6 Facts About Vacation Jobs And Labor Law

Do you get pocket money regularly? Then you probably also know that your parents have to work hard to finance the life of your family. In some families, both parents work. But it can also be that one of them has a job while the other takes care of the children and the household.

For adults, going to work makes up a large part of their lives. Children, on the other hand, are supposed to develop in peace, go to school and grow up before they are allowed to earn their own money.

If you are old enough, you are allowed to earn some extra money during the vacations. However, only if certain conditions are met by your employer. In principle, young people should always pay close attention to the observance of their rights. Because there are black sheep among employers who like to exploit the ignorance of their younger staff.

We will explain to you today whether you are allowed to go to work and what you have to pay attention to.

Fact No. 1: Children Are Not Allowed To Work

As already mentioned, children are not allowed to work. Only when you have reached a certain minimum age are you considered a teenager and no longer a child.

Austrian Youths

In Austria, you are not considered a youth until you have completed compulsory education and are at least 15 years old. Then you are allowed to go to work under strict conditions (working hours, rest periods and co.). This applies to both vacation work and a fixed job.

This means that the legal situation for teenagers in Austria is quite strict compared to Germany.

German Teenagers

The following applies to Germany: teenagers under the age of 13 are not allowed to work. This regulation does not provide for any exceptions and can be found in the Youth Employment Protection Act.

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Between the ages of 13 and 15, German teenagers are already allowed to go to work, but only if they follow some strict regulations. However, you are not allowed to work without the consent of your parents. The German Youth Employment Protection Act regulates the working conditions of 13 to 15 year olds as well as those for teenagers over 15. The younger you are, the less long and much you are allowed to work.

Fact No. 2: You Are Not Allowed To Exceed The Permissible Working Hours

Even if you are already allowed to work according to the law, you need to know about the regulations related to it. Depending on where you live and how old you are, there are restrictions for you and your employer. An Employer by the way, is someone who provides a job for other people. The employer pays the Employees for performing a certain service for him.

The legal restrictions on working hours are mainly for your protection. After all, teenagers need a lot of free time and should be protected from working conditions that could harm their health.

Working Hours For Teenagers In Austria

Austrian kids who are at least 15 years old are allowed to work 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week. In exceptional cases, they are allowed to work in time. Then they are allowed to spend 9 hours per day or up to 45 hours per week at work

Young people may not be employed on public holidays, nor on Sundays. There are exceptions in the catering industry and some other sectors. However, young workers here must still have every other Sunday off.

Working Hours For Young People In Germany

In Germany, there is a bit more differentiation with regard to the age of the kids. So how much you’re actually allowed to work depends on exactly how old you are.

From 13 to 15 years:

Teenagers in this age group are subject to maximum working hours of two hours per day. Beyond that, only activities that are appropriate for children may be performed. This includes, for example, delivering newspapers or babysitting.

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From 15 to 18 years:

From 15, it is permitted to work up to 40 hours per week. This applies to a week of five working days. The amount of work may not exceed four weeks. These are therefore more like vacation jobs. Every young person is allowed to work freely for four weeks per year. After that, however, they are no longer allowed to work.

Fact No. 3: Young People Are Only Allowed To Work A Certain Amount Of Overtime

If you work more than you should, you are said to be working overtime. To prevent young people from being pressured into working extra hours, this area is also strictly regulated by law.

Remember that overtime is always voluntary and you cannot be forced to do it.

Overtime In Austria

Here, as a young person, you are only allowed to work overtime if it is absolutely necessary for the company. However, you must be at least 16 years old. You are allowed to work a maximum of 3 hours more per week or half an hour per day.

However, this only applies to so-called preparatory and finishing work. This means, for example, cleaning the business premises after closing time. If you work overtime, you are entitled to overtime pay with a 50% bonus or compensatory time off.

Overtime In Germany

In Germany, overtime is also not provided for young people and underage trainees. If there is work to be done in emergencies that no adult can take on at the moment, then overtime may be worked. However, they must be given a reduction in working hours within the next three weeks that corresponds to the overtime.

If there is an opportunity for compensation in the same week (by stopping work earlier than usual), then exceptionally one may work 8.5 hours instead of the maximum time of 8 hours.

If you work ahead so that you can then take a full day off in conjunction with a holiday (for example, if it would give you an extended weekend), then you may also work overtime, provided that the day off would be within the next five weeks.

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Fact No. 4: The Legal Regulations Regarding Rest Breaks And Night Rest Must Be Observed

Regarding rest breaks between two shifts as well as night rest, there are strict regulations not only for teenagers. Adults also need sufficient time to recover. As always, however, the Youth Employment Protection Act is kept a little stricter so that you can neither be taken advantage of nor suffer any damage to your health as a result of your work.

Regulations In Austria

Austrian teenagers are NOT allowed to work between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm. There is an exception for kids who work in the hospitality industry. They are allowed to be employed until 23:00, provided they are over 16 years old.

If working in shifts, then the following applies:

Teens over the age of 16 are allowed to work (on a weekly rotating basis) until 10:00 pm.

Those 15 years and older may work as early as 5:00 a.m. if they would not be able to easily reach the workplace by private or public transportation at a later work time.

By the way, there are separate regulations for apprentice bakers. If you are interested in this, please inform yourself in more detail at the Chamber of Labor.

Regulations In Germany

In Germany, the situation is quite different. Teenagers here have to abide by even stricter rules than in Austria.

From 13 to 15 years:

Because you’re still considered a child at this age, you’re generally not allowed to work between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. In addition, the Youth Employment Protection Act prohibits any weekend work for this group.

From 15 to 18 years of age:

Working hours begin no earlier than 6:00 am and must end no later than 8:00 pm. Youth 15 and older are also NOT allowed to work on weekends or holidays. If it is shift work, there should be at least twelve hours between shifts to allow for adequate rest and some free time.

Fact No. 5: Young People Are Also Entitled To Vacation Days

Every employee is entitled to a certain number of vacation days per month. Even if you only work at a company during the vacations, you must be allowed to take these vacation days or have them paid out at the end of your employment.

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Vacation Days For Austrians

Austrian teenagers between the ages of 15 and 18 are entitled to the same vacation days as adults. That is 2 working days per month.

Tip: Upon your request, your employer must give you at least 12 working days of vacation between June 15 and September 15.

Vacation Days For Germans

In Germany, young people get 2.5 vacation days per month by law when they are 15 years old. Kids 16 and older get 2.25 vacation days per month, while 17-year-olds only get around 2 vacation days per month.

Fact #6: Income tax equalization pays off for you.

In most countries, you have to pay a tax that depends on your income. It is withheld directly from employees and transferred to the tax office. Self-employed people pay their own income tax.

If you work during the vacations, the tax is deducted from your income as if you were earning money all year round. Because this is not the case, you get money back from the tax office the next year. After all, you have paid too much tax.

Therefore, it is worthwhile for you to submit your income tax equalization (also called: employee assessment) to the tax office. Your chamber of labor or the job center in your area will inform you about how this works exactly.

Please make use of this possibility, as it can sometimes amount to several hundred euros that the tax office will withhold if you do not take care of it.

Remember, however, that you must always provide the tax office with true and complete information. You must not cheat and pretend that you have worked less than you actually have.

Worksheet For The Text

1) Explain the difficult words in the text.

What does…

  • Employee

  • Employer

2) Are young people allowed to work overtime in your country? Give a detailed explanation of your answer.

3) At what age are you allowed to work in your country?

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