The employer must ensure that the work is not hazardous to the physical or mental development of the young worker and that it does not require more exertion or responsibility than can be considered reasonable with respect to his/her age and strength. The employer must consult the occupational health care service in assessing health hazards.
The relevant Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health contains a list of examples of job duties that are light work suitable for young workers. ‘Light work’ is defined as work that poses no risk to a young worker’s health, development or school attendance. Such work may be assigned to a young worker under the age of 15, provided that his/her 14th birthday is in the current calendar year.
However, even light work assignments may not involve work especially harmful or hazardous to young workers; these are provided for separately. In evaluating the suitability of work, it must always be considered whether the working conditions, work environment, requirements for the work and the resulting responsibility, and physical and mental work load are appropriate for a young worker.
Light work may be considered to include:
- selling refreshments, tickets and similar products at a competition, exhibition or a similar event,
- running errands, distributing papers and fliers,
- performances and other work at artistic, cultural and similar events,
- writing, editing, communication and other media work,
- assistant roles in retailing outlets, including displaying goods and attaching price labels, sorting and packaging goods and sales work; however, not work at a supermarket checkout,
- assistant roles in office work,
- planting, picking and providing assistance in horticultural and agricultural work, feeding domestic animals that are not dangerous,
- assistant roles in hotels and restaurants, including setting tables, serving and selling,
- minor assistant tasks in industry which do not involve working with, or in close contact with, substances or implements that may be harmful or hazardous to health,
- in warehouses and similar facilities, receiving, sorting, handling and dispatching goods, labelling and inventorying,
- in sanitation and cleaning work, cleaning premises, including flats, where substances or implements that may be harmful or hazardous to health are not handled, and
- other light work that is similar to the aforementioned types.