Minors and Youth

Minimum Age for Employment

In accordance with provisions of Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children’ Act, a child is a person under the age of 14 years.

The Act prohibits employment of children except in those circumstances provided under the Act. Section 10 of Shop and Office Employees Act also prohibits employment of children under the age of 14 years.

According to the Factories Ordinance, normal working hours for workers between 16-18 years should not be more than 12 hours per day. They are not allowed to work between 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The maximum number of working hours, including overtime, is 60 hours per week.

The Mines and Minerals Law no. 4 of 1973 prohibits young person less than 16 years of age from working underground in any mine. Young workers between 16 to 18 years of age are permitted to work in a mine if they meet the conditions of fitness and criteria listed in the Hazardous Occupations Regulations 2010 issued by the Ministry of Labor.

The Shop & Office Employees Act prohibits the employment of children under the age of 14 years in a shop or office. The Act further states that male children, between the ages of 14 and 18 years, cannot be employed before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m. except in certain specified types of employment.

The penalty for violation of the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children’ (EWYP&C) Act depends on the offence committed. The fines imposed range from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 and imprisonment of at least 12 months or both fine and imprisonment in certain circumstances.

Source: §13 of the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children’ Act, 1956; §10 of the Shop and Office Employees Act, 1954; §67(b) of the Factories Ordinance; §56 of the Mines and Minerals Law no. 4 of 1973

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Employment of young persons under the age of 18 years is prohibited. Government has also issued a list of hazardous occupations/activities where employment of young person is prohibited. Employment of young person is also prohibited at night. The Government has a hazardous work activities list that includes the 51 occupations and/or working conditions in which employing children under the age of 18 years is prohibited. These include slaughtering of animals; manufacture or use of pesticides; production, transport or sale of alcohol; work is liquor bar or casino; manufacturing, transport or sale of explosives; fishing in deep waters; mining or underground work; transportation of passengers or heavy goods; diving; and working at night between 08 p.m. and 06 a.m.

Source: §20(A) of the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children’ Act, 1956; §10(2) of the Shop and Office Employees Act, 1954; Hazardous Occupations Regulations, 2010

Regulations on Minors and Youth

  • 1954 සාප්පු හා කාර්යාල සේවක (රැකියා හා පාරිශ්‍රමික රෙගුලාසි) පනත / கடைகள் மற்றும் அலுவலக பணியாளர்கள் சட்டம் 1954 (வேலைவாய்ப்பு மற்றும் ஊதியம் பற்றிய ஒழுங்குவிதிகள்) / Shop and Office Employees (Regulation of Employment and Remuneration) Act, 1954
  • 1956 කාන්තාවන්, තරුණ පුද්ගලයන් සහ ළමයින් සේවයෙහි යෙදවීම පිලිබඳ පනත / 1956 ஆம் ஆண்டு பெண்கள் மற்றும் இளம் ஆட்கள் மற்றும் சிறுவர்களை வேலைக்கு அமர்த்துவது மீதான சட்டம் / Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children’ Act, 1956
  • අනතුරු සහිත වෘත්තිය රෙගුලාසි 2010 / 2010 ஆண்டு அபாயகரமான தொழில் ஒழுங்குவிதிகள் / Hazardous Occupations Regulations, 2010
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