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What does this mean?
It’s your right to be protected from work that harms you.
If you’re under 18, your focus should be on your education and you should be protected from jobs that aren’t safe or that are bad for your health and education.
In some countries, children are forced to go to work, which isn’t fair.
EXAMPLE: There are laws in Ireland that say you can’t work until you are 14 years old and you can only work in certain jobs, for a certain amount of hours.
Learn more about this right
Do I have this right in Ireland?
- UNCRC, article 32: It’s your right to be protected from work that harms you and is bad for your health and education. If you work, you have the right to be safe and paid fairly.
- The Protection of Young Person Employment Act 1996 outlines all the rights and entitlements that protect young people while they work in Ireland. It’s your right to work in a safe environment and not to do work that is bad for your health or that interferes with your education.
- It’s your right to get paid fairly for the work that you do. If you are 14 or 15, you are not allowed by law to work more than 8 hours a week during term time and 35 hours a week during holidays.
- It’s your right to take rest breaks while you are working. These vary according to your age: for example, if you are under 16, you should get 30 minutes rest after 4 hours worked.
Doing a project?
- Young people aged 14 and 15:
- can be employed to do light work during the school holidays, but they must have at least 21 days off work during this break from school;
- can work as part of work experience or an educational programme where the work involved is not harmful to their health, safety or development;
- can be employed in film, sport and cultural or advertising work under licences issued by the Minister for Enterprise and Innovation.
- A young person can become an apprentice at the age of 16.
- When you work, it’s your right to get a payslip. This will show you how much tax you pay. If you work in a bar/restaurant and you receive tips, there is no law in Ireland that says you are allowed to keep these tips– it depends on the policy of each restaurant/bar.
- Young people under 18 who work as part of a family business or who are hired by close relatives don’t have the same rules about working hours and types of work, as long as the work is not industrial.
- The minimum wage for a young person under the age of 18 is €6.86 an hour. This is 70% of an adult’s minimum wage.
- If you feel like where you work doesn’t respect your rights, you can make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission.
- The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 168 million children are involved in child labour.
Links to other organisations
- Citizens Information – Information on the rights and entitlements that young people have in employment are available from Citizens Information
- Cartoons for Children’s Rights – A short cartoon about children’s right to be protected from harmful work, made for Unicef’s Cartoons for Children’s Rights initiative
- ILO – Get information about the issue of child labour around the world from the International Labour Organisation (ILO)
- Youth Connect – This organisation works to make sure young people who work know about their rights