minors cannot work until they are released from compulsory education, i.e. until they are 16 years old.

Children who have not reached the age of 16 years may not, without prior individual authorisation, be engaged or produced in any capacity whatsoever, either in a sedentary or itinerant entertainment enterprise, or in a film, radio, television or sound recording enterprise.

Prior individual authorisation is also required for children hired by a natural person or legal entity to work as a model. However, this prior authorisation is not required if the child is hired and made available by a modelling agency that holds a modelling agency licence and has also obtained an authorisation to place children.

Approval only permits the work of children who are at least 3 months old.

The prefect also sets the proportion of the remuneration received by the child that can be paid to the parents (generally 10% to cover the travel costs associated with this activity) and the proportion paid into an account in the child's name at the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (Bank for Official Deposits), which is managed by this Caisse until the child reaches the age of majority.

However, many restrictions apply. To summarise, during school periods the child can only take part in castings or work on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when he or she is not in school on those days, and during part of the school holidays.

Sunday work is prohibited for children.

Maximum daily and weekly working hours and mandatory rest periods are set according to the age of the child.

Of course, it is forbidden to have children under the age of sixteen perform perilous feats of strength or dislocation exercises, or to entrust them with jobs that are dangerous to their life, health or morals. Before working, they must be seen by a doctor who must ensure that their state of health is compatible with modelling.