It’s the role of every country’s government to protect the rights and well-being of its citizens, whether children or adults. Though every country has its own set of laws, one factor they prioritize is the legal age a person must reach to work in different sectors.

If you’re in Canada, you should know that a set of rules determine the age limit you need to start working, whether in formal or informal employment. So what’s the minimum age to work in Canada?

The Legal Age to Work in Canada

There are many sets of laws put in place by the Canadian government which determine the legal age you must meet before you begin working for any willing employer in the country.

The rules apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, and even foreigners looking forward to working in the country.

The laws prioritize young people’s welfare and education before seeking employment from any employer in the country.

With foreigners living in Canada, the minimum age the government requires them to have is not less than 18 years of age. Regardless of the territory or province, you should not be below 18 years of age to start working in Canada. However, the legal age limit for permanent residents and Canadian citizens varies depending on the territory or province. Most Canadian regions or areas have specific rules that determine employment standards.

Legal Age to Work in Canada Territories and Provinces

If you want to work in Canada, you should realize that the Canadian government has applicable policies that differ significantly from one territory or province to another.

Legal Age Limit to Work in BC

The minimum age limit to start working in British Columbia is 12 years. However, if you’re 12 years old, you must get authorization from the department responsible for determining labor and employment standards before working for any employer.

The department of labor standards in the province of BC allows teenagers aged between 12 to 14 years to produce a written consent authorization from their parents or guardians before an employer thinks of employing them or not in their business.

However, even with written consent, the government does not allow teenagers in that age category to work during their school hours. During the non-school hours, they can only work for seven hours at maximum. But when schools are out of session, for instance during the holiday season, the period you can work in a week is 35 hours or less.

Legal Age to Work in Ontario

If you’re 18 years or more and living in Ontario, the law does not discriminate against age, and you can seek employment from an employer of choice. For some types of employment, 14 years is the minimum age you need to work in Ontario.

If you’re under 14 years old in Ontario, you cannot work for any industrial establishment. The law does not allow teens 15 years or below to work in any factory setup. If you’re looking for a job on a construction site, you must be 16 years of age or above to work in that industry. Anybody below 18 years of age is not permitted to work during school hours.

Age Limit to Start Working in Alberta

Young people below 18 years of age who want to work in Alberta require their guardian or parent’s written consent before approaching any employer. Under some conditions, the employment standard law in Alberta permits young people who are 12 years of age to work. However, working under that condition will require approval from the labor standards department. The conditions that guide you to work in Alberta if you’re below 18 years of age include:

*You can only do some jobs, especially those that don’t put your well-being or health at risk. If you’re below 18 years of age, you cannot work in some industries such as construction and mining or in a company that deals with hazardous products. Some of the jobs you can do include an office clerk and delivery person.

*You should not be working when your school is in session.

Legal Age for People to Work in New Brunswick

The Canadian province of New Brunswick allows young teens who are 14 years of age or below to work in areas that cannot cause damage or harm to their welfare, health, physical or moral development.

Young people, especially those who are below 14 years, are not permitted to serve in some job categories, such as construction industry, industrial setting, service station, garage, forestry industry, etc. You require a permit from the department that sets employment standards to work in these industries. However, even with the authorization, you can only work for a maximum of three hours daily during the school days.

Legal Working Age in Quebec

In Quebec, the government does not allow young people aged 16 or below to work in a mining facility, a workshop, open-pit mine, or apprentice in professions or trades regulated by law. If you are below 14 years of age, there are some jobs you can do in Quebec. However, even when you qualify to work in some industries with that age, you can only start working after you produce your guardian or parent’s written consent.

Minimum Age Requirement to Work in Prince Edward

Prince Edward is one of Canada’s Eastern Maritime provinces. The province’s employment rule permits people under 16 to work only when they meet several conditions put in place by the government.

Some of the condition that guides minors on how to work in this province include:

  • You can only work for a maximum of three hours during school hours
  • You cannot work before 7 am and after 11 pm
  • You cannot work in a construction setting
  • And more!

In general, the Canadian government prohibits employment for young people below 18 years of age in occupations perceived as capable of producing undesirable influences concerning their moral and character development.

If you’re below 18 years and want to find a job in Canada, ensure you consult your parent or guardian first, and you know the rules that govern young people to work in your region.