May a minor, 14, be lawfully employed?
Children below fifteen (15) years of age may be employed provided the requisites enumerated under Section 12 of Republic Act (RA) 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act are complied with, to wit:
“Section 12. Employment of Children.—Children below fifteen (15) years of age may be employed except:
(1) When a child works directly under the sole responsibility of his parents or legal guardian and where only members of the employer’s family are employed: Provided, however, That his employment neither endangers his life, safety and health and morals, nor impairs his normal development: Provided, further, That the parent or legal guardian shall provide the said minor child with the prescribed primary and/or secondary education; or
(2) When a child’s employment or participation in public & entertainment or information through cinema, theater, radio or television is essential: Provided, The employment contract concluded by the child’s parent or guardian, with the express agreement of the child concerned, if possible, and the approval of the Department of Labor and Employment: Provided, That the following requirements in all instances are strictly complied with:
(a) The employer shall ensure the protection, health, safety and morals of the child;
(b) the employer shall institute measures to prevent the child’s exploitation or discrimination taking into account the system and level of remuneration, and the duration and arrangement of working time; and;
(c) The employer shall formulate and implement, subject to the approval and supervision of competent authorities, a continuing program for training and skill acquisition of the child.”
Moreover, the prospective employer of the minor shall also first secure a work permit from the Department of Labor and Employment before engaging such minor. Any person who shall employ a minor without following the aforementioned shall suffer the penalty of a fine of not less than One thousand pesos (P1,000) but not more than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000) or imprisonment of not less than three (3) months but not more than three (3) years, or both at the discretion of the court; Provided, That, in case of repeated violations of the provisions of this Article, the offender’s license to operate shall be revoked (Section 16, RA 7610).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to email@example.com