The regulations set out by Legal Notice 440/2003 (Young Persons Employment Regulations), seek to protect young workers in employment. Young Persons include children (minors) who have not yet attained the age of sixteen years and those between sixteen and under eighteen years, known as adolescents. Protection is higher where it concerns children in employment.
The working conditions indicated below must be observed by the employer when employing an adolescent:
· The working time during the day should not be longer than 8 hours;
· The weekly working time should not exceed 40 hours. This applies (cumulatively) even if the work is divided into more than one job;
· No work is to be carried out during the night, that is, the period between ten o'clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning, unless there is a justification that merits an exemption. There may be exemptions in the sectors of shipping or fishing, hospitals or similar institutions and in cultural, artistic; sports or advertising activities, if there are objective reasons;
· The break during the workday must be at least 30 minutes after four and a half hours work;
· The daily rest (between one working day and another) should be not less than 12 consecutive hours;
· The working schedule must also include weekly rest of two days, possibly being consecutive, and that in principle to include a Sunday.
Furthermore, the employer should:
· ask for a birth certificate before employing an adolescent person;
· obtain the written permission of at least one of the adolescent’s parent before employing the adolescent;
· in the absence of a signed contract of employment, the employer must, within 8 working days, give to the employee a statement signed by him/her, including the conditions of employment agreed with the employee;
· keep records which include details of the adolescent person, such as name, date of birth, working time and wage.
The regulations and working conditions that apply to employment of young persons are more protective in respect of work by children. Work includes any activity that can be either paid or for free.
Before employing a child under sixteen years, the employer requires an authorisation issued by the Director of Industrial and Employment Relations. A request for authorisation may only be considered if the proposed work is not dangerous to the health or harmful to child development. In this respect it must be ensured that:
1. The employer has carried out a risk assessment to confirm that the work is not dangerous for the minor, and
2. The Director of Education finds no objection from the educational aspect.
No person may employ a minor before receiving the relevant permission to do so from the Director of Industrial and Employment Relations.
A request for authorization
should be sought for children under fourteen years of age only where it is linked to participation in cultural, artistic, sports or advertising activities and for children of fourteen and fifteen years of age even when performing light work which may be in other activities.
When an authorisation to employ a child is issued, the employer should seek to observe the conditions attached to such permission.
The minimum conditions of employment for minors as established in the law, include:
· limits of the daily working hours of not more than 8 hours;
· limits of the weekly working hours of not more than 40 hours. This applies (cumulatively) even if the work is divided into more than one job;
· can not be employed during the night, in the period between eight o’clock in theevening and six o’clock in the morning;
· A break of at least 30 minutes after four and a half hours of work;
· Daily rest (between one working day and another) of not less than 14 consecutive hours;
· Weekly rest of two consecutive days, one of which is a Sunday;
· A minimum aggregate of 21 days without work during the school holidays.
The same as in the case of adolescents, the employer should ensure to:
· ask for a birth certificate before employing a child;
· and prior employment, obtain the written consent from a parent of the child; in the absence of a signed contract of employment, the employer must, within 8 working days, give to the employee a statement signed by him/her, including the conditions of employment agreed with the employee;
· keep records that include details of the minor, such as name, date of birth, working time and wage.
In case of any difficulty relating to employment of young persons, one may contact the Customer Care Unit of the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations, telephone numbers - 21224245 / 6 or call in person at the Department offices.