Employing adolescents between 14-18 years

Adolescents are allowed to work in places that do non-hazardous work. These establishments that do non-hazardous work are notified by the government. They are also allowed to work:

  1. In a family business. For example, working in your family jewellery business.
  2. As a child artist. For example, acting in Bollywood movies or in an advertisement.

Adolescents between the age of 14 to 18 are not allowed to work in:

  • Mines or places which use inflammable substances or explosives. For example, a factory which manufactures firecrackers.
  • Industries which use hazardous processes which are provided in another law called the Factories Act, 1948. They include coal, power generation, paper, fertilizer, iron and steel industries, asbestos, etc.

Employing children under 14

It is illegal to employ or allow children under the age of 14 in any form of occupation. Employers, parents or any guardian in charge of a child who allows a child to work in any type of occupation will be punished.

However, there are two exceptions. The Government allows children to work:

If you know of any acts of child labour where the child is below the age of 14, please report the crime.

Determining age of Child

If you as an employer are unsure if the child is below 14 years or above 14 years of age, then the age of the child will be determined by a medical authority who will look into the following three documents while determining the age:

  • Aadhar card of the child or adolescent.
  • Birth certificate from school, or the matriculation or a certificate from an examination Board.
  • Birth certificate of the child or adolescent given by a corporation or a municipal authority or a panchayat.

When these three documents are absent, then the medical authority will do an ossification test or any other latest age determination test to find out the age of the child.

As an employer, you should have a certificate of age for the child, in case the inspector wants to determine the age of the child. If the inspector finds out that you have not obtained a certificate of age for the child, he will specifically instruct you to obtain it from a medical authority.