Children and young people are to be protected by the Youth Employment Protection Act against overwork, excessive demands and dangers in the workplace. The law applies to the employment of all persons who have not yet reached the age of 18. Minor assistance is exempt, insofar as it is provided occasionally as a favor, on the basis of family law regulations, in youth welfare facilities and for the integration of people with disabilities.
There are numerous prohibitions on employment. For example, the employment of children, i.e. persons who are not yet 15 years old, and of adolescents who are required to attend school full-time is generally prohibited. By way of exception, children over the age of 13 and adolescents who are required to attend school full-time may be employed to a certain extent in the light activities outside school that are suitable for children as specified in the Child Labor Protection Ordinance (so-called leisure jobs). In addition, children and adolescents subject to full-time compulsory schooling may complete a work placement organized by the school. The labor inspectorate may also approve the creative participation of children and adolescents who are required to attend school full-time in theatrical performances, musical performances and other events.
In contrast to children, young people over the age of 15 who are required to attend school full-time may be employed for up to 8 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. during school vacations for a maximum of 4 weeks in a calendar year. During this time, they may also complete a self-organized trial apprenticeship for career orientation.
For young people who are obliged to attend school full-time or pupils under 15 years of age who are obliged to attend school full-time, a taster apprenticeship is not permitted because there is no exception to the ban on child labor for them. For them, there is the possibility of completing an informal company visit with a tour and demonstration to learn about apprenticeship occupations for career orientation purposes, without an employment relationship within the meaning of the Youth Employment Protection Act coming into being between the company and the student. More detailed information on this can be found on the homepage of the Bavarian Trade Inspectorate under the heading Occupational Safety/Social Occupational Safety/Children's and Youth Occupational Safety.
Adolescents may not be employed in work that exceeds their capacity and exposes them to moral hazards. Other hazardous work in which young people are unable to recognize accident hazards due to lack of experience, and are exposed to harmful effects such as noise, vibrations, hazardous substances and biological agents, or in which their health is endangered by heat, cold or severe wetness, may only be performed by young people if this serves to achieve the training objective and their protection is guaranteed by the supervision of a skilled person. In addition, the workplace limit value for hazardous substances must be undercut. In addition, piecework and, as a rule, underground work are prohibited (Youth Employment Protection Act). Adolescents must also observe a maximum permissible daily working time of eight hours, or eight and a half hours with corresponding compensation on the other working days of the same week, and 40 hours per week. Adolescents may only be employed 5 days a week. In addition, rest breaks of at least 30 or at least 60 minutes, depending on the daily working hours, and uninterrupted free time of at least 12 hours must be granted. During nighttime from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., employment is prohibited with certain exceptions, e.g. in the hospitality industry or in bakeries. The young person must be released from any employment for vocational school lessons. Employment on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays is prohibited; however, exceptions are made for certain areas on Saturdays and Sundays and public holidays, e.g. hospitals, restaurants, sports, emergency medical services.
In the interest of health protection, comprehensive medical care (initial examination, first, further and extraordinary follow-up examinations and specially ordered examinations) is mandatory. A young person entering working life may only be employed if he or she has been examined by a doctor within the last 14 months and submits a certificate to the employer to this effect. The young person must be released from work without loss of earnings for the examinations, which are free of charge.