Age and Work
How old do you have to be to work? The ages vary, but in Ontario the legal age of employment is 14 years. For students in particular, there are certain laws and procedures employers are provided by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) that they must follow, and it’s essential that you as a young employee know them as well.
In Ontario, it is mandatory that employers only schedule working hours for students after school hours, on weekends and on statutory holidays where permitted. This ensures students stay in school and have an appropriate amount to time to study. Unless a student has been excused from school, only then they may work during school hours.
Depending on your age, your work place options may be limited. From age 14 you may be employed in an office, arena or store; age 15, factories and repair shops; and age 16, construction and logging.
It is also important to note that the student minimum wage is $10.30 an hour while it is $11.00 an hour for any non-student worker.
Set by the ESA, it is you right to refuse, question and know about any hazards or unsafe practices in the your workplace. You have the right to refuse any type of work you feel is unsafe.
Always be aware of your surroundings and report any conditions you feel may be unsafe. Ensure you have been properly trained and know the facts to be safe.