What age can I start work?

Navigate this page

What age can I start work?

There is no minimum age to start casual or part-time work in NSW. However, you have to be 14 and 9 months to do door-to-door sales work.  

What hours can I work?

If you are under 15 (or under 16 in the case of modelling work), it is against the law for an employer to require you to work:

  • During school hours
  • More than one shift per day
  • More than four hours on a day you have to go to school
  • More than five consecutive days
  • After 9pm if you and have to go to school the next day
  • If it is less than 12 hours since your last shift
  • For any hours that make the combination of your school hours and work hours in a 7 day week more than 50 hours

If your employer does not hold an authority to employ people under 15, they cannot require you to work for more than 10 hours per week.

There are additional rules about working hours if you are doing door-to-door sales, modelling, theatrical performances or entertainment work. Click here for more information.

When can I work full-time?

You can work full-time after you have completed year 10 or when you turn 17, whichever occurs earlier.

If you haven’t completed year 10 or aren’t yet 17 and wish to leave school to work full time, you need to seek permission from the Department of Education and Training on 9561 8000.

Where can I get further help?

Employees can test their knowledge about pay in the FWO’s Workplace Basics Quiz, available here.

For information and advice about the Fair Work System including your rights, entitlements and obligations, visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website or call the Fair Work Info line on 13 13 94.

If you are under 25 and you are unsure about your rights or responsibilities or what to do next, you can get free, confidential legal advice here.

Youth Law Australia would like to express thanks to Hall & Wilcox and the Fair Work Ombudsman for assisting us with the preparation of this material.

Got a question you
 can’t get answered?

If you have a problem or a question, you can send it to us today and we can provide you with free advice, information and referrals to help solve your problem. Just click on the button below.

Get help now

Select Your State or Territory

The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.