NINE out of 10 councils are getting the law wrong when it comes to children working, a new survey has revealed.
Dazed and Confused, a report by the Trade Union Council and children's charity the NSPCC, says 90% of councils in the UK - including Kirklees - have wrongly interpreted national child employment law when creating bye-laws.
Only 13 councils had bye-laws that were completely in line with national laws.
But Kirklees Council says its bye-laws have been updated and are in line with national laws.
National child employment law is based on several Acts of Parliament, mainly the 1933 Children and Young Persons Act.
It states that children aged 14 to 16 can undertake light work, but only for 12 hours a week during term time.
Only two hours can be worked a day, not before 7am or after 7pm.
The type of work permitted is clearly defined by law. Thirteen-year-olds can do light work, but only if their council's bye-laws say so and the bye-laws must state what is permitted.
The 1933 Act allowed children as young as 10 to work, until 2000, when this was abolished.
However, the TUC/NSPCC survey showed that 37% of councils still allow children aged 10 to work.
And two-thirds of councils made mistakes about the hours children can be employed before and after school.
The Dazed and Confused report also criticised councils for not making information about their child employment bye-laws easily available.
However, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said national laws were confusing for local councils trying to lay down bye-laws. A clear and simple national code was needed, so that councils, parents and employers would all know the law.
"Local councils should not get all the blame. National law is too complex.
"It's right that young people should get experience of work.
"But they should not be exploited or allowed to let work damage their studies."
Marianna Edwards, Kirklees Council's child employment officer, said she would welcome a national code.
She said: "Our bye-laws are in line with national guidelines, but bye-laws vary so much between authorities. It is very confusing for young people.
"We would love a national code. Everybody would know where they stand."
She added that information about national and local child employment laws are given to employers in Kirklees. Firms are checked before children are allowed to work for them.
Contact Ms Edwards on 01924 326509 for more information.