Minors below the age of 14 or below the school-leaving age are classed as children. Between this age and the age of 18, minors are classed as young workers. For the purposes of certain terms and conditions of employment , this classification can, by Royal Decree, be extended up to and