What kinds of work can be done by children aged 13?

Although the age at which children may generally be employed is set at 14 years, both in European and domestic legislation, the restricted employment of 13-year-olds can be permitted on a local basis. However, this is expected to be an exception rather than a general rule. Some local authorities have made by-laws authorising the employment of children aged 13:

  • on an occasional basis by their parents in light agricultural or horticultural work; and
  • in categories of 'light work' as specified in that particular by-law.

These regulations will inevitably be varied depending on local conditions and employment needs and practices. Local authorities will set regulations governing the hours, days, or times of day a child may work, and they may also set regulations concerning intervals for rest and meal breaks, holidays and other conditions of their employment.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.