Minors and Youth

This page was last updated on: 2021-09-17

Minimum Age for Employment

Minimum age for employment is 16 years and child is defined as " any young person, of either sex, who is under sixteen years of age, or any other age which may from time to time be established as the school leaving age by virtue of the Education Act".

A child under 16 years of age may not be employed unless special permission has been granted in terms of the provisions of Education Act. Such permission/authorization may be granted for engagement in cultural, artistic, sports or advertising activities.

This permission is granted subject to two conditions: employer carries out a risk assessment in terms of the General Provisions for Health and Safety at Workplaces Regulations which shows that the activity is not harmful to the safety, health or development of the child; and the Director of Education has no objection on engagement of the child in such activities on the ground that such is not likely to have an adverse effect on the child's attendance at school.

The working hours of children (14-16 years) who perform work under a combined work and training scheme or an in-plant work-experience scheme are eight hours a day and 40 hours a week. If the light work is performed during school term outside the fixed school hours, the working hours are two hours a school day and 12 hours a week for workers aged 14-16 years. If the light work is performed during school vacations, the working hours are seven hours a day and 35 hours a week for workers aged 14-15 and eight hours a day and 40 hours a week for workers aged 15-16 years.

Night work between 20:00 to 06:00 is prohibited for children. Children must be allowed a daily rest period of 14 consecutive hours and minimum weekly rest period of two consecutive days in a week, one of which must be Sunday.

Sources: Young Persons (Employment) Regulations (S.L.452.92); Protection of Maternity at Work Places Regulations (S.L.424.11) last amended by 195 of 2015

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Minimum age for the hazardous work is eighteen years. Before engaging a young person (under 18 years of age), an employer must carry out a risk assessment for all occupational health and safety hazards which may be involved at the workplace and such assessment is repeated when there is change in the working conditions. The work assigned to a young person should not be beyond his physical or psychological capacity; involve any exposure to any of the chemical, physical or biological agents or to any of the processes listed in the Schedule, or to any other physical, chemical or biological agent which is toxic carcinogenic, causes heritable genetic damage; involve a risk of accidents which cannot be recognized or avoided by young persons owing to their insufficient attention to safety or lack of experience or training; and should not involve a risk to health from extremes of cold or heat, or from noise or vibration.

It is the duty of employer to properly train a young person before assigning him to work and ensure that he is supervised by a competent person who is trained in the work activity. The working time of adolescents cannot exceed eight hours a day and forty hours a week. Night work is prohibited for young persons between 20:00 to 06:00. Adolescents may be allowed night work in certain cases however no work should be carried out by them between midnight and 04:00.

Sources: Young Persons (Employment) Regulations (S.L.452.92); Protection of Maternity at Work Places Regulations (S.L.424.11); Protection of Young Persons at Work Places (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (L.N. 196 of 2015)

Regulations on Minors and Youth

  • Protection Of Maternity At Work Places Regulations (S.L. 424.11)
  • Young Persons (Employment) Regulations (S.L.452.92)