Legal working age

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The legal working age is the minimum age required by law for a person to work, in each country or jurisdiction.

Some types of labor are commonly prohibited even for those above the working age, if they have not reached yet the age of majority. Activities that are dangerous, harmful to the health or that may affect the morals of minors fall into this category.

North America[edit]

Country Legal Working Age
 Canada 15 [1] 12 in British Columbia[1] and Alberta[1] 14 in New Brunswick[1] 16 in Manitoba[1] 17 in Northwest Territories[1] and Nunavut[1] none in Newfoundland and Labrador(Light work only)[1] Nova Scotia[1] Ontario(non-industrial only)[1] Prince Edward Island(age appropriate tasks only)[1] Quebec(with parental consent;non-dangerous work only)[1]
 United States New Jersey 13 for some jobs, 14 for others, 16 for most, 18 for all.[2] Maryland 14-17 with a work permit.[3]

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, fourteen years old is the minimum age requirement for employment for labor. Agriculture Labor age requirements vary depending on the difficulty of work, and the work environment. The reason for having a nation wide age requirement is to maintain the well being of the youth, and prevent age discrimination.[4] Some jobs do not fall under the act, and therefor can be worked by people of all ages. This line of work could be seen as doing chores for a parent, a theatre production, radio performance, or working for a business a parent owns. Children at the age of nine can legally deliver newspapers with a written consent of a parent or guardian.

From the ages ten to thirteen, kids may engage in minimal seasonal work with permission from the secretory of labor.[5] States may come up with their own legal working age but cannot make the age lower than the set FLSA requirements.[6] If the national law of the FLSA and a state law overlap, the residents must follow the law with the higher standards.[6] This same act regulates the number of hours worked by minors from the age fourteen to sixteen. According to the United States Department of Labor, If the set laws are not followed, many penalties can take place. For a willful violation of the act, a fine of up to ten thousand dollars can be charged. If employer is charged a second time, a fine of up to ten thousand dollars is charged along with up to six months of imprisonment.[7] Every employer is responsible for carrying certain records if employment is provided for people from the age of fourteen to eighteen.Perez, Thomas E."Youth & Labor." U.S. Department of Labor. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.The list includes information along the lines of address, birthdate, legal name, etc. Fourteen and fifteen year old employees may not work more than eighteen hours in a school week, and forty hours in a non-school week.

Sixteen-year-old persons may work four hours on a school day, and eight hours in a school week. Unless a teen has completed senior year, that individual may not work during standard school times.[8]


Country Legal Working Age
 Germany 13 (with parental permission; and only easy work for example: paper round) / 15 (Part-time work with less than 8 hours per day and maximum 40 hours per week; No work on weekends, statutory holidays and at night time or in an imperiling environment). Further restrictions for work break and minimum vacation days.[9]
 Poland 16
 Portugal 16/18(Civil service) [10]
 Serbia 18
 United Kingdom 13 (Part-time work; restricted to light agricultural / horticultural, or as allowed by-laws.) 16+ for full-time work & national working age able to claim legal minimum wage (18+ licensed premises that primly sell alcohol such as pubs & night clubs & emergency services. some rarer different jobs have higher ages such as 20,21 etc.) & [11]
 Belgium 15 (Must have completed 2 years of secondary education, restricted to only light work)/16 (only light work)/18

! style="text-align: left;"|Template:Country data Republic Of Ireland |14+ for part-time work, 18+ for full-time work

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Canadian Labour Congress, Minimum Age Laws in Canada
  2. ^ New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Child Labor
  3. ^ Maryland Division of Labor and Industry, Employment of Minors
  4. ^ . States. Report on the Youth Labor Force. Washington, DC (2 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington 20212-0001): U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2000. Print.
  5. ^ "Youth & Labor." U.S. Department of Labor. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Youth & Labor." U.S. Department of Labor. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
  7. ^ Perez, Thomas E."Youth & Labor." U.S. Department of Labor. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
  8. ^ Thomas, Thomas (2013). Secretary of Labor. US Department of Labor. p. 30. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Idade Mínima de Admissão ao Emprego
  11. ^ WorkSmart from the TUC