What do I need to consider when hiring a minor ?

When hiring a minor for a job, there are many factors to be considered. In particular, compliance to legislation that applies specifically to minors at work needs to be ensured. Familiarity with the applicable Labor laws is necessary. The laws and regulations are different for agricultural and non-agricultural jobs.

When you are hiring minors for your firm you must be conscious of the fact that you are dealing with the minors as well as their parents as parental consent is a prerequisite. In addition, you must meticulously maintain records of the number of hours worked and should monitor the nature of job the minors are doing. Failure to maintain proper records or knowingly or unknowingly allowing a minor to perform hazardous jobs will attract stiff penalties.

Certain jobs can be performed by children of any age performance in the theater, radio, television, films etc are examples. In addition, children of any age can assist in their parent’s non-agricultural business.

In job positions in the non-agricultural sector, the child should have completed a minimum age of 14 to be able to work. The allowable number of hours for children of ages 14 and 15 to work in a day is 3 hours outside of the school hours. The weekly limit in this case is 18 hours. In a non-school week, they may work 8 hours per day or 40 hours a week. Besides, children cannot be made to work before 7am or after 7pm. Moreover, children cannot be made to work in mining, manufacturing and other hazardous jobs. Young people can work after midnight with the permission of their parents and only in the presence of someone 18 years or older.

In additions, employment of young persons comes under special restrictions in restaurants, gas stations, hotels, bars, etc.

The restrictions on the number of hours and the time of day do not apply to children of ages 16 and 17. However, they too are forbidden from working in jobs that have been classified as unsafe.

These include :

- Mining 
- Driving a vehicle 
- Sawmilling and logging 
- Operating power driven machines used in wood working 
- Jobs that can cause exposure to radioactive substances and other harmful radiations 
- Jobs that involve use of power driven hoisting environment. 
- Meat processing and packing 
- Ship breaking, demolition and wrecking operations. 
- Excavation 
- Roofing

An individual who is 18 years or older can work for unlimited number of hours. However, employers are bound to maintain record of the date of birth. In addition, they are also expected to maintain the date of joining and the date of quitting and the number of hours worked each day and week.
While working can be a rewarding exercise for children and teenagers, proper care and supervision should be exercised. Working can be an opportunity where they are able to learn and develop interpersonal skills. Care should be taken that the children do not exceed the limits of their physical endurance or are not exposed to hazardous work environments.