Hey! It’s us again. You know, your cool best friends that are a little further down the life road than you, and are sharing all of our learnings with you so you don’t have to make the same mistakes as we did (hello blue mascara!)

With summer in full flow and life starting to return to some form of normality, you may be on the hunt for a summer job, or you could actually have one! It might be your first job, and you might be so grateful to have one that you haven’t yet thought about what rights you have as a fully-fledged career woman.

If you’re under 18, your rights for working are a lot different than those over 18, and sometimes, employers forget this.

Don’t you fret though, as always we’ve done the research and are here to break it down for you, tell you all you need to know and save you hours of scrolling through Google to find the answers.


There is actually a law in Ireland to protect the health and well-being of young workers. Its called The Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996. This law basically states the age limit for workers, the break times you should be given and the max number of hours you can work, while also making sure you’re not asked to work late-night shifts.

Ok, so now that the boring bit is out of the way, here’s what you need to know.

1. If you are under 16, you are legally not allowed to have a full-time job. But, don’t worry, if you are 14 or 15, you’re allowed to do some light work during the summer hols as long as you get at least 21 days off in this time. So, if you’ve been offered a job helping out on your uncle’s farm or selling strawberries or even working on the amusements in Tramore, go for it!

2. If you are 15, you are allowed to work a max of 35 hours per week (or up to 40 if it is approved work experience). If you are 16 or 17, you are allowed to work a max of 40 hours per week and a max of 8 hours per day. If you want more info, click HERE.

Are you a busy bee and have more than one summer job? Your combined hours for all your jobs, have to follow the above rule! 

3. You’ll be glad to know that you can only work between the hours of 6 am and 10 pm. So you should be cuddled up in bed, switching on Love Island by half 10 every night! P.S. There are some exceptions and you can check them out HERE.

4. Breaks. These are something you will grow to love! Those treasured few minutes where you can walk away from the work chaos and just have some time to yourself. So, what’s the craic with them? If you are under 16, for every 4 hours you work, you are entitled to have a half-hour off, you need 14 hours off between shifts and need at least 2 days off per week (these days should be together if at all possible).

If you are 16 or 17, things are a little different. For every 4.5 hours you work, you are allowed to have 30 minutes of a break, you need 12 hours off in between shifts and 2 days off per week (these days should be together if at all possible).

5. Before someone invites you to work for them, they have to check your age. So, they might ask for your birth cert. Have this ready! If you are under 16, your new boss must get written permission from your parents/guardians to be able to employ you.

6. So, the most important bit! The MONEY. Ireland’s minimum wage is currently at €10.20 per hour. Unfortunately, if you are under 18, you are not guaranteed this amount. However, you have to legally receive at least 70% of this which is €7.14 per hour. Your boss can pay you more, but just be prepared to receive less than the minimum wage.


So, if a summer job is for you, that is what you need to know. So go on, be independent, the master of your own destiny, have the freedom to decide to go for Eddie Rockets with your friends (you know, since we can do that again!), buy those trainers or get your nails done.

P.S. When you are rolling in all that moolah, don’t forget to buy us that fancy Mustang we’ve always dreamt of 😉


If you have any concerns or feel pressured to work outside of these guidelines, you can find some information on the next steps HERE. 


If you would like to support us and the work that we do,  you can donate below ❤


Supported By

Our Pro bono Partners