Consultations begin on employment minimum age

Staff ~ The Southwest Booster
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Interested participants have an opportunity to share their opinions regarding the issue of an absolute minimum age of employment in Saskatchewan.

"We want to know what Saskatchewan people think about the minimum age of employment, and when it is appropriate for a young person to enter the workforce," Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris said. "It is about balancing the desire of young people to gain safe work experience with our commitment to ensuring that they succeed in school."

Interested participants have an opportunity to share their opinions regarding the issue of an absolute minimum age of employment in Saskatchewan.

"We want to know what Saskatchewan people think about the minimum age of employment, and when it is appropriate for a young person to enter the workforce," Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris said. "It is about balancing the desire of young people to gain safe work experience with our commitment to ensuring that they succeed in school."

An absolute minimum age of employment refers to the age below which no young person is permitted to be employed. There is no absolute minimum age of employment in Saskatchewan, allowing young workers to seek employment in a variety of sectors, including retail and wholesale.

The Minimum Wage Regulations restrict the employment of young workers in five sectors - hotels, restaurants, educational institutions, hospitals and nursing homes. Government has lowered the minimum age of employment in these five sectors to age 15 from 16 with the provision that the employed 15-year-olds not work more than 16 hours per week. The change is a pilot project that will be reviewed in May 2009, following the conclusion of the consultation process.

Public input will be sought through print advertisements and the internet. In addition, Ministry officials will consult with stakeholders and seek written submissions from interested parties. The deadline for input is May 1, 2009.

"As we review the minimum age of employment, our highest priorities are the health and safety, education and overall well-being of Saskatchewan young people," Norris said. "We welcome feedback from the public and stakeholders on this important issue."

To provide feedback, email labourlegislationaeel@gov.sk.ca.

Geographic location: Saskatchewan

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