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Minimum Age Requirements – Know The Laws Of Your Province

All jurisdictions impose age restrictions to protect young workers from being hired for jobs that may harm their health, safety or welfare. Here’s a rundown of the minimum age requirements in each part of Canada.

Youth Employment Restrictions & Minimum Age Requirements Across Canada

Jurisdiction

Law
Age Group
Employment Restrictions & Rules
Federal Canada Labour Code Regs., Sec. 10 Under 17 May be employed only if:

*Not required to be at school by provincial law;

*They work between 11 PM and 6 AM the next day; and

*Work is not:

i. In an underground mine

ii. Illegal for their age under Explosives Regs. or Canada Shipping Act

iii. As a nuclear energy worker

iv. Likely to hurt their health or endanger their safety

Alberta Employment Standards Code   *Can’t employ person required to be at school during normal school hours unless he/she’s enrolled in an off campus education program

*Parents’ written permission and permit required to hire kid under 15, unless exception applies

Alberta ESC Regs. 13 to 14 No permit required to hire for work outside school hours if:

*Employed as delivery person of small wares for a retail store, office clerk or messenger, retail store clerk, food service employee, janitorial assistant or office cleaner, coach for a recreational athletic club or association, tutor, delivery person for distribution of newspapers, flyers or handbills, or occupation approved by the Director;

*Employment not likely to be injurious to his/her life, health, education or welfare; and

*A parent or guardian gives written consent

Alberta ESC Regs. Ages 15, 16, 17 May not hire between 9 PM and 12:01 AM the next day unless he/she is in continuous presence of at least one person 18 or over if premises is a:

*Retail business selling food or beverages, alcoholic or not, or

any other commodities, goods, wares or merchandise;

*Retail business selling gasoline, diesel fuel, propane or any other petroleum or natural gas product; or

*Hotel, motel or other place offering overnight accommodation to the public

Alberta OHS Code & Radiation Protection Reg. Under 18 May not:

*Drive a vehicle transporting explosives

*Get a permit to handle, prepare and fire explosives

*Use ionizing designated radiation equipment or an ionizing radiation source (exception: students taking a course of instruction who are under the direct supervision of a competent worker)

BC Employment Standards Act Under 14 Can only hire with Director’s permission, subject to exceptions for entertainment industry
BC ESA and Regs. Ages 14, 15 *Can hire for “light work” with parent or guardian’s

written consent, defined as including administrative and secretarial work; bagging, shelving, price marking and similar work at premises selling, or providing, goods or services; preparing food, hosting, busing tables, dishwashing and similar work at establishments serving food and beverages; setting up, taking down, retrieving and storing sports and recreation equipment; child care; cleaning and tidying; laundry and ironing; clearing leaves and snow; cutting grass; painting, other than spray painting; gardening; repairing items; gathering and hand harvesting; work related to care of domesticated animals; packing, moving and unpacking household goods; delivering goods; troubleshooting user issues with technology

* Must get Director’s permission to hire for other than light work;

*”Light work” does not include repairing, maintaining or operating machinery, tools or other potentially dangerous equipment; entering or working at a place where a minor isn’t legally permitted to enter or work; entering or working at a site of construction, heavy manufacturing, heavy industrial work or other potentially dangerous; entering or working in a unit or space designed to retain an oxygen-deficient or toxic atmosphere; entering a walk-in freezer or cooler other than to place or retrieve an item; handling, preparing, selling, serving or otherwise being in contact with, or being exposed to, a good or service that a minor cannot legally distribute, purchase, use or consume; lifting, carrying or moving an item or animal, involving risk of a musculoskeletal injury; using, handling, applying or being exposed to a hazardous substance

BC OHS Regs. Under 16 Can’t:

*Be a first aid attendant

*Mix, load or apply a moderately or very toxic pesticide for clean or maintain equipment used in such operations

BC OHS Regs. Under 18 Can’t:

*Work as a blaster

*Work at a mine, except for training

BC OHS Regs. Under 19 Can’t work alone or in isolation in potentially hazardous circumstances
Manitoba Employment Standards Code Under 13 Can’t be employed
Manitoba ESC Under 16 Can’t be employed unless:

*He/She has certificate of readiness

*Parent provides signed consent

Manitoba ESC Regs. Under 18 Can’t:

*Work alone between 11 PM and 6 AM (exceptions apply)

*Work in forestry, underground mine, open pit quarry, saw mill or pulp mill, any operation involving confined space entry, asbestos removal, food preparation if work involves use of dangerous tools or equipment, on scaffolding or swing stages, on ladders or platforms risk of falling over 1.5 metres, on a drilling or service rig, in arboriculture if work involves use of dangerous tools or equipment, in work involving handling of dangerous pesticides or herbicides

New Bruns. Employment Standards Act Under 14 Absent a permit, may not hire in an “industrial undertaking,” forest or construction industry, a garage or automotive service station, hotel or restaurant, a theatre, dance hall or shooting gallery, or as an elevator operator
New Bruns. ESA Under 16 Can’t be hired for employment likely to be unwholesome or harmful to health, welfare or moral or physical development
New Bruns. OHS Regs. Under 19 Can’t operate a hoist
Newf./Lab. Labour Standards Act Under 16 *Can’t hire for employment unwholesome or harmful to his/her health or normal development

