FAQ - Youth Labor Laws
What is the legal working age in Germany?
The earliest age somebody could start working in Germany is 13, with parental permission, but those options are extremely limited. Typically, the Jugendarbeitsschutzgesetz (Youth Labor Protection Laws) apply to teenagers between 15-18, and children younger than 14 are not allowed to work and are required to attend school five days per week. In addition, there are restrictions on the types of work that can be performed by teenagers - it cannot in any way endanger the teenager's physical or mental health.
Some highlights of the Jugendarbeitsshutzgesetz are:
Work hours: no more than 8 hrs/day and 40 hrs/week, maximum 5 days/week. In the case of shift work, shifts may not exceed 10 hours per shift.
Break times: After working 4.5 hours, youth must be given a 30-minute break; after six hours, they must be given an hour break.
Night work: Youth may not perform work between 20:00 and 06:00 (with the following exceptions):
Teenagers older than 16 may work until 23:00 in restaurants and bars, from 05:00 in bakeries, and from 05:00 or until 21:00 on farms.
Teens older than 17 are permitted to begin work at 04:00 in bakeries.
Down time: After any given work time, youths must be given at least a 12-hour break.
Annual leave: In general, an employer needs to grant 25 - 30 days leave per year, but that varies with age.
Teenagers are not allowed to work on Saturdays and Sundays, with some exceptions, and they must have at least two Saturdays and two Sundays per month off .
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