Minors and Youth

This page was last updated on: 2021-03-17

Minimum Age for Employment

Minimum age for employment is 15 years. Children under 15 cannot perform work except when the work done is light work in technical schools (provided the child is 13 years of age or more). A child cannot be engaged to work in any commercial or industrial undertaking except in a family enterprise where up to five family workers are employed. The minimum age for light work is 13 years. Light work is the work, which is not likely to be harmful to the health or development of a child and does not affect the child's attendance at school or the capacity of the child to benefit from school.

Minors under the age of 16 years cannot be required to work for more than four consecutive hours without a break of at least one hour, or for more than eight hours in any one day. A child cannot be engaged in exploitative labour, which is defined as work, which deprives or hinders a child’s access to health, education and development.

Primary education is free and compulsory. Compulsory education age is 13 years.

Source: §124 and 125 of the Labour Code, 1992; §22(k) and 228 of the Children’s Protection and Welfare Act, 2011; §3 of the Education Act 2010

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Minimum age for hazardous work is 18 years. It is defined as the work which poses danger to the health, development, safety or morals of a person. Hazardous work includes mining and quarrying; lifting and transporting of heavy loads; chemical production; workplaces where dangerous machines are used; work in places where a person may be exposed to immoral behavior; commercial sexual work; and tobacco production and drug trafficking.

Night work (18:00 to 06:00) is prohibited for children under 18 years.

Source: §226-23 of the Children’s Protection and Welfare Act, 2011