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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 and Caribbean 1
  • Europe 2
  • South America 3
  • Asia 4
  • Africa 5
  • Australia and Oceania 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8

North America and Caribbean

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Legal working age

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Title: Legal working age  
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Subject: Marriageable age, Minors and abortion, Labour law, Child labour, School leaving age
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Legal working age

Parties to the Depending on the country, there may be minor or major exceptions to these limits in national or local law (as detailed below). Most non-signatories also have minimum age restrictions.
Youth rights
Part of the Politics series on
Country Legal Working Age
 Antigua and Barbuda 14: (Restricted working hours)
18: (Unrestricted)[1]
 Bahamas 14: (Employment during school hours is prohibited; Night work is prohibited; Industrial work is prohibited; Conditions in respect of young persons: in a school day, for not more than three hours, in a school week, for not more than twenty-four hours, in a non-school day, for not more than eight hours, in a non-school week, for not more than forty hours.)
18: (Unrestricted)[2]
 Barbados 16: (Employment during school hours is prohibited; Night work is prohibited; Industrial work is prohibited)
18: (Unrestricted)[3]
 British Virgin Islands
 Caribbean Netherlands
 Cayman Islands
 Costa Rica
 Dominica 12: (No person shall take into his employment or employ in any occupation whatsoever any child; but a child may be employed in the domestic work or agricultural work of a light nature at home by the parents or guardian of the child.)
18: (Unrestricted)[15]
 Dominican Republic
 El Salvador 18: (Unrestricted)[16]
Children below the age 14 are not allowed to enter the workforce. Minors between the ages of 14 and 18 may work with permission from the Ministry of Labor if their employment is indispensable to either themselves or their family.
 Jamaica 16
 Puerto Rico
 Saint Barthélemy
 Saint Kitts and Nevis
 Saint Lucia
 Saint Martin
 Saint Pierre and Miquelon
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
 Sint Maarten
 Trinidad and Tobago 14
 Turks and Caicos Islands
 United States


Country Legal Working Age
 Albania 14:(Easy work performed at school holidays)
16: (Unrestricted)[34]
 Andorra 14: (Easy work performed at school holidays; Maximum 6 hours per day, with minimum 1 hours break; Minimum 2 following days of rest per week)
16: (Maximum 8 hours per day, with minimum 1 hours break; Minimum 2 following days of rest per week)
18: (Unrestricted)[35]
 Armenia 16: (Unrestricted; No person under the age of 16 is allowed to work in Armenia)[36]
 Austria 15: (The minimum age to be employed is 15, with some exceptions)
18: (Unrestricted)[37]
 Belarus 18
 Belgium 15: (Must have completed 2 years of secondary education; restricted to light work)
16: (only light work)
18 Unrestricted
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 15: (Restricted to light work; Restricted working hours)
18: (Unrestricted)[38]
 Bulgaria 13: (Only for jobs as film actor or model; Strictly regulated)
15: (Strictly regulated)
16 (Minimum working age; Some occupations prohibited)
18: (Unrestricted)[39]
 Croatia 15: (Restricted by the Labour laws)
18: (Unrestricted)[40]
 Cyprus 15: (Restricted by the Labour laws)
18: (Unrestricted)
 Czech Republic 14: (Only under special circumstances)
15: (Restricted occupations and working hours)
18: (Unrestricted)[41]
 Denmark None: (Only for activities in the cultural or artistic field. However, a police authorization must be obtained for these activities in advance.)
13: (Children 13–15 years of age may only perform light work, that is not in the vicinity of machinery. The working time may be on school days and up to 2 hours on other days up to 7 hours. In school-free weeks, the maximum working time must not exceed 35 hours per week.)
15: (Young people up to 18 years may not work in the following areas: with dangerous tools and equipment within hazardous work processes. The working time may not be between 18.00 und 6.00 clock on weekdays between 14.00 und 6.00 clock on holidays or Sundays. The maximum weekly working time must not exceed 40 hours.)
18: (Unrestricted)[42]
 Estonia 13: A Person aged 13 may work under restrictions and parental permission.
15: Minimum Employment age. Minors under the age of 18 are restricted with working hours and certain occupations.

18: Unrestricted.[43]

 Finland 14: Someone aged 14 may practise "light work".
15: Minimum Employment age. Minors under the age of 18 are restricted with working hours and certain occupations.

