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When You Can Work

You can get a job without your parents’ permission as soon as you turn 15. You can work when you are younger than 15 if you and your parents follow certain requirements.

If you are between 12 and 14

If you are between 12 and 14 years old, your parent or guardian has to give an employer written permission to hire you. That’s because parents and guardians need to know where their child will be working and whether the hours and type of work are suitable for you. Parents and guardians are responsible for finding out if the proposed job meets your best interests and will not negatively affect your social, physical or educational needs. Parents should read this factsheet: WorkBC Parent's Guide. If you are under 12 years old, see the Ministry of Labour factsheet on the Hiring Young People.

Work conditions

If you are 12 to 14 years old, anyone who hires you must follow these work conditions:

  • An employer must not require or allow you to work at the same time that you are supposed to be in school.
  • You must be under the direct and immediate supervision of a person aged 19 or older at all times while working.
  • An employer must not require you to work more than the following number of hours:
    • 4 hours on a school day
    • 7 hours on a non-school day unless the director has provided written approval
    • 20 hours in a week that has five school days
    • 35 hours in any other week

For more information

If you are interested in the entertainment business, then different rules will apply. See the Ministry of Labour website. To talk to someone, contact an office of the Employment Standards Branch.

Last reviewed date: 2021/ Apr