The legislation on this page is not in effect.

Alberta Labour is working with employers, youth and caregivers to ensure these standards are implemented effectively.

View current youth employment rules: work.alberta.ca/employment-standards/employees-under-18

Basic rules (coming soon)

  • There are restrictions on the employment of persons under 18 years of age.
  • Regardless of age, all employees under 18 years of age are entitled to the minimum standards of employment, such as general holidays, vacations, minimum wage and termination notice or pay.
  • Some exceptions apply, such as to students in an approved training course or work experience program who may be exempt from the requirement to pay minimum wage.
  • The rules about allowable work will apply to youth workers on farms and ranches just as they apply in other industries. Children doing chores on the farm or helping out around the home are not considered to be in an employment relationship or performing “work”. Youth employment rules have no effect on youth activities such as 4-H or branding parties and won’t stop friends and neighbours from helping each other as they have done for generations.

Employers must also comply with the restrictions that apply to the following 3 age groups.

Employees 12 years of age and under

  • May only be employed in an artistic endeavour.
  • Can only be employed under the conditions of a permit issued to the employer by the Director of Employment Standards.
  • Hours of work restrictions will be determined during the approval process.
    • If school is in session, the employee can’t work later than 9 pm on a weeknight and 11 pm if the next day is a weekend day.

Employees 13 to 15 years of age

May be employed in:

  • Any job that is deemed to be light work.
  • An artistic endeavour.
  • Any other type of work authorized under a permit issued by the Director of Employment Standards that is not considered hazardous work (the permit application must include the consent of a parent, guardian or other person who has the lawful care, custody or control of the person seeking employment).

Restrictions

  • Employees between 13 and 14 years have the following restrictions on hours of work:
    • can’t work between 9 pm and 6 am
    • can't work during school hours, unless they're enrolled in an off-campus education program
    • can only work up to 2 hours outside of regular school hours, on school days
    • can work up to 8 hours on non-school days
  • Employees who are 15 years of age have the following restrictions on hours of work:
    • can't work between 12:01 am and 6 am
    • can't work during school hours, unless they're enrolled in an off-campus education program

Employees 16 to 17 years of age

Employees who are 16 or 17 years of age will be eligible to work in all types of work except hazardous work. They are only eligible to do hazardous work if:

  • it has been authorized under a permit issued by the Director of Employment Standards
  • it is part of an approved course of study such as a work integrated learning program, such as the Registered Apprenticeship Program

Restrictions

  • Employees between the ages 16 and 17 who work in retail or hospitality have the following restrictions on hours of work:
    • can only work between 9 pm and 12 am with adult supervision
    • can't work between 12:01 am and 6 am
  • Employees between the ages 16 and 17 who work in jobs that are not in retail or hospitality have the following restrictions on hours of work:
    • can only work between 12:01 am and 6 am with parent/guardian consent and adult supervision

Retail includes selling any of the following:

  • any food or beverages
  • any other commodities, goods, wares or merchandise
  • gasoline, diesel fuel, propane or any other product of petroleum or natural gas

Hospitality includes hotels, motels or any place that provides overnight accommodation to the public.

Artistic endeavours

Youth 12 years of age and under are only allowed to work jobs that are considered artistic endeavours.

An artistic endeavour means work in:

  • recorded entertainment
    • film, radio, video or television
    • television and radio commercials
  • voice recordings for video and computer gaming
  • live performancesentertainment industry
    • theatre plays
    • musical performances

Hazardous work

Hazardous work is defined in reference to Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation.

  • Hazardous work is prohibited for any person aged 15 years or under
  • Hazardous work is permitted for those between 16 and 17 years of age only under the following conditions:
    • the employer applies for and receives a permit from Employment Standards, which will outline the conditions of employment;
    • the permit application includes the consent of a parent, guardian or other person that has the lawful care, custody or control of the individual seeking employment;
    • the health, safety and well-being of the individual are protected; and
    • the individual is supervised by a responsible adult while the work is being performed and adequately trained in advance.

Hazardous work list

For the purposes of the youth employment rules in the Employment Standards Code, the following work or situations are considered hazardous:

  • “hazardous occupation” defined by occupational health and safety laws
  • confined spaces
  • high hazard work
  • exposure to a chemical or biological substance that may endanger a worker
  • industrial manufacturing
  • shooting range
  • smelter or refinery
  • garage or automobile repair shop
  • boiler or engine room
  • wrecking or demolition
  • explosives and detonators
  • excavating and tunnelling
  • firefighting
  • heights of 3 metres or more or where a worker may fall into a hazardous situation or opening in a work surface
  • residential roofing
  • industrial rope access
  • radiation equipment or sources
  • slaughtering or butchering animals, excluding retail food preparation
  • crowd control or security
  • working alone where assistance is not readily available

How the law applies

Part 2, Division 9 of the Employment Standards Code (Code) and Part 5 of the Regulation outline the rules for employing youth under 18.

Disclaimer: In the event of any discrepancy between this information and Alberta Employment Standards legislation, the legislation is considered correct.

Contact

Contact Employment Standards or sign up for updates