Minors and Youth

This page was last updated on: 2021-09-23

Minimum Age for Employment

The Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act defines a child as "a person who is under 16 years of age or the school-leaving age, whichever is the higher"; and defines a young person as "a person who has reached 16 years of age or the school-leaving age (whichever is higher) but is less than 18 years of age". In general, the Act prohibits the employment of children under 16 years. Employers may, however, take on 14 and 15 year olds, on light work during the school holidays, provided there is a minimum three week break from work during the summer; or part-time during the school term (over 15 years old only, and for a maximum of 8 hours in the week); or as part of an approved work experience or education programme where the work is not harmful to their safety, health or development. Children (i.e. under 16 years of age) can also be employed in cultural, artistic, sports or advertising work which does not interfere with their attendance at school, vocational guidance or training programmes or capacity to benefit from the instruction received. Young workers are prohibited to perform more than 8 hours of work per day and 40 hours per week.
During the school term, a 14 year old can’t be employed while a 15 year old can be employed for 08 hours a week. During holidays/summer term, the weekly working hours are 35 hours for both 14 and 15 year olds. Under the work experience program, the weekly working hours are 40 hours a week.
Children under 16 can’t be required to work at night (20:00 to 08:00). Before employing a young person or child, an employer must ask for a copy of the birth certificate or other evidence of age and, before employing under 16s, an employer must get the written permission of a parent (or guardian).

(Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996, S.3-6)

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work is set as 18 years. Minors under 18 may not be engaged in work that is likely to be harmful to the safety, health and development of the children and the work that is harmful to their attendance at school, their participation in vocational guidance and training programmes approved by the competent authority or their capacity to benefit from the instructions received. Night work is also prohibited for young persons (22:00 to 06:00). The maximum working hours for 16 and 17 year olds are 08 hours a day and 40 hours a week.
An employer must keep a register of record, with the following details in relation to every employee aged under 18; (i) full name, (ii) date of birth, (iii) starting and finishing times for work, and (iv) wage rate and total wages paid to each employee.

(Protection of (Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996, S. 5-10)

Regulations on Minors and Youth

  • Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996

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