The Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996 is designed to protect the health of young workers, and to ensure that work done during the school years does not put their education at risk. The law sets minimum age limits for employment, sets rest intervals and maximum working hours, and prohibits the employment of those under 18 years of age on late night work. Employers must also keep specified records for those workers aged under18.
In general, the Act prohibits the employment of children under the age of 16. However, employers can take on 14 and 15 year olds
Click here to download a Guide to the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, 1996.
Children (i.e. under 16s) can be employed in cultural, artistic, sports or advertising work which is not harmful to their safety, health, or development and does not interfere with their attendance at school, vocational guidance or training programmes or capacity to benefit from the instruction received.
In order to do so permission must be obtained by way of a licence issued on behalf of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation. The type of activities for which licence applications are made would typically be television commercials or films that require the presence of a child. The licence sets out the conditions under which the children may be employed, such as general conditions about parental consent, supervision and education arrangements, and the maximum working times and minimum breaks appropriate to each group. The employer should apply in writing for a licence at least 21 days before the employment commences. Applications should be submitted to: Employment of Young Persons Licensing Section, National Employment Rights Authority, O’Brien Road, Carlow.