Rules regarding work of children and adolescents are found in Act No. 46/1980 on Working Environment, Health and Safety of workers and in Regulation 426/1999. Limitations are set as to the type of work, working environment and working time of young people. i.e. under the age of 18.
The regulation outlines the type of work that is allowed or prohibited, working time etc. and for this purpose classifies young workers into three groups:
Youth; an individual under the age of 18.
Child; an individual under the age of 15 or who is still in compulsory schooling.
Adolescent; an individual who has reached the age of 15 but is younger than 18, and is no longer in compulsory school.
The regulation is built upon the basic principle that the organization of work is focused on safety and that the mental and physical health of youths is not jeopardised. The work undertaken by youths must not have disturbing effects on their education or development. Young workers enjoy a right to particular assistance and care by the employer.
An employer must inform his workers, who work with youths, and those in charge of a company's safety measures, of the demands that are made to the work of youths and ensure that they are abided by and that they are followed in the execution, organization and supervision of the work of youths.
The law imposes a number of provisions, which prohibit certain kind of work for young people in the interests of protecting their health and development. These prohibitions include work with dangerous tools and equipment and toxic substances.
Children, who are at the age of 13–14, or who are in compulsory school, may only engage in work that falls under the definition of „light work" and which is listed in Appendix 4 to the Regulation. Children may neither work with or in the vicinity of machinery or dangerous substances, nor shall they lift heavy weights.
The working time of adolescents (15-18) must not exceed 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. In special instances, e.g. in case of pressing need due to the nature of the operation, for example if valuables in agriculture or fish processing are to be saved, the work time of adolescents may exceed 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week, provided that the provisions of daily rest and time off are honoured.
Adolescents may not, however, work more than 60 hours per week and 48 hours per week average over a four-month period. The regulation also provides for a minimum daily rest, which shall not be less than 12 hours of consecutive rest and a two day break every week. Adolescents must furthermore during every seven-day period, receive at least two days of rest, which shall be consecutive if possible. This minimum rest period shall generally include Sundays.
The working time of children 13–15 years of age is further limited.