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How old do I need to be to work?

How old do I need to be to work?
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Ministry of Labour
Justice for Children and Youth

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How old do I need to be to work?
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April 2, 2018

In most workplaces, the minimum age to work is 14. But it depends on the job.

For example, you have to be:

  • 14 to work in a store or as a waiter
  • 15 to work in a restaurant kitchen
  • 16 to work on a construction project
  • 18 to sell or serve alcohol (but you have to be 19 to drink alcohol)

If you're under 18 and have not yet graduated from high school, the law says you have to be in school. So you're not allowed to work during school hours.

If you're 18 or older

Human rights laws say that if you're 18 or older, an employer is not allowed to discriminate against you because of your age.

And if this happens, you may want to make a human rights claim. For example, if you're 18 or older, an employer can't decide not to hire you only because of your age.

But, if you're 65 or older, an employer is allowed to discriminate about benefit plans. For example, you might not get the same health benefits as younger workers in your workplace.

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