Employment of adolescent workers – starting on 1 September, 15-years old can be hired

2018.08.30

Starting in September, the lower age limit for adolescent workers changes. An adolescent worker will now be a person who has turned 15, but is not yet 18 years old (until now, turning 16 has been required). We would like to use this opportunity to remind you of the basic rules for the employment of adolescent workers.

As a rule, it is allowed to employ adolescent workers who have completed at least the junior high school (gimnazjum) or the eight-class elementary school (szkoła podstawowa). They can be employed to perform light work, and, if they do not have any professional qualifications, solely as part of job training. If you decide to employ adolescent workers, you should update your working regulations. They should include the list of the types of work from which adolescent workers are banned, a list of the types of light work which is allowed for them and a list of job positions into which adolescent workers can be placed in order to undergo professional training. 

When employing adolescent workers, it is also necessary to remember the special terms of such employment. The employer’s duties include, inter alia, the provision of care and support necessary to adjust to the proper way of working, training opportunities and the observance of specific working time norms and rules for granting leave. The adolescent worker's weekly working hours cannot exceed 12 hours, and on days of school instruction, they cannot work for more than 2 hours. Only during vacation time does the working time limit increase to 7 hours per day, and no more than 35 hours per week. Moreover, adolescent workers cannot work at night or during overtime. During a 24-hour period, they must have a rest period of at least 14 hours, and one of at least 48 hours during a week. Failure to observe these rules carries a penalty of 30,000 zloty.