Children's Law Centre ‘Rights House’ 127-131 Ormeau Road, Belfast, BT7 1SH

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Employment


What is the minimum age of employment?
It is illegal to employ anyone under the age of thirteen. If you are a young person between the age of 13 and the official school leaving age (i.e. upon completion of Year 12) there are certain restrictions on the amount and type of work you can do:
  • It is an offence for anyone to employ you before 7am and after 7pm.
  • It is an offence to employ you to do work for more than one hour before you start school or before the end of the school day on any day when you should be at school.
  • You can only work for a maximum of two hours on any school day.
  • You can only work for a maximum of twelve hours per week during term time.
  • It is an offence to employ you in any occupation likely to be harmful to your health or education. It is up to your employer or potential employer to assess and manage these risks.
    You can only work in the following types of jobs:
  • Delivery of newspapers, milk, groceries, flowers etc
  • Office work except in a place that sells alcohol or is licensed for betting or gambling
  • Hotel or catering work except in the kitchen or any part of the premises where alcohol is sold
  • Shop assistant except in a place that sells alcohol or is licensed for betting or gambling
  • Domestic work
  • Light agricultural work for your parents
  • You must have your parents' consent before you start a job
  • You can only work for a maximum of two hours on Sundays
  • There is currently no minimum wage set for children under the age of sixteen. There is however a minimum wage for sixteen and seventeen year olds.
Aged under 15
During school holidays children and young people under the age of fifteen are allowed to work up to 5 hours per day, Monday-Saturday, up to a maximum of 27 hours per week. On a Saturday during term time you can work for up to 5 hours. You are entitled to a one hour break after three hours of continuous work Monday-Friday, and after four hours on a Saturday.
Aged 15 to Official School Leaving Age
During school holidays you are not allowed to work more than 7 hours per day, up to a maximum of 37 hours per week. On a Saturday during term time you can work for up to 7 hours. If you work for 4 hours continuously Monday-Saturday, you are entitled to a one hour break.

Your employer must notify your local Education and Library Board that they have employed you. The Education and Library Board will then be responsible for ensuring your employer treats you properly.

Contact Info

Children's Law Centre
‘Rights House’
127-131 Ormeau Road,
Belfast,
BT7 1SH

Tel: 028 90245704
Fax: 028 90245679

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