Children and Young Persons
Children and Young Persons (Protection of Young Persons Employment Act 1996)
The Employment of Children under the age of 16 is generally prohibited by the protection of young persons (employment) Act 1996.
A child over 14 years of age may be permitted to do light work during school holidays provided it is not harmful to health, development or schooling or may be employed as part of an approved work experience or education programme.
A child over 15 may also do such work for up to 8 hours a week during school term.
Any child may be employed in film, theatre, sports or advertising activities under licence from the minister for enterprise, trade and employment.
An employer wishing to employ anyone under 18 must first require the production of their birth certificate. Before employing a child under 16 the employer must also get written permission from the parents or guardian.
The Act further provides for the setting of limits to the working hours of young people (i.e. 16 and 17 year olds), provides for rest intervals and prohibits night work.
As regards working hours, young people (16 and 17 Year olds) may not work for more than 8 hours in any day or 40 hours in any week.
Employers who employ young people under the age of 18 years of age must display a summary of the Act and give a summary of the Act to the Employee within 1 month of the commencement of employment.
Summary of provisions in relation to employment of children over 14.
||Max Hours per week/day
during school term
| Max hours per week/day
outside of school term
| Permitted hours
||Max Work Experience
|| 8am - 8pm
|| 40 hours/8hours
|| 8am - 8pm
|| 40 hours/8 hours
The reference to "work experience" in the table above is to Training or work experience programmes approved by the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment or Fás.
Children over the age of 14 may only be employed in light work, that is non-industrial work where there is no risk to the Health & Safety of the child, and which is not harmful to their attendance at school.
14 and 15 year olds must be allowed a 21 day break from work in the summer. They must also be given 30 minutes break if working more than 4 hours. If working during the summer holidays, 14 and 15 year olds must get 2 days off in every week which shall, as far as practicable, be consecutive.
Summary of provisions in Relation to Employment of Young People
|| Max Hours Per Day
||Max Hours Per Week
||Permitted Hours of Work
| 16 and 17
|| 6am - 10pm
Sixteen and Seventeen year olds must receive a 30 minutes break if working more than a 4.5 hour period. They must receive 2 days off in every 7, which as far as practicable, be consecutive.
Regulations exist which permit young persons (16 & 17 year olds) employed on general duties or as apprentices, in licensed premises to work beyond 10pm in certain circumstances and subject to certain requirements.
There is also a code of practice concerning the employment of young persons in licensed premises.