18: Unrestricted.[44]

 France 14: (only for light work, regulated by Code du travail; No working at night; Strict time limitation; Parental permission is needed)
16: (No working at night; Strict time limitation; Parental permission is needed)
18: (Unrestricted)[45]
 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.
18: Unrestricted[46]
 Hungary 16: (The Hungarian Labour Code allows for the employment of people over 16 years old. Young workers apply a two-year period of protection: at the time of their working time must not exceed 8 hours. per day and forty hours per week. If you work a minimum of 4.5 hrs., They are entitled to 30 minutes. break, nor can they be employed on a night shift.)
18: (Unrestricted)[47]
 Italy 15: (Work in Italy can take people over 15 years of age - provided that they have completed the compulsory stage of schooling.)
16: (Unrestricted men)
18: (Unrestricted women)[48]
 Latvia 15: ( People between 15 and 18 years of age may work no more than 7 hours a day and 35 hours per week (including time learning - if they learn). There must they stay at work after hours or work at night. It is also prohibited to employ minors under conditions which may threaten their health, safety and morals. Interestingly, workers aged under 18 are entitled to a month's leave, in their case does not apply or trial periods.)
18: (Unrestricted)[49]
 Liechtenstein 14: ( For light it is possible to hire 14-year-olds - but not longer than 9 hours per week during the school year and 15 hours a week during the holidays.)
15: ( People aged over 15 but under 18 may work no more than 40 hours per week.)
18: (Unrestricted)[50]
 Netherlands 13: (The minimum age of employment under the supervision and with no guarantee of a minimum wage.)
15: (The right to the minimum wage.)
16: (If you are over 16, you have the same rights and obligations as workers age. However, you will not be able to work in harmful conditions - including noise, cramped quarters and with toxic substances.)
18: (Unrestricted)[51]
 Norway 13: (People aged over 13 but under 15 years of age may be employed only for light work that does not endanger the health, development, and does not interfere with learning.)
15: (Unrestricted)[52]
 Poland 16
 Portugal 16/18: (Civil service) [53]
 Serbia 18
 United Kingdom 13: (For restricted part-time work, with some restrictions like not working before 7am or after 7pm, during school hours, in a hazardous environment, etc. However legal maximum working hours are extended during school holiday's. Work must not effect a child's education and not entitled to minimum wage)

16: (For full-time work and national working age to be able to claim legal minimum wage)
18: (To work at a licensed premises that primarily sells alcoholic bavereages such as pubs, bars and night clubs)[54]

 Ireland 14: (People aged under 16 years are not allowed to work full-time (full-time). The work of persons between the ages of 14 and 15 years must be obliged to comply with conditions:
• perform light work during the holidays - a person must necessarily have then at least 21 days off work
• work as part of the approved apprenticeship or training program.
• work in the film, when cultural undertakings, in advertising, or in connection with sporting events.)
16: (People aged 16 and 17 years old can only work the hours between 6.00 and 22.00.)
18: (Unrestricted.)[55]
 Spain 16: (Must have parental permission)
18: Unrestricted
 Sweden 16: (Minimum Age for Employment but minors must not, however, employ at night.)
18: (Unrestricted)[56]
  Switzerland Age 13: (Must have parental permission; only easy work)
  • During school weeks: Maximum 3 hours per day; and 9 hours per week.
  • During non-school weeks: Maximum 8 hours per day; and 40 hours per week.

Age 15: (Must have parental permission)

  • Maximum 9 hours per day; and 45–50 hours per week. Working maximum until 8 p.m.

Age 16: Minimum age to serve someone in restaurants, café or hotels. Minimum age to work in a circus or cinema.

  • Working maximum until 10 p.m.

Age 18: Unrestricted (and the minimum age to work in: Bars, Discos, Dancinghalls and Nightclubs)[57]

South America

Country Legal Working Age
 Bolivia 10: Independent work (e.g. street selling) with parent permission and government supervision

12: Contract work (for a boss) with parent permission and government supervision; no more than 6 hours per day, not during school hours, and if it does not interfere with schooling


Country Legal Working Age
 Malaysia 14 [58]


Australia and Oceania

Country Legal Working Age
 Australia Varies by state and territory (Although mostly 15) [59]
 New Zealand 16: (Restricted working hours)
18: For Full Time Work
20: No Restrictions[60]

See also


  1. ^ Labour Code Act DIVISION E: Women, Young Persons and Children (Employment) (Antigua and Barbuda)
  2. ^ Employment Act, 2001 PART X - CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (Bahamas).
  3. ^ Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act PART III: Employment of young persons (Barbados)
  4. ^ "Here’s the Law". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Government of B.C., Labour and Citizens' Services, Employment Standards Branch, Employment of Young People Factsheet". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Employment Standards". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Employment of Children". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Employment of Children (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  9. ^ "Employment of Children". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Minimum age". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada. "Labour: Employment Standards". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Work performed by children". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Module 1 - What keeps workplaces fair and safe?". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  14. ^ "Employment Standards". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  15. ^ EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN (PROHIBITION) ACT Prohibition of employment of a child. (Dominica)
  16. ^ "El Salvador Working conditions, Information about Working conditions in El Salvador". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  17. ^ a b The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended 29 U.S.C. 201, et seq: Sec. 213(d)
  18. ^ The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended 29 U.S.C. 201, et seq: Sec. 213(c)(1)(c); Sec. 213(c)(3);
  19. ^ The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended 29 U.S.C. 201, et seq: Sec. 213(c)(2); Sec. 213(5); Sec. 213(6)
  20. ^ The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended 29 U.S.C. 201, et seq: Sec. 213(c)(5)(B)(ii); Sec. 213(c)(5)(B)(iv)(III); Sec. 213(c)(5)(C)(i):(I),(II); Sec. 213(c)(7)(A)(ii)(II)
  21. ^ Alabama Child Labor Act Alabama Department of Labor, Montgomery 2009. Retrieved on 25.12.2014.
  22. ^ Alabama Code - Section 25-8-32 Retrieved on 25.12.2014.
  23. ^ "Summary of Alaska Child Labor Law". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  24. ^ Arizona Revised Statutes: Article 3 Youth Employment
  25. ^ CHILD LABOR LAWS (Arkansas Department of Labor). Retrieved on 25.12.2014.
  26. ^ CALIFORNIA CHILD LABOR LAWS (California Department of Labor). Retrieved 25.12.2014.
  27. ^ COLORADO YOUTH EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY ACT, TITLE 8, ARTICLE 12, CRS (Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Division of Labor). Retrieved 25.12.2014.
  28. ^ Time & Hour Restrictions For 16 & 17 Year-Old Minors (By Industry) (Connecticut)
  29. ^ Connecticut General Statutes for the Connecticut Department of Labor (Connecticut Department of Labor). Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  30. ^ Delaware Code TITLE 19 - Labor General Provisions - CHAPTER 5. CHILD LABOR (Delaware Delaware Code Online). Retrieved 25.12.2014.
  31. ^ The State of Florida and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Florida Department of Labor). Retrieved 25.12.2014.
  32. ^ [3]
  33. ^ Child Labor (Hawaii Department of Labor). Retrieved 25.12.2014.
  34. ^ Neni 98 - Mosha minimale. Minimum working age in Albania.
  35. ^ Llei 8/2003, del 12 de juny, sobre el contracte de treball.. Minimum working age in Andorra.
  37. ^ Begriff "Arbeit" im Arbeitsrecht. Minimum working age in Austria.
  38. ^ ZAKON O RADU Minimum working age in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  39. ^ Protection of minors (EU). Minimum working age in Bulgaria.
  40. ^ Zakon o radu Minimum working age in Croatia.
  41. ^ zákon c. 65/1965 Minimum working age in Czech Republic (Labour law).
  42. ^ Bekendtgørelse om unges arbejde Minimum working age in Denmark (Labour law).
  43. ^ Töölepingu seadus § 7. Töölepingu sõlmimine alaealisega The Employment Contracts Act § 7 Conclusion of an employment contract with a minor (Estonia).
  44. ^ Nuori työntekijä: Alle 15-vuotiaan töihinotto Employement laws (Finland).
  45. ^ "Code du travail - Legifrance". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  46. ^ "JArbSchG - Einzelnorm". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  47. ^ 
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ "GDDC - Direitos Humanos: Textos Internacionais - Textos Universais". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  54. ^ "What kinds of work can be done by children aged 13?". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^ Jugendarbeitsschutz - Schweizer Eidgenossenschaft Publication of the "Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft (SECO)" (State secretary of economy) and "Eidgenössisches Departement für Wirtschaft, Bildung und Forschung (WBF)" (Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research).
  58. ^ "Laws of Malaysia: Children and Young Person (Employment) Act 1966" (PDF). Retrieved 30 August 2015. 
  59. ^ "What age can I start work?". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  60. ^ [4] New Zealand Department of Labour
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