15 year olds can be employed: Labor Minister

Jone Usamate
Jone Usamate

 

Any child who is above the age of 15 years can be employed provided that the employment is not likely to be harmful to the health of the child, must not hinder the development of the child and must not prejudice the child’s attendance at school.

So said Labour Minister Jone Usamate today. He said that employers must make sure that they  obtain the consent of the parent or guardian of the child together with the birth certificate to confirm the age.

He also said that the children must be paid the minimum rates, cannot be employed after 10pm and the child needs to be provided with 30 minutes of paid break for every four hours of work.

He also stressed that a child cannot be employed more than eight hours in a day.

Usamate said if children are able to engage into light work after school then it is not a problem as that will assist the families provided that the employers meet the conditions set out in the Employment Relations Promulgation 2007.

The Ministry of Labour is increasing its compliance and enforcement inspections and will be coming down hard on employers who employ children below the minimum working age or those who employ children in hazardous workplaces.

An individual employer can face a fine of $10,000 or two year imprisonment or both, while a corporation can face up to $50,000 for violation of labour laws.