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Does your Organisation employ children or young people? There are a number of obligations which must be followed when doing so. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) relating to the employment of young persons.

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What's the difference between children and young people in Employment?
Under the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996, 14 or 15 year olds are classed children, and 16 and 17 years old as young persons.  
Can I employ someone under the age of 16?

Under the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996, Employers cannot employ children aged under 16 in regular full-time jobs. Children aged 14 and 15 may be employed as follows:

  • During school holidays – (must have at least 21 days off work during this time);
  • As part of an approved work experience or educational programme where the work is not harmful to their health, safety or development;
  • In film, cultural, advertising work or sport under licenses issued by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation;
  • Children aged 15 may do 8 hours a week 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.
What is the maximum amount of hours a young person can work?
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 6 am and 10 pm. Any exceptions to this rule must be provided by regulation – see ‘Licensed premises' below.

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