*Must get written consent of parent or guardian

Newf./Lab. OHS Regs. Under 18 Can’t be employed:

*In a silica process nor in cleaning or maintenance work likely to involve exposure to silica dust, except if recognized part of apprenticeship or comparable training

*Underground in a mine

*As a radiation worker, except as a medical radiation technologist in training

Newf./Lab. OHS Regs. Under 20 Can’t be:

*Put in charge of machinery for hoisting, lifting or haulage

*Put in charge of or made responsible for charging blasting holes with explosives or firing of explosives in blasting

*Serve as traffic controller for machines and powered mobile equipment

Newf./Lab. OHS Regs. Under 21 Can’t be in charge of hoists used for hoisting or lowering workers in a mine
Nova Scotia Labour Standards Code Under 14 Can’t hire for employment unwholesome or harmful to his/her health or normal development
Nova Scotia LSC Under 16 Can’t be employed in:

*An industrial undertaking

*The forest industry

*Garages and automobile service stations

*Hotels

*Restaurants, unless he/she doesn’t operate cooking equipment

*Operating elevators

*Theatres, dance halls, shooting galleries, bowling-alleys, billiard and pool rooms

*Work banned by regulation for somebody under 16 to do

Nova Scotia OHS Regs. Under 19 Can’t be a blasting trainee or candidate for a restricted blaster certificate
Ontario OHS Regs. Under 14 Can’t work in an industrial establishment
Ontario OHS Regs. Under 15 Can’t work in a factory
Ontario OHS Regs. Under 16 Can’t work:

*At a construction project

*In a logging operation

*At a mining plant or surface mine

Ontario OHS Regs. Under 18 Can’t work:

*At an at an offshore oil or gas rig

*Underground in a mine or at working face of a surface mine

*In window washing

Ontario OHS Regs. Under 19 Can’t work as a mine shaft attendant
PEI Youth Employment Act Under 16 Can’t work:

*In employment likely to be harmful to his/her health or safety, or moral or physical development

*In construction

*Between 11 PM and 7 AM

*During normal school hours except under a recognized vocational training or apprenticeship program

*For more than: (i) 3 hours on a school day, (ii) 8 hours on a day other than a school day, or (iii) 40 hours a week

PEI OHS Regs. Under 16 Can’t work as a traffic signal person
Québec Labour Standards Act Under 14 Can’t work without written consent of parent or guardian
Québec OHS Regs. Under 16 Can’t operate a forklift
Québec LSA and OHS Regs. Under 18 Can’t:

*Do work that’s disproportionate to his/her capacity or likely to be detrimental to his/her education, health or physical or moral development

*Do blasting or demolition work

*Work in a trench or excavation

*Work underground, at the face of an open pit site or at the controls of hoisting or moving equipment

*Operate a low velocity explosive actuated tool

*Be a dive team member

*Be responsible for and maintain a concrete pump or distribution mast

Sask. OHS Regs. Under 16 Can’t work:

*On a construction site

*In a production process at a pulp mill, sawmill, woodworking establishment, smelter, foundry, refinery or metal processing or fabricating operation

*In a confined space

*In a production process in a meat, fish or poultry processing plant

*In a forestry or logging operation

*On a drilling or servicing rig

*As an operator of powered mobile equipment, crane or hoist

*If exposure to a chemical or biological substance is likely to endanger his/her health or safety

*In power line construction or maintenance

Sask. OHS Regs. Under 18 Can’t work:

*In an underground or open pit at a mine

*As a radiation worker

*In an asbestos or silica process

*In any operation requiring use of an atmosphere supplying respirator

NWT and Nunavut Labour Standards Act Under 16 Can’t work:

*On a construction site

*In a production process at a pulp mill, sawmill, woodworking establishment, smelter, foundry, refinery or metal processing or fabricating operation

*In a confined space

*In a forestry or logging operation

*As an operator of powered mobile equipment, crane or hoist

*If exposure to a chemical or biological substance is likely to endanger his/her health or safety

*In power line construction or maintenance

NWT and Nunavut Employment of Young Persons Regs. Under 17 Need a permit to hire for work in “construction industry,” defined as one in which persons are employed for clearing brush and trees or constructing, reconstructing, repairing, altering or demolishing any building, harbour, dock, pier, road, tunnel, bridge, viaduct, sewer, drain, well, telegraphic or telephonic installation, electrical undertaking, gaswork, pipeline, waterway or other work of construction including the preparation for or the laying of the foundations of any such work or structure
Yukon Employment Standards Act & Regs. Under 16 Can’t work in a mine

 

Yukon ESA & OHS Regs. Under 18 Can’t:

*Work underground or at working face

of a mine

*Get a blasting operator’s certificate

*Be in charge of a conveyance carrying explosive material