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Sunday, April 20, 2014
Saskatchewan

MINIMUM AGE OF EMPLOYMENT LOWERED TO AGE 15 IN THE NEW YEAR

Minister Says Government Will Maintain Balance Between Work Experience and Education

More young people will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience when the minimum age of employment is lowered to 15 in hotels, restaurants, educational institutions, hospitals and nursing homes. Prior to this change, the minimum age for working in those five sectors was 16.

Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris said it is important to maintain a balance between allowing young people to gain work experience and ensuring their education is not compromised.

"Every young person's education is the first priority and our government is taking steps to ensure a proper balance between work and school," Norris said. "Lowering the minimum age of employment gives Saskatchewan young people valuable opportunities to obtain work experience, while filling gaps in our labour market."

Fifteen-year-olds will not be allowed to work more than 16 hours per week to ensure they have sufficient time to dedicate to their school work. The change will be reviewed in May 2009, following a consultation process starting in January. The government will also look at an absolute minimum age of employment in Saskatchewan and other employment standards to protect the well-being of young people entering the workforce.

There is currently no absolute minimum age of employment outside of the five sectors - hotels, restaurants, educational institutions, hospitals and nursing homes. Current legislation continues to restrict the employment of young people during school hours, in the sale, handling or service of alcohol, and in certain high-risk occupations.

"Moving forward, our highest priority is the health and safety, education and overall well-being of Saskatchewan young people," Norris said. "Jurisdictions across Canada have addressed the minimum age of employment, and lowering the age of employment in these five sectors brings us more in line with the rest of the country."

The change will come into effect in January, 14 days after publication in the Saskatchewan Gazette. To find out more about Saskatchewan's employment standards, call 1-800-667-1783 or visit www.aeel.gov.sk.ca/ls.

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For more information, contact:

Donna-Rae Crooks
Advanced Education, Employment and Labour
Regina
Phone: 306-787-3716
Email: donna-rae.crooks@gov.sk.ca

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