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What is the minimum age of employment?

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It is illegal to employ anyone under the age of thirteen. If a young person is 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 they 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.
  • They can only work for a maximum of two hours on Sundays.
  • 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.

They 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 their parents

The young person must have their parents/guardians’ consent before they start a job.

There is currently no minimum wage set for children under the age of sixteen. There is however a minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds.

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