The Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 is designed to protect the health of young workers and ensure that work carried out during school years does not put young people's education at risk. The Act sets minimum age limits for employment, rest intervals and maximum working hours and prohibits the employment of anyone under 18 on late-night work. The Act also requires employers to keep specified records for workers under 18.
The Act generally applies to employees under 18 years of age. It defines children as being aged under 16 and young persons
Under the Act, employers cannot employ children aged under 16 in regular full-time jobs. Children aged 14 and 15 may be employed as follows:
Children aged 15 may do 8 hours a week light work in school term time. The maximum working week for children outside school term time is 35 hours, or up to 40 hours if they are on approved work experience.
The maximum working week for young people aged 16 and 17 is 40 hours, with a maximum of 8 hours a day. If a young person under 18 works for more than one employer, the combined daily or weekly hours of work cannot exceed the maximum number of hours allowed. Young persons are only permitted to work between
The Protection of Young Persons Act 1996 (Employment in Licensed Premises) Regulations 2001 permit young people employed on general duties in
Employers who employ young persons to carry out general duties in
Evidence of age and the written permission of parents
Employers must see a copy of the young person's birth certificate, or other evidence of his or her age, before employing that person. If the young person is under 16, the employer must get the written permission of the person's parent or guardian.
Payment of wages
All employees are entitled by law to a payslip. A payslip is essentially a statement in writing from the employer to the employee that outlines the total pay before tax and all details of any deductions from pay. You should find out information about the items your payslip should contain and how your tax is calculated here.
Since 1 January 2018, the national minimum wage is €9.55 per hour. This does not mean that everyone is automatically entitled to receive this. Young people aged under 18 are only guaranteed up to 70% of the national minimum wage, which is €6.69 per hour. Your employer is, of course, free to pay you more than the minimum wage if they wish, but you should be aware that they are not required to do so by law.
If you are working in a workplace where staff
If all tips are collected by management and paid to staff through the payroll, then these tips are subject to tax in the normal way.
Records to be kept by employers
Employers must keep records for every employee under 18 that contain the following information:
The employer must keep these records for at least 3 years.
Summary of the Act
Employers must give employees aged under 18 years a copy of the official summary of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, along with other details of their terms of employment, within one month of taking up a job. Employers with employees under 18 must also display the official summary of the Act at a place in their workplace where it can be easily read.
Penalties under the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act
Employers found guilty of an
Continuing education and training
Tusla is responsible for ensuring that every child either attends school or otherwise receives a minimum education. One of its duties is to set up and maintain a register of young persons aged 16 and 17 who leave school early to take up employment and to make arrangements for their continuing education and training in consultation with providers and employers.
Complaints in relation to infringements of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 may be referred to the Inspection Services of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
If a child or a young person thinks they have been
For further information on the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996, you can contact the WRC Information and Customer Services - see 'Where to apply' below. It has a guide to the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 (pdf).
Workplace Relations Commission - Information and Customer Service
Information and Customer Service
Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Source: Citizens Information