The minimum age of employment in Saskatchewan is 16. Fourteen- or 15-year-olds can work but must complete the Young Worker Readiness Certificate Course and obtain a certificate of completion before beginning a job. The certificate, along with written consent from a parent or guardian, must be provided to you and kept on file.
Fourteen- and 15-year-olds also cannot work:
- more than 16 hours a week in which school is in session;
- after 10 p.m. on a day before school; or
- before classes start on any school day.
These rules do not apply during school breaks (such as Christmas or Easter breaks) and summer vacation. During breaks and vacations, 14- and 15-year-olds can work the same hours as other employees.
For more information, visit http://saskatchewan.ca/ywrcc
In Saskatchewan, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation states there are industries where youth can and cannot work.
People under 18 cannot work:
- underground or in an open pit at a mine;
- as a radiation worker;
- in an asbestos process;
- in a silica process; and
- in any activity that requires the use of an atmosphere supplying respirator.
People under 16 cannot work:
- on a construction site;
- at a pulp mill, sawmill or woodworking establishment;
- at a smelter, foundry, refinery or metal processing or fabricating operation;
- in a confined space (such as a manhole);
- in a meat, fish or poultry processing plant;
- in a forestry or logging operation;
- on a drilling service rig;
- as an operator of powered mobile equipment (such as a forklift, crane or a hoist);
- where there is exposure to chemical or biological substances that could endanger your health and safety; and
- in power line construction or maintenance.
Everyone in the workplace is legally responsible for workplace safety. As an employer you have the most care and control in the workplace, and therefore the most responsibility for health and safety. You also have a unique opportunity to be a role model for young workers just starting out. Be a part of creating tomorrow’s safe and healthy workforce by:
- Ensuring health and safety systems, policies, procedures and programs are current;
- Knowing the hazards in your workplace and training supervisors and workers how to recognize and handle them;
- Ensuring health and safety procedures are always followed;
- Ensuring equipment, materials and protective devices required by law are provided and used properly – this includes guards on machinery and personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Ensuring all serious illnesses and injuries are reported and investigated immediately;
- Encouraging all workers, especially young ones, to alert their supervisors immediately if they see something that could endanger their own or others’ safety;
- Demonstrating commitment to health and safety with your own consistent, safe work practices and informing your staff that unsafe work practices are unacceptable;
- Providing adequate time to train young workers;
- Providing training for your supervisors;
- Responding promptly to all health and safety concerns; and
- Knowing minimum age requirements in Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Employment Act and The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1996 outline your health and safety responsibilities as an employer. Some of the responsibilities are to:
- Ensure, insofar as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of your workers;
- Establish an occupational health committee, or designate a worker occupational health and safety representative, when required;
- Co-operate with anyone exercising a duty under the law;
- Protect workers from harassment;
- Comply with the law;
- Provide a healthy and safe workplace;
- Manage the safe use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
- Provide the instruction, training and supervision needed to protect workers; and
- Provide safe entrances and exits.
- Attend the training sessions being provided for your workers.
- Use and wear safety equipment when it is required to be used by your employees.
- Participate in fire drills and any other emergency response training.
- Treat every young worker with the same care and respect you would want given to your own son or daughter.
- Include health and safety in your company’s strategic plan.
- Personally encourage young workers to report health and safety problems they may encounter.
- Tell your young workers everything they need to know about workplace health and safety before they have to ask.
- Attend new worker welcoming get-togethers to celebrate their arrival.
- Make yourself available during new worker orientation sessions.
- Introduce new workers to key people in the organization; this may include the health and safety manager, occupational health committee members or the worker occupational health and safety representative.
- Turn every interaction with a new worker into an opportunity to reinforce your company’s health and safety values and priorities.
- Encourage new workers to come forward with ideas and suggestions.
- Make health and safety a part of all workplace communications.
- Pair up new workers with experienced, safety-conscious workers.
- Encourage supervisors to periodically take young workers on health and safety inspections to spot hazards and unsafe practices.
Employment standards are in Part II of The Saskatchewan Employment Act. Employment standards set minimum rules wages, hours of work, public holiday pay, and vacations. To learn more about employment standards, visit http://saskatchewan.ca/business/employment-standards
To understand your OHS responsibilities and to orient and train young workers, visit http://saskatchewan.ca/business/safety-in-the-workplace or call 1.800.567.7233
Download the WorkSafe Saskatchewan resource: Young and New Worker Safety Orientation Guide for Employers
For information on employment standards, visit – http://saskatchewan.ca/business/employment-standards or call 1.800.667.1783.
For compensation and prevention information for employers, go to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board http://www.wcbsask.com or call 1.800.667.7590