Employment of minors: protection prevails

Young people under the age of 18 years can work, but their working hours and the type of work they do must take into account their age and inexperience. 

An employer wanting to recruit minors can only do so under certain conditions. These include adjustment of the work to the young age, inexperience and school commitments of potential workers.

Young people are not, in principle, entitled to work at night or on Sundays. However, specific authorizations can be granted to employers for certain jobs.

Mandatory medical examination and counselling

Young people who regularly or periodically work at night must undergo a medical examination with counselling (art. 45 OLT 1). The first examination takes place prior to assignment to night work and is then repeated every two years. It may be coordinated with the traffic medicine control (admission to road traffic).

The examining doctor shall inform the employer of his conclusions as to the employee’s fitness or unfitness. An employee who is declared unfit or who refuses to undergo medical examination cannot be assigned to night work. If he or she is only fit under certain conditions, he or she may perform night work, in whole or in part, provided that the company takes the measures deemed necessary to preserve his or her health.

Source: SECO, Worker Protection, June 2015 and amendment of the Ordinance on the Labor Act of November 2020 (in German).


Last modification 29.10.2020

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