Working under the age of 18

  • Find it in the Law:
    Article 7 (“Working Age”) and Article 45 (“Protection of Youth”) in Law on Labour
  • Who is responsible:
    Your employer
  • Who can help me:
    Labor Inspectorate, Competent Court, Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo
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The Law on Labour says that you can enter a work contract only after you’ve turned 18 years old. But you can also engage in some forms of labour starting from the age of 15 – under the condition that the job does not carry any health or developmental risks. The Law on Labour obliges employers to make sure that workers under 18 are not involved in such risky tasks. It specifically stipulates, for example, that they cannot work underground, under water, at dangerous heights or closed premises; cannot operate dangerous machinery equipment and tools doing heavy shipment; cannot work in unhealthy environments which exposes them to dangerous substances, factors or processes; and cannot work in difficult conditions such as extended working hours or night shifts. Also, workers under 18 can’t work for more than 30 hours a week. If you are between the ages of 15 and 18 and are being asked by your employer to do some of these things, and especially if you have suffered mental or physical wounds as a result, you have a legal right to complain and receive compensation.

If you feel that your rights as an employee have been violated and you want them reinstated, you coulddiscussthem with your employer first. If your employer has a body that is responsible for dealing with such complaints (ex. a human resources office), they are legally obliged by Article 78 of the Law on Labor to make a decision about your claim within 15 working days.

If your labor rights are violated and there are no ways to resolve the issue through your employer, you can alert the Labor Inspectorate in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare by issuing an appeal. Inspectors from the Ministry or the Municipality can inspect your workplace while preserving the privacy of your complaint and take necessary steps to address the situation, which could entail providing advice to the employer on how to resolve the problem, issue fines or even halt production until the issues have been resolved. The Labor Inspectorate is obliged by Article 82 of the Law on Labour to issue a decision regarding your appeal within 30 days from when you filed your complaint or inform you of delays if necessary. If this does not lead to any resolution, then the issue can be taken to the Ombudsperson Institution in Kosovo or to a Competent Court.

  

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