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What the law says about kids working

Kids who work

What is work?

'Work' means anything that involves some effort to achieve what needs to be done. When people talk about working, they usually mean working for money. A lot of kids have asked about working for money, and this topic will try to answer some of those questions.

The kind of work that kids do

Lots of kids help out in family businesses like shops, cafes, market gardens and farms. Sometimes they work for money, and sometimes to help out the family.

Kids are usually paid for doing jobs like:

throwing newspapers (delivering them to people's homes)
putting advertising papers into letterboxes
door to door selling, eg sweets and biscuits
acting or dancing for film, television or theatre
busking in shopping malls
baby sitting
car washing


What the law says about kids working

No child (under 16) is allowed to work when they should be at school, or if the hours they work can stop them from doing their schoolwork - unless they get special permission from the Minister for Education. If a child is going to do some work that might interfere with schooling (eg. acting in a film, working on the farm at harvest time), then a special form has to be filled in. You can get the form at school.


There is no minimum age at which a child can work, but children must not be involved in any work which could be dangerous or harmful to their physical, emotional or mental health.


Children cannot work in any job that will harm their social or moral development. This means that every kid needs to have time to be a kid, spending time at school, with friends and family and learning to get along with each other. The moral part means that kids should not work where they feel unsafe or are involved with things like sex, drugs, gambling and alcohol.


Employers must make sure that all workers (especially children) have a safe workplace. Children under 18 are not allowed to work in dangerous jobs (eg. mines) or with dangerous materials (eg. LP gas). All workers, including kids, have to work in a safe way. For example, if you are working with food, you have to follow your employer's instructions about washing your hands, and keeping all equipment used for the food clean, always.


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 646

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