The EU has adopted minimum requirements for the protection of young workers (under 18 years of age) and their health and safety at work. It also outlaws child labour.
The EU Directive on the protection of young people at work (94/33/EC) insists that Member States must prohibit the employment of children (i.e. those under the age of 15 or still in full-time compulsory education). Some exceptions are possible for cultural, artistic, sports and advertising activities as well as for certain training contracts and certain kinds of light work by those aged at least 13 or 14. The employment of young people must be strictly controlled and protected under the conditions provided for in the Directive.
The Directive sets out the employer’s general obligations to protect and monitor young workers’ health and safety. It also specifies types of employment which must not be carried out by young people. This includes work which exceeds their mental or physical capacities and work involving harmful exposure to dangerous substances. There are also provisions on working hours, night work, rest periods, annual leave and rest breaks.
The text of the Directive is available, as well as the preparatory documents and reports on its transposition and implementation.
- Proposal for a Directive on the Protection of Young People at Work COM (91) 543
- Amended proposal for a Directive on the Protection of Young People at Work COM (93) 35
- Commission Communication - The Common Position of the Council on the amended proposal for a Council Directive on the Protection of Young People at Work SEC(1993) 1984
- Re-examined proposal for a Directive on the Protection of Young People at Work COM (94) 88
- Commission Staff Working Document - Application of Council Directive 94/33/EC on the protection of young people at work SEC (2010) 1339
- Commission Report - Application of Directive 94/33/EC on the Protection of Young People at Work & Annexes COM (2004) 105
Annexes: Austria / Belgique / Danemark / Finland / France / Allemagne / Greece / Ireland / Italy / Luxembourg / The Netherlands / Portugal / Espagne / Suède / United Kingdom
- Transposition of Directive 94/33/EC concerning the protection of young people at work in the 15 Member States of the European Union (2001)
- Commission Report - Effects of the transitional period granted to the United Kingdom concerning certain provisions of Council Directive 94/33/EC on the Protection of Young People at Work COM (2000) 457
- Study on Child Labour and Protection of Young Workers in the European Union
- Executive Summary - Study on Child Labour and Protection of Young Workers in the European Union
- Synthesis Report - Implementation of Directive 94/33/EC in the enlarged European Union
- Report (Executive Summaries) on the implementation of Directive 1994/33/EC in Bulgaria and in Romania (2009)