Small independent retailers are likely to be exempt from new legislation which requires staff and employers who work with under-16s to be registered with a new child protection agency, the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
The new legislation was initially intended to screen only teachers, nursery staff and youth workers, but has now been extended to all businesses.
The ISA will carry out checks on registered staff through the Criminal Records Bureau and give them a seal of approval for working with under-16s. Recent Home Office estimates put the number of people who will have to register at 11.3 million.
Larger stores and supermarkets who offer work experience, weekend, or summer work for under- 16s will be affected, but it is thought that smaller retailers will be exempt.