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Workplace Relations provides information on industrial relations & rights and obligations under Irish employment and equality legislation
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The Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 sets out controls governing the employment of children and young persons.
The Act defines a child as "a person who is under 16 years of age or the school-leaving age, whichever is the higher"; and defines a young person as "a person who has reached 16 years of age or the school-leaving age (whichever is higher) but is less than 18 years of age".
In general, the Act prohibits the employment of children under 16 years. Employers may, however, take on 14 and 15 year olds, on light work -
Children (i.e. under 16 years of age) can also be employed in cultural, artistic, sports or advertising work which does not interfere with their attendance at school, vocational guidance or training programmes or capacity to benefit from the instruction received.
Further information is available by clicking on the individual tabs above.
In order to employ a child in cultural, artistic, sports or advertising work permission must be obtained by the potential employer by way of a licence issued on behalf of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise 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 child(ren) 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.
The Application Form may be downloaded here - Employment of Children - Licence Application Form
A Form to be completed by the Principal of the School where the child is a student, agreeing to his/her absence from school is also required, and may be downloaded here - School Principal Agreement to Absence of Child
Further information on obtaining a licence for film/TV and theatre can be accessed by clicking on the following links:
Note on Employing a Child by Licence (Film/TV)
Note on Employing a Child by Licence (Theatre)
Application forms for a licence and further details may also be obtained from:
Licensing SectionWorkplace Relations CommissionO'Brien RoadCarlowR93 W7W2
For industries to which the National Minimum Wage Act, 2000 applies, the rate for an employee who is under eighteen years of age is 70% of the Adult National Minimum Wage. The current rate of pay for a person under 18, therefore, is €6.48 per hour.
In addition to the specific records mentioned on the 'Mandatory Records' tab, employers of persons under 18 years of age must display a Poster which outlines the rights of the young person, in an area where it can be easily accessed and read by all staff. A copy of the poster may be obtained from
Information and Customer Services, Workplace Relations Commission, O’Brien Road, Carlow R93 W7W2.
In addition to the normal Statutory Records that employers are required to keep, the following records must be kept for any children and young persons employed by them -
In addition, before employing someone under 16 years of age, an employer must see a copy of the child's birth certificate and obtain the written permission of a parent or guardian to employ the child.
Under the Terms of Employment (Information) Act, 1994, an employer must provide all workers under the age of 18 years with a copy of the official summary of the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act, together with the other details of their terms of employment within one month of taking up a job.
Also, employers who employ persons under 18 years of age must display the official summary (abstract) of the Act at the workplace where it can be easily read.
The following limits apply to the hours that can be worked by young persons under 18 years of age –
Registered Address: Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, O'Brien Road, Carlow