Minors and Youth

Minimum Age for Employment

The Republic Act no.7610 of 1992, Act No. 9231 of 2003 and the Labour Code contains the provisions on the minimum age for employment. Children are defined as persons below eighteen (18) years of age or those over this age limit but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition.

No child below 15 can work, unless he/she is working under the sole responsibility of parents or guardian and the work does not interfere with his or her schooling or where a child's employment or participation in public entertainment or information through cinema, theater, radio, television or other forms of media is essential.

However, this can only be done when the employment contract is concluded by the child's parents or legal guardian, with the express agreement of the child concerned, if possible, and the approval of the Department of Labour and Employment. Furthermore the employer must ensure protection, health, safety, morals and normal development of the child; they must institute measures to prevent the child's exploitation or discrimination taking into account the system and level of remuneration, and the duration and arrangement of working time; And must formulate and implement, subject to the approval and supervision of competent authorities, a continuing program for training and skills acquisition of the child. Lastly, the employer must also first secure before engaging such child, a work permit from the Department of Labour and Employment.

The law imposes a punishment of imprisonment of six (6) months and one  day to six  years or a fine of fifty thousand to three hundred thousand pesos or both for any employer who uses a child in violation of the provisions on the minimum age of children. Furthermore, parents and legal guardians found to be in violation of these rules can also be fined 10,000-100,000 pesos or be required to render community service for 30 days to one year, or both.

Children between fifteen (15) and eighteen (18) years of age may be employed for such number of hours and such periods of the day as determined by the Secretary of Labour and Employment in appropriate regulations.

Source: §137 of the Labour Code, as amended; §3, 12, and 16 of the Republic Act No. 7610 of 1992; §2, 3, and 6 of the Republic Act No. 9231 of 2003

Minimum Age for Hazardous Work

Labour Code prohibits the employment of a person below eighteen (18) years of age in an undertaking which is hazardous or deleterious in nature as determined by the Secretary of Labour and Employment. The activities which can be regarded as hazardous have been specified in section 3 of the Republic Act 9231 of 2003 which introduces Section 12-D (4) in the Republic Act 7610 of 1992. This section clearly lays down an exhaustive list of activities that can be classified as hazardous, and generally includes all forms of slavery, prostitution, work performed underground, underwater or dangerous heights, use of dangerous machinery, exposure to physical danger and work involving manufacture of explosives.

No child below fifteen (15) years of age is allowed to work between 8pm and 6am. No child between fifteen (15) and eighteen (18) years of age can work between 10pm and 6am. Furthermore, a child below 15 years of age cannot work more than 4 hours a day, while a child in-between 15 and 18 years cannot work for more than 8 hours a day. On a weekly basis, this amounts to 20 hours a week for children under 15 and 40 hours for children in-between 15 and 18.

Any person employing children in hazardous work that is in contravention of the law is subject to a fine of one hundred thousand to one million pesos or imprisonment of 12-20 years, or both.

Department of Labour and Employment has also issued Guidelines in Assessing and Determining Hazardous Work in the Employment of Persons Below 18 Years of Age which has detailed provisions on hazardous work/activities prohibited for children under 18.

Source: §137 of the Labour Code, as amended; §3, 12, and 16 of the Republic Act No. 7610 of 1992; §2, 3, and 6 of the Republic Act No. 9231 of 2003

Regulations on Minors and Youth

  • 608001
  • 608024
  • 608025
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