Eligibility to work
A child must be 13 years and above to be legally employed. However, those between 13 and 15 should only carry out light duties suited to their capacity in a non-industrial setting.
The type of work children and young persons can do is governed by Part VIII of the Employment Act and the Employment of Children and Young Persons Regulations.
Where they can work
Children and young persons are limited in the type of work they can do in industrial settings (e.g. construction, transportation and manufacturing) and non-industrial settings.
Work in a non-industrial setting
Work in an industrial setting
Children aged less than 13 years
|Children aged 13 to less than 15 years
||Yes, for light duties only.
||No, unless working with family members.
Young persons aged 15 to less than 16 years
Yes, but employers must notify MOM and submit a medical report (see below).
If you employ a young person to work in an industrial setting:
Unsuitable work for those under 16
Some forms of work are unsuitable for those under 16. These include:
- Where work conditions may cause injury.
- Servicing or attending moving machinery.
- Being near live electrical apparatus that is not effectively insulated.
- Underground work.
Work doing manual labour
If you are employing children and young persons as workmen doing manual labour:
- They cannot work at night, between 11pm and 6am the next day.
- They cannot work on their rest days without permission from the Commissioner for Labour.
- Children must not work:
- More than 3 hours without a 30-minute break.
- More than 6 hours in a day, including time at school.
- Young persons must not work:
- More than 4 hours without a 30-minute break.
- More than 7 hours in a day, including time at school.