Working hours

The Young Workers’ Act provides for working hours, overtime, distribution of working hours, breaks, daily rest periods and weekly rest periods.

The restrictions on working hours may only be derogated from on an exemption granted by the occupational safety and health division of a Regional State Administrative Agency on the grounds that this is essential for the young worker’s professional development or for some other weighty reason. However, the occupational safety and health authorities may never grant an exemption to allow the interruption of daily rest periods or to allow the working of more than 120 hours of overtime per year.

Restrictions are imposed on the working hours of young workers.

Young workers may not be assigned to night work

The regular working hours of a person who has reached the age of 15 years may be no more than 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week; the working hours must fall between 06.00 and 22.00. In the case of work in a two-shift system related to vocational education, a shift may be extended until midnight.

The working hours of a young worker under the age of 15 may be no more than 7 hours per day and 35 hours per week; the working hours must fall between 08.00 and 20.00 or, if there are weighty reasons concerning the organisation of work, between 06.00 and 20.00.

In household work, however, working hours may extend to 23.00 with the young worker’s consent. ‘Household work’ is here understood to mean work performed in the employer’s home.

A young worker subject to compulsory education may work for no more than 7 hours on free days and no more than 2 hours on schooldays. The combined length of school attendance and working hours must be no more than 8 hours, and the working hours in any given week must be no more than 12 hours.

No overtime for under-15s

A young worker aged 15 or above may work overtime to a maximum of 80 hours per calendar year. Overtime may only be assigned with the young worker’s consent. However, the working hours of a young worker may never exceed 9 hours per day or 48 hours per week. A young worker under the age of 15 may not be assigned to work overtime.

Rest periods restrict working hours. Young workers aged 15 or older and young workers under 15 must be given an uninterrupted rest period of at least 12 hours or at least 14 hours per day, respectively. The employer must also grant an uninterrupted weekly rest period of at least 38 hours. Daily and weekly rest periods must without exception be uninterrupted.

During the working day, the employer must allow young workers a meal break of 30 minutes if the working hours per day are more than 4 hours 30 minutes. Young workers are allowed to leave the workplace during their breaks. If there are provisions in the applicable collective agreement differing from those in the Employment Contracts Act, the employer may apply the collective agreement to young workers too.

 

Young workers who in the current year:
have their 14th birthday

are aged 15 to 17

Regular working hours

  • 7 h/day
  • 35 h/week
  • 8 h/day
  • 40 h/week

Permitted working hours during the school year while subject to compulsory education

  • on free days, 7 h / day
  • on school days, 2 h / day
  • weekly working hours no more than 12 h / week
  • combined length of school attendance and working hours no more than 8 h / day
  • on free days, 7 h / day
  • on school days, 2 h / day
  • weekly working hours no more than 12 h / week
  • combined length of school attendance and working hours no more than 8 h / day

Overtime

Prohibited

  • no more than 80 h / year
  • a further 40 h / year possible on an exemption
  • daily working hours no more than 9 h / day
  • weekly working hours no more than 48 h / week

Distribution of working hours

  • between 08.00 and 20.00
  • between 06.00 and 20.00 for weighty reasons
  • until 23.00 in household work
  • between 06.00 and 20.00
  • until 23.00 in household work
  • until midnight in two-shift work related to vocational education

Meal breaks

30 min if working hours exceed 4 h 30 min / day

30 min if working hours exceed 4 h 30 min / day

Uninterrupted daily rest period

14 h/day

12 h/day

Uninterrupted weekly rest period

38 h/week

38 h/week