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Minor's Work: Can I work under 18?

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In this article we will discuss what applies to child labour.

As you approach puberty you see everything around you change. You almost become an adult. On the one hand you want to do what the "grown-ups" do, but you're also a bit of a kid. But the biggest need you feel is the need for independence and autonomy. You're looking for ways to make your own money so that no one is "in charge" of you. At this stage of your life, when you think your powers will never leave you, you believe you can do it all - and you're partly right. You can work 20 hours straight after a late night and go straight to school!

As you are at the beginning of your career and have your first contacts with a workplace it is the right time to be informed about your rights! Can you finally work in that coffee shop where you hang out with friends? What exactly is the insurance you've heard and they say? How many hours you need to work (not how many you can, how many you need!). At what age can you start working?

It is important to know the laws that apply to the Protection of Minors at Work (Law 3850/2010)

So that you don't have to read all these articles, we did it and collected all the useful information you need to know when you want to start your professional career! For the sake of convenience we will point out that:

  • Minor you are considered as not having reached the age of 18
  • Teenager you are considered to be 15 years old but not 18 (between 15 and 18 years old)

When can you start the first steps of your career?

From the day you turn 15 you can start working legally in Greece. Once you have not reached the age of 15, the laws in Greece prohibit any form of work.

The only Exception that exists at this age is in the artistic spirits. In particular, you can be employed if you are under 15 years of age in theatre performances, musical performances or other artistic events, television shows, video recordings, film shoots, and modeling. The condition in these is that your physical and mental health is not affected! You can take part in all of the above but not for longer than 3 months and always with the consent of the person in your care.

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Underage work: How many hours can you work? Can you work all hours of the day?

Because at LeadCompass we like data and we like to be specific:

In the exception mentioned above for children and adolescents under 15 years of age, the following legal working hours per day apply:

  • From 3 - 6 years = 2 hours per day
  • From 6 - 11 years = 3 hours per day
  • From 11 - 13 years old = 4 hours a day
  • From 13 - 15 years old = 5 hours a day

If you're at the age of 15 - 16 years old or if you are still attending a secondary school, high school or any type of technical vocational school, whether public or private, you can work until 6 hours a day and up to 30 hours a week.

At the age of 17 - 18 years old the working hours are like adults, as they are 8 hours a day to 40 hours a week.

In all of the above categories, you are entitled to a minimum of twelve (12) consecutive hours of rest until your next shift. In practice, if you are 16 years old and you work from 13:00-19:00 one day, you cannot start work before 07:00 the next day.

If you are working while attending a high school or any type of technical vocational school, your working hours must begin or end at least two (2) hours after the end or before the beginning of classes respectively. When your daily working time exceeds 4.5 hours, you are entitled to a break of at least 30 consecutive minutes.

If you are working in a company as an internship or apprenticeship, your working time and your internship time are counted together. That is, if you do three (3) hours of internship per day, you can work for the same or another employer for another three (3) hours, as long as the above mentioned is observed!

If you are employed by more than one employer, your working days and hours are calculated cumulatively.

With regard to working hours for minors, night work is prohibited. Night work is defined as work from 22:00 at night until 06:00 in the morning. It is also not permitted to work in entertainment establishments where mainly alcoholic beverages are offered for immediate consumption within the establishment. (You can still go for coffee and make stories with the company!)

Prohibited the overtime employment of minors in any case; i.e. employment for more hours than those mentioned above.

Are you entitled to a leave of absence? 

You are entitled to regular leave from work during the summer school holiday period on consecutive days. You can ask your employer for half of your normal leave and take it in instalments at other times.

If you belong to the category where you are employed and at the same time attend a state-recognised school, you are entitled to two (2) days' leave - consecutive or partial - for each day of the examination. In this case, you need to provide your employer with the relevant certificate of participation in the examination. This leave is not paid by the employer but by the OAS.

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Working under 18: Do you need to have any documents?

A work booklet must have been issued before the start of employment. The procedure is a bit complicated but not difficult. But you should definitely not overlook it!

First, the employer who intends to employ you will provide you with an affidavit under Law N.1599 stating your specialty and detailing your duties. It will also state that you will not be employed in heavy, dangerous and unhealthy work.

With this affidavit you need to go to the competent Department of Social Inspection of the SEPE and apply for the issuance of your booklet by submitting the necessary documents.

Finally, with this booklet unused and with a referral to a public hospital or the Social Insurance Institution (IKA), you need to go for examinations. From there you will receive the final stamp for the booklet, so that you can start with all the legal procedures for your employment.

Attention! The minor's booklet is only valid for the employer who has given you the original affidavit and only for the job listed! The endorsement for public agency doctors is valid for one year.

What salary are you entitled to if you are a minor?

As you will learn later in life, the salary process is a negotiation! This is true even if you are working as a minor who has no previous experience and usually the jobs you want to be employed in do not require any specialization. The law stipulates that underage workers are paid on the basis of at least the minimum daily wage of an unskilled worker provided for by the General Collective Labour Agreement in proportion to the hours worked.

The procedure described above may seem complicated, but it will ensure that you have all the rights you are legally entitled to.

