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Employment of Children

What are the rules regarding the employment of children?

The Labour Standards Act places some restriction on the employment of children under the age of 16. An employer is prohibited from employing a child who is under 16 in employment that is likely to be unwholesome or harmful to the child's health or normal development, or if it is going to hamper the child's attendance at school.

Additionally, an employer shall not employ a child under 16 to work:

  • for more than 8 hours a day
  • for more than 3 hours on a school day
  • on a day for a period that, when added to the time required for attendance at school on that day, totals more than 8 hours
  • between 10 p.m. of one day and 7 a.m of the following day
  • in circumstances that would prevent the child from obtaining a rest period of at least 12 consecutive hours a day
  • in occupations that are prescribed as hazardous
  • an employer shall not employ a child under age 14 unless the work is prescribed in the regulations under the Act.
  • an employer shall not employ a child while a strike by employees or a lockout of employees by the employer is in progress.

Before employing a person under the age of 16, an employer must obtain the written consent of the parent or guardian. This consent must be kept as part of the record of employment and the age shall be specified in the written consent.

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