Youth Protection Act – Working hours

Youth Protection Act Working Hours - individual legal provisions are found in the Youth Employment Protection Act or JArbSchG for short.

Jugendschutzgesetz Arbeitszeiten

Youth Protection Act Working Hours - As is the case for adults, the working hours of minors are also precisely defined. Here, a distinction must be made between the exact age and the type of activity. The individual legal provisions can be found in the Youth Employment Protection Act or JArbSchG for short.

Difference: children and adolescents

The Youth Employment Protection Act first distinguishes between children and adolescents. Persons who have reached the age of 13 but not yet 15 are considered children. In contrast, the law refers to persons between the ages of 15 and 18 as adolescents.

The distinction is important because children are generally prohibited from working. There are only a few exceptions, such as student internships. In the case of therapies or on the order of a court, the work of children is also possible in principle.

Children over 13

Children over the age of 13 are permitted to perform light work with the consent of their legal guardian.

Children under 13

Children under the age of 13 are absolutely prohibited from working.

Youth-Protection Act Working hours under 18

The Youth Employment Protection Act stipulates a maximum working time of 8 hours per day for young people. During the week, the working time must not exceed 40 hours.

On individual days, the working time may be increased to 8.5 hours. This is only permitted if the working time is reduced on other days at the same time. A maximum of 5 working days is permitted within a week.

Youth Employment Protection Act Weekend

According to the Youth-Protection Act, working on Saturdays is prohibited. There is also a strict ban on working on Sundays. There are exceptions, for example, in agriculture or in nursing homes.

Youth Employment Protection Act Night Rest

The location of working hours is also strictly regulated. Work by young people is generally only permitted between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.. There are some exceptions in certain industries.

In restaurants, for example, it is permitted to work until 10 pm.

In bakeries, work may begin at 5 a.m. or even 4 a.m., depending on the age of the young person.

In this way, the law takes into account the special circumstances in certain occupational sectors.

Youth Employment Protection Act Rest breaks

After a working time of 4.5 to 6 hours, a break of 30 minutes is mandatory.

If the working time is even longer, the young person must take a break of at least 60 minutes.

After the end of a working day, a rest break of 12 hours is required. This is an absolute ban on employment. This ensures that young people are given sufficient free time.

Working hours in the student internship

The internship is one of the few exceptions in which children are allowed to work. Here, certain working hours must also be observed. 14-year-olds are allowed a maximum working time of 7 hours a day and 35 hours a week.


We would like to point out that our website provides non-binding information, which under no circumstances constitutes legal advice. This also, and especially, applies to topics within the sphere of legal HR advise. The content of this contribution cannot and is not intended to replace individual and binding legal advice. For this reason, all information provided is without guarantee of correctness and completeness, but always researched with the utmost care.

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