Working hours for young people

Working hours for young people

The Employment Act and Ordinance on the Protection of Young People at Work include special provisions for the protection of young employees which you must take into account during the planning of working hours.


Under 13 years of age
Pursuant to Article 30 of the Employment Act (ArG), young people under the age of 13 may not be employed. On this basis of this, we recommend that you do not hire any individuals who are not at least 13 years old, including for small errands!

From 13 to 15 years of age
From their 13th birthday, young people are allowed to perform light work, i.e. small errands, holiday jobs and trial apprenticeships. The light work may not have any negative impact on the health, safety and development of the young people in question and should not prevent them from either attending school or completing their school work. What differentiates light work from a "normal" or dangerous activity is the type of work and the conditions under which it is performed (working hours, frequency, etc.). It is the responsibility of the parents and the employer to ensure that the young person in question is not overburdened. In cases of doubt, the young person should not be employed.

During school term time, light work may total no more than three hours per day and nine hours per week. During school holidays, employment is permitted for half the duration of the holidays and for a maximum of eight hours per day and 40 hours per week during this time. This work is to be performed between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

From 15 to 18 years of age
The maximum daily working hours for young people aged 15 and above may not exceed the total hours performed by the respective employer's other employees, while no more than nine hours per day may be worked. Examples:
Young people aged under 16 may work until 8 p.m. at the latest and young people aged over 16 may work until 10 p.m. at the latest. The break requirements applied to adults also apply to young people: upon the completion of approximately half the working hours, the work should be interrupted through breaks of the following minimum durations:

  • 15 minutes for work exceeding 5.5 hours
  • 30 minutes for work exceeding 7 hours

The daily work of the young person – including breaks – must be performed within a window of 12 hours (e.g. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). A continuous daily rest period of at least 12 hours must also be ensured.

Information source: SECO brochure

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