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Employment of Children

Does the Act allow the employment of children?

Yes; however, the Labour Standards Act places some restriction on the employment of children under the age of 16.

(Part IX of the LAbour Standards Act)

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What restrictions are imposed by the Act on employers who employ children?

An employer is prohibited from employing a child who is under the age of 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 10p.m. of 1 day and 7a.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. Also, an employer shall not employ a child while a strike by employees or a lockout of employees by the employer is in progress.

(sections 45.46(a) and 46.(b) of the Labour Standards Act)

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What is the employer required to do prior to employing a child?

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 of the child shall be specified in the written consent.

(section 48.(1) of the Labour Standards Act)

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