It may seem like a mountain, but it's not. The work and every process you learn will bring you one step closer to your goals and dreams!

You're starting out and building your resume. You learn the known transferable soft skills, all those personal skills that you can transfer from one job to another without being related to the job. For example, working in a coffee shop teaches you to follow procedures, communication, customer service, team participation and many other traits that you will encounter in many of the jobs you will apply for later in life!

If you are under 18 and have not yet spoken to an employer, but still want to find a job, you can invest in a nice CV (find one here ready-made CV templates), to prepare for the job interview and learn your strengths that will make you stand out!

Clarification: The control of the application of the provisions of Chapter H "Protection of minors during employment" of Law 3850/2010 belongs to the Labour Inspectorate (S.E.P.E.).

If you have more questions leave your comment below or contact us at [email protected] - 2313068480.
If you are looking for a job and you want us to prepare your CV,
ask for an offer here!

Keep reading:
Motherhood and Work: A Rights Guide for the Working Woman.

Rafaela holds an MSc in Human Resources Management.
Professionally, she has held positions in sales, customer service, HR and communications.

For the last 3 years she has been actively involved in issues of equality in the labour market, both from the business side and in information and empowerment of women.

She likes to read articles, research and books, to inform herself and write about what excites her!

Its aim is for every person to be able to know their values, to know their rights, to believe in themselves and to find a job that will make them smile at the end of each day!

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37 Responses

    1. Good evening. You can contact hotels, restaurants and retail outlets in your area or speak to a labour specialist for further clarification.

        1. According to Greek labour law, young people under the age of 15 are not allowed to work. Therefore, if you are 15 years old and you have not yet celebrated your birthday, you cannot work in a cafeteria or any other place. Expect to reach the age of 15 before you can start working, and even then, you will need to comply with the conditions and restrictions set out in the employment legislation for teenagers to work.

  1. Hello my name is Emmanuel Zournatzis I am 15 I am going 16 in February and I would like to find a job of my own so that I don't spend my parent's money

    1. Good evening. You can contact hotels, restaurants and retailers in your area to find out what jobs are available. You can also look for jobs online on job portals that post job advertisements, on company websites, through youth employment programmes and by networking with friends, family and teachers. Remember to check the age requirements for each job you apply for.

  2. Hello my name is Ekaterini I am 17 years old and I would like to work in a hotel as a maid in Crete I am from Thessaloniki! and I am looking for a job there maybe you could help me please..

    1. Good evening. You can search on job portals that publish job advertisements (e.g. jooble, indeed skywalker etc.) and contact hotels in Crete in the area you are interested in to find out what jobs are available.

    1. According to Greek labour law, work is prohibited for people under 15 years of age. You can consider working as a volunteer in non-profit organizations or engage in activities that are in line with your age and education. For more you can talk to an employment specialist.

    1. Good evening. You can contact hotels, restaurants and retailers in your area to find out what jobs are available. You can also look for jobs online on job portals that post job advertisements, on company websites, through youth employment programmes and by networking with friends, family and teachers. Remember to check the age requirements for each job you apply for.

  3. I AM 17,5 YEARS OLD AND I WANT TO WORK IN A CAMPING IN CHALKIDIKI. I HAVE BEEN INTERVIEWED BUT THE POLICE WON'T GIVE ME A WORK PERMIT BECAUSE I AM UNDERAGE . I HAVE A WORK BOOK FROM SEPE . DOES THAT MATTER?

    1. It is a good idea to contact a labour lawyer to see if there are any other conditions that need to be met before you can work at the campsite.

    1. According to Greek labour law, work is prohibited for people under 15 years of age. You can consider working as a volunteer in non-profit organizations or engage in activities that are in line with your age and education. For more you can talk to an employment specialist.

    1. At the age of 17 - 18 the working hours are like adults, as they are 8 hours a day to 40 hours a week.
      Please note: If you are working while attending a high school or any type of technical vocational training school, your working hours must begin or end at least two (2) hours after the end or before the start of classes respectively.

  4. I'm 17 and I'm graduating in July but I want to work as a hookah in a shop because I know the industry. However while with any other job there is no issue with this one because it deals with tobacco products I have been told that I absolutely have to be 18 is there any way I can work in this sector or not ?

    1. It is advisable to contact an occupational therapist for more information due to the specific nature of the profession.

  5. I am Manolis (Mavridakis) I am 16 years old and I need a job that does not include children and the elderly
    in the area of the Briar Sea

    1. Good evening. You can contact hotels, restaurants and retailers in your area to find out what jobs are available. You can also look for jobs online on job portals that post job advertisements, on company websites, through youth employment programmes and by networking with friends, family and teachers. Remember to check the age requirements for each job you apply for.

  6. Good morning.
    In September I turn 16 years old.
    I want to work now summer.
    My mother retires for me because I have lost my father.
    Is it a problem that he's retired?
    Can he lose it?
    Thank you

  7. Good afternoon, I have searched the internet and found that all maid related jobs need at least 2 years experience in 5star, (I don't believe they make exceptions). How is it possible to find at my age (17)?

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