Employment Of Young People
In the 1996 Act a young person is defined as a person who
has reached the age of 16 or the school leaving age, whichever
is higher), and is under 18. For this age group there is not the
general prohibition on employment that exists for children.
Instead the law allows a young person to be employed but
places clear restrictions on such employment from the point of
view of the number of hours worked, when the young person
may work, and by providing for set rest periods.
Restrictions on Hours of Work etc.
* The maximum number of hours that may be worked by a
young person is 8 hours a day, and 40 hours a week.
* A young person generally may not be employed between the
hours of 10pm and 6am. However the Minister may allow this
general rule to be varied, by regulation, to prohibit employment
between 11pm and 7am. If the young person is attending
school the employment up to 11pm must not be on a day that
is before a school day. This would allow the employment up to
11pm to operate normally on a Friday and Saturday, but not on
a Sunday, which would usually be the day before a school
day. Before introducing such regulations the Minister must
consult with the employer and trade union organisations, and
be satisfied that the variation is required due to the exceptional
circumstances in a particular area of work. To date no such
regulations have been introduced.
* A young person must get a minimum rest period of 12
consecutive hours in a 24-hour period. However if the young
person works no more than two hours per day or is engaged in
activities separated over the day, then the 12 hours rest may
be interrupted, provided the young person still receives a total
of 12 hours rest in the 24 hour period.
* A young person should receive a minimum of 2 days rest in
any 7 day period, and as far as possible these rest days
should be consecutive. However if the young person works no
more than 2 hours per day, or is engaged in activities
separated over the day. then the 2 days may be interrupted
provided the young person receives 2 days rest in total in any
7 day period.
* A young person is not to work for more than 4 1/2 hours
without a 30-minute break. There is no entitlement to pay
during such a break period. [S. 6]
There are certain circumstances where some "employers" do
not have to apply the above rules. These include:
Employment in the Shipping/Fishing Industries
Working for a close relative
Granting of Ministerial Licence
Working in the Defence Forces
Situations of Emergency
Making a Complaint: The Rights Commissioner
A parent or guardian of a child or young person may complain
to a Rights Commissioner where it is alleged that there has
been penalisation of a child or young person for opposing an
act outlawed by the legislation. Such a complaint normally
should be made within six months.