In A Flash

Minimum Age of Employment Increase in the Federal Sector

On June 12, 2023, recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) are scheduled to come into force, with the effect of increasing the general minimum age of employment in the federal sector from 17 to 18 years old, subject to certain exceptions.

The change is part of broader amendments to the Code found in the Budget Implementation Act, 2022, No. 1. For an overview of upcoming and possible changes to the Code, see our October 13, 2022 article here.

Currently, in the federal sector, the minimum age of employment is 17 years old, subject to certain exceptions found in the Canada Labour Regulations. On June 23, 2023, the minimum age of employment increases to 18. However, persons under the age of 18 will still be eligible for employment if:

  • the person is not required to attend school under the law of the province of ordinary residence; and
  • the work in which the person is to be employed:
    • is not carried out underground in a mine,
    • would not cause them to be employed in or enter a place that they are prohibited from entering under the Explosives Regulations, 2013,
    • is not work as a nuclear energy worker,
    • is not work that they are prohibited from performing under the Canada Shipping Act, 2011 by reason of their age, or
    • is not likely to be injurious to their health or to endanger their safety.

Additionally, federal sector employers will not be able to mandate or permit an employee under the age of 18 years to work between 11 p.m. on one day and 6 a.m. on the following day.

The amended restriction will apply to current employees who are 17 or younger on June 12, 2023 if they remain employed by the same employer in the position they held that day.

If you have any questions about this topic, or any questions relating to workplace law generally, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.

The Firm gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Liam Billings, an Articling Student in the firm’s Toronto office.

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