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Youth aged 15 to 18 in company: prohibited and regulated work

Verified 21 January 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

A young person under the age of 18 may not carry out work involving risks to his health or safety. However, for the purposes of his training, he may be employed in certain regulated works. Skilled or qualified young people, in training or not, can also do some of this work.

Some work is prohibited, others are regulated, and there are special features concerning work on Sundays.


A young person between the ages of 15 and 18 cannot perform the following tasks.

A young person between the ages of 15 and 18 may not carry out work exposing him to acts or representations of a pornographic or violent nature.

A young person may not be assigned to work which may expose him to asbestos dust levels 2 and 3 (dust with a value of more than 100 fibers per liter).

A young person aged 15 to 18 cannot perform work that exposes him or her to certain dangerous biological agents (for example, carcinogenic biological agents).

These include hospitals, the agricultural and agri-food sectors.

A young person aged 15 to 18 years may not perform work exposing him or her to a level of vibration equal to or greater than:

  • 2,5 m/second² per day for hand and arm vibrations,
  • 0.5 meters/second² per day for vibrations transmitted to the whole body.

Examples are the use of jackhammers or construction machinery.

A young person between the ages of 15 and 18 cannot carry out work exposing him to category A radiation.

A young person may not carry out work in hyperbaric medium.

A young person between the ages of 15 and 18 cannot gain unsupervised access to a premises, site or construction site that presents an electrical hazard.

This prohibition does not concern electrical hazards at very low safety voltage.

A kid can't do a live operation.

A young person may not carry out demolition, trench work, involving risks of collapse and burial (armor work, excavations, tunnels, shoring work).

A young person between the ages of 15 and 18 cannot drive motor quadricycles and agricultural or forestry tractors.

However, he may drive such vehicles if they are equipped with a roll-over protection structure or a driver restraint system.

A young person aged 15 to 18 years cannot carry out temporary work at a height without collective protection against the risk of falling.

Please note

this prohibition shall not apply to the use of ladders, steps and steps where it is technically impossible to provide collective protection. It must be short-term work with a low risk of falling.

A 15 to 18 year old cannot perform tall work in the trees (e.g. pruning).

A young person aged between 15 and 18 years cannot carry out work exposing him to an extreme temperature that could harm his health (for example, outdoor work on construction sites).

A 15- to 18-year-old cannot carry out slaughter, euthanasia and rendering of animals.

Nor can it come into contact with dangerous or venomous animals.


Derogations may allow a young person aged between 15 and 18 to carry out regulated work.

Temporary derogation for young people in vocational training

An exemption authorization granted by the labor inspectorate may allow a young person aged 15 to 18 years in vocational training to carry out certain regulated work.

Declaration of derogation from labor inspection

The declaration of derogation may be sent by letter RAR: titleContent.

It is valid for 3 years and can be renewed every 3 years.

Employees covered by the derogation

The derogation concerns young people aged 15 to 18 in one of the following situations:

  • In Apprenticeship
  • Under a professionalization contract
  • In HEADING: titleContent, Bachelor of Professional or Technological Studies, Technician's Certificate
  • In an establishment or work-related support service
Conditions prior to assignment of the young person to the post

The assignment of the young person will be possible if all the following conditions are met:

  • Have carried out the risk assessment
  • Have, after the evaluation, implemented the preventive actions
  • Informing the young person about the risks to his or her health and safety, and providing safety training
  • Provide supervision of the young person by a competent person
  • Obtain medical advice of fitness
Regulated works
  • Dangerous chemical agents:
    • Work exposed to level 1 asbestos dust (dust values less than 100 fibers per liter)
    • Work involving the preparation, use, handling or exposure to chemical agents
  • Radiation:
    • Work exhibiting category B radiation
    • Work involving exposure to dangerous artificial optical radiation
  • Hyperbaric medium: environmental interventions hyperbaric with a relative pressure exceeding 1200 hectopascals (1.2 bar)
  • Using machines:
    • Activities requiring the use or maintenance of certain hazardous machinery (e.g. sawing machines)
    • Maintenance work when it cannot be performed at standstill
    • Driving of construction machinery or lifting appliances
  • Temporary work at height:
    • Temporary work at a height without collective protection measures against the risk of falling but requiring the use of personal protective equipment
    • Mounting and dismantling scaffolding
  • Pressure vessels: work involving handling, monitoring, checking and intervention operations on pressure vessels (e.g. compressors)
  • Confined environment:
    • Inspection, maintenance and cleaning of the interior of tanks, tanks, basins and tanks
    • Confined environment work (wells, gas pipes, etc.)
  • Work in contact with molten glass or metal: work involving the casting of glass or molten metals with permanent access to such rooms
Permanent derogation

A young person possessing the diploma or professional title corresponding to the activity which he pursues may, after obtaining medical advice, carry out the regulated tasks of his profession.

Electrical Hazards

A young person with an electrical clearance may perform operations on or work near electrical installations. They must respect the limits of the authorization.

Driving of construction machinery or lifting appliances

Driving construction machinery or lifting appliances is possible for young people who have undergone specific training and have a driving license.

Manual handling

The young person may carry out manual handling work in excess 20% its weight after favorable medical opinion.


General case

Young people under 18 can work on sundays where the company benefits from a derogation on that basis.

It does not apply in the case of urgent work (accident prevention, breakdown, rescue measures) or cleaning of industrial and maintenance premises.

In case of derogation, the minimum rest period shall be 2 consecutive days or 36 consecutive hours if a collective agreement so provides.


It is possible to have a minor apprentice work on Sundays in sectors for which the particular characteristics of the activity justify it.

The sectors concerned are:

  • Hotels
  • Restore
  • Contractors and reception organizers
  • Coffee, tobacco and drink outlets
  • Bakery
  • Pastry Shop
  • Butcher's Shop
  • Delicatessen
  • Cheese-cream shop
  • Fishmonger
  • Shops selling natural flowers, garden centers and seeds
  • Manufacture principally of food products intended for immediate consumption
  • Exclusive food retailing activity