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Canadian Federal Sector raises minimum employment age

Written by
Mathews Dinsdale, Canada’s only national labour and employment law firm.
On 12 June 2023, recent amendments to Canada’s Labour 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 Codefound in the 2022 Budget Implementation Act. 

Currently, in the federal sector, the minimum age of employment is 17 years old, subject to certain exceptions in the Canada Labour Regulations. The amendment will increase the minimum age 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 their province of ordinary residence; and 
  • the work in which the person is to be employed: 
  • is not carried out underground in a mine; 
  • is not work as a nuclear energy worker; 
  • is not work that they are prohibited from performing under explosives regulations or shipping laws; and 
  • 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 23:00 on one day and 6:00 on the following day. 

The amended restriction will apply to current employees who are 17 or younger on the date the new rules come into force if they remain employed by the same employer in the position they held on that date. 

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