If you are lucky enough to land yourself your first job, it is important to know that, you have certain basic rights as an employee. This includes equal treatment, holiday pay, safe workplace, statement of terms & conditions among others.

But as young person, you have additional protection under Employment Law – The Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 is there to protect your health and ensure that working during your school years does not effect your education.

If you have any questions about your rights as an employee, you can chat online to a trained Youth Information Officer or leave us a message and we can get back to you.

Your Working Day

If you are 14

  • No work allowed during school term time.
  • 35 hours light work during the school holidays (maximum) – or up to 40 hours, if approved work experience (e.g. TY).
  • Breaks:
    • 30 minute break after working 4 hours.
    • 14 hours break in every 24 hours
    • 2 days off in every 7
  • Only permitted to work between 8.00am and 8.00pm on any day.
  • must have at least 21 days off work during summer holidays
  • Exception: In Film, cultural, advertising or sport (need a License)

If you are 15

  • 8 hours a week light work in school term time.
  • 35 hours working week (maximum) – or up to 40 hours if they are on approved work experience (e.g. TY).
  • Breaks:
    • 30 minutes after working 4 hours
    • 14 hours break in every 24 hours
    • 2 days off in every 7 days
  • Only permitted to work between 8.00am and 8.00pm on any day.
  • must have at least 21 days off during summer holidays
  • Exception: In Film, cultural, advertising or sport (need a License)

If you are 16 or 17

  • 40 hours working week (maximum)
  • 8 hours a day (maximum).
  • Breaks:
    • 30 minute break after working 4½ hours.
    • 12 hours off in every 24 hours
    • 2 days off in every 7 days.
  • Only permitted to work between 6am and 10pm. (on night before a school day).
    • You can work up to 11.00 p.m. on nights where you have no school the next day: in such instances they must not start work before 7.00 a.m. the next day. A special Code of Practice Concerning the Employment of Young Persons in Licensed Premises is in place governing employment of 16 and 17 years olds in the Licensed trade. This must be signed by the employer, the employee and your parent/guardian.

Workplace Relations Commission have put together a great resource that can be downloaded here


Wages/Payment

Pay Package

All employees are entitled by law to a payslip. A payslip is essentially a statement in writing from the employer to the employee that outlines the total pay before tax and all details of any deductions from pay. You should find out information about the items your payslip should contain and how your tax is calculated here.

Minimum Wage

Since 1 January 2021, the national minimum wage is €10.20 per hour. But if you are under 18, you are only entitled up to €7.14 per hour (70% of the minimum wage). Some employers pay more than this.

Tips:

While tipping may be relatively widespread in a number of services (restaurants, bars etc) there is nothing in Irish law which states that you are automatically entitled to keep your tips. However, the law does not require you to hand these tips to your employer either. Instead, it all depends on the custom and practice in your workplace. There is a National Minimum Wage (Protection of Employee Tips) Bill 2017 which proposes to bring in legislation on employees tips. The legislation will need to be enacted before this can come into force. If all tips are collected by management and paid to staff through the payroll, then these tips are subject to tax in the normal way.

Information Source for this section: Citizens Information Website


Employer Records

In addition to the normal Statutory Records your employer must keep the following information on you

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • time work begins each day
  • time work finishes each day
  • rate of wages or salary paid per day, week, month or year, as appropriate
  • total amount of wages or salary paid to each person

In addition, before employing someone under 16 years of age, an employer must see a copy of your birth certificate and obtain the written permission from your parent/guardian.