Young workers

Permits and notifications - Young workers - Yleistä

Young workers are employees who are under 18 years of age. A young worker’s employment must not be hazardous to their health or development or interfere with their schooling. A special law and decrees are in place to protect young workers.

Occupational safety and health authorities can waive the regulations concerning young workers in special circumstances. Employers can request exemptions from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Eastern Finland, which is the authority responsible for processing all applications for exemptions relating to young across Finland. Exemptions must be sought well in advance of the scheduled start of the work. The work cannot commence until authorisation has been given.

Exemptions can be granted in the following circumstances:

1. A child under the age of 14 is required to work temporarily as a performer or an assistant in artistic or cultural performances

Occupational safety and health authorities can, in special circumstances, permit children under the age of 14 to work temporarily as performers or assistants in, for example, artistic or cultural performances. There must be a special reason why an exemption is needed, and the work must not endanger the child’s safety or interfere with their health, development or schooling.

Applying for exemptions

Form: Application for an exemption to permit a child under the age of 14 to participate in filming, performances or other similar work (pdf, in Finnish)

Applications are processed by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Eastern Finland. See here for contact information.

For more information, see Employment relationship - Young worker - Employment contract and age.

2. A waiver is needed in respect of a young person’s working hours and the distribution of their working hours, overtime and rest periods

Occupational safety and health authorities can waive the restrictions on young people’s working hours if their professional development or some other important reason requires that a child aged 14 or over work longer hours.

Exemptions can be granted to permit the following:

a. Work during school term time on a more than temporary basis

b. Work performances of more than a short duration during school term time

c. Work not in compliance with one of the following restrictions on young people’s working hours:

  • Restrictions relating to regular working hours
  • Overtime and emergency work (up to 40 hours of overtime per calendar year in addition to the 80 hours of overtime per calendar year that 15-year-olds are normally permitted to work)
  • Maximum working hours (nine hours per day and 48 hours per week)
  • Distribution of working hours
  • Rest periods (15-year-olds must in any case get at least 12 hours of uninterrupted rest in each 24-hour period and children under the age of 15 must get 14 hours of uninterrupted rest in each 24-hour period)

Applying for exemptions

Exemptions can be sought by sending an informal written application to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Eastern Finland. See here for contact information.

For more information, see Employment relationship - Young worker - Working hours.

3. A young person is required to perform particularly dangerous work

Occupational safety and health authorities can permit young people aged 16 and over to perform particularly dangerous work if the same is necessary for their professional development. Young people can only be permitted to perform particularly dangerous work under the supervision of an experienced and qualified professional and provided that their employer is able to ensure that the objectives for the protection of young people laid down in the Finnish Government Decree on work that is particularly harmful or dangerous for young people are met.

Applying for exemptions

Exemptions can be sought by sending an informal written application to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Eastern Finland. See here for contact information.

For more information, see Employment relationship - Young worker - Hazardous work.

Permits and notifications - Young workers - Muualla Tyosuojelu.fissa