Know Your Rights: Young workers


I am 17 years old and I have just finished school. I would like to get a part-time job over the summer. Are there restrictions on the number of hours I can work and will I get the minimum wage?

Answer (June 2018)

The maximum working week for young people aged 16 and 17 is 40 hours, and you cannot work more than 8 hours a day. If you work for more than one employer, your combined daily or weekly hours of work cannot be more than this maximum. Usually, you are only permitted to work between 6am and 10pm, but in licenced premises (pubs and restaurants) you are legally allowed to work until 11pm at weekends and during school holidays.

The national minimum wage for an experienced adult is currently €9.55 per hour. People aged under 18 are only entitled to up to 70% of the experienced adult rate This is €6.69 per hour. Your employer is free to pay you more than the minimum wage if they wish, but they are not required to do so by law. You must get a payslip from your employer. A payslip is a statement in writing from the employer that shows your total pay before tax and details of deductions from your pay.

If you get tips from customers there is nothing in law to state you are automatically entitled to these tips. However, the law does not require you to hand these tips to your employer either. Instead, it depends on the custom and practice in your workplace.

These rules are set out in the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996. Your employer must give you the official summary of the Act, along with other details of your terms of employment, within one month of your start date. All employers with employees under 18 must display the official summary of the Act somewhere visible where it can be easily read. Your employer must also see a copy of your birth certificate, or other evidence of your age, before employing you.