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Restrictions on Youth Employment

By Carmelita Roberts

One of the most common conversations amongst adolescents right now is summer employment. Friends want to know where each other will work and for how many hours; the most someone will say is 40 hours a week. That’s because there are law restrictions to when youth is allowed to work. Some people might believe these restrictions should be lifted, although in my opinion, these limits contribute to a just society.

In many less fortunate countries, there are no laws for youth employment. As a result, young people are being abused and forced to work for longer than they can handle. This is not healthy, nor fair. Therefore, the laws of the Youth Employment Act prevent adolescents from being taken advantage of.

As for people who work throughout the school year, there is a restriction of three hours per school day. After spending approximately six hours a day working hard at school, it is a lot to ask of a young person to spend even more time at their job-- especially with extracurricular activity involvement and homework. If the employee is in high school, chances are they have a lot going on and I am grateful that our Canadian society recognizes this. Excessive responsibility is not suitable for any individual.

Even though some adolescents want to make as much money as they can, we have the rest of our lives to work. I believe it is important to have time for relaxation and to take the focus off our studies. Consequently, the reasons behind the restrictions on youth employment are to maintain a fair, safe, and healthy environment for growing, developing teens.

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Recent comments

  • Martin Van Letmework
    December 02, 2014 - 10:58

    Here's a crazy idea - why not just only choose to work fewer hours? If you want to work 25+ hours a week while in high school, all the power to you. Work experience is valuable and if you need the money to help your family, who is the government to tell you that you can't do that?

  • Sensible Parent
    October 07, 2014 - 17:54

    It is entirely appropriate to limit the number of hours a teen in high school can work. Education and health should be the priority. I would suggest 8-10 hours a week is a reasonable limit and should deliver any school age kid more than sufficient "pocket money".

  • workaholic
    September 13, 2014 - 09:49

    Are you out of your mind....aight!