The Protection of Young Persons in Employment Act is designed to protect young workers and to ensure that work during the school year does not put a young person’s education at risk.
The Act applies generally to employees under 18 years of age:
• Child: under 16 years of age or the school leaving age (whichever is higher)
• Young person: 16-18 years of age
Conditions of employment, hours of work and rest periods
Maximum weekly working hours for those aged under 16 years:
During the summer holidays: under 16’s must have atleast 21 days free
Time off and rest breaks for under 16’s:
Working hours, time off and rest breaks for Night and early morning work
• Under 16’s may not be required to work before 8.00a.m. or after 8.00 p.m.
• In general 16 and 17 year olds may not be employed before 6.00 a.m. or after 10.00 p.m.
• During school holidays and on weekend nights 16 and 17 year olds who have no school the next day may work up to 11.00 p.m. where there are exceptional circumstances and the Minister is so satisfied.
• Before a child under 16 is employed, the parent or guardian must furnish written permission.
A register must be kept containing the following information on any person employed under 18:
• Full name
• Date of birth
• Time work begins each day
• Time work finishes each day
• Rate of wages/salary paid
• Total amount of wages/salary paid
Regulations under the Act require employers to give to their workers aged under 18 a copy of the official summary of the Act.
Duties of Employers
Before employing a young person or child an employer must see a copy of the birth certificate or other evidence of age and before employing under 16 an employer must get the written permission of a parent or guardian.
Complaints about infringement of this Act may be made to the Employment Rights section. Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment.
Referral of Complaints
The parent or guardian of a child or a young person may present a complaint to a Rights Commissioner that an employer has contravened section 13 (preservation of existing rates of pay and condition) or section 17 (refusal to co-operate with the employer in breaching the Act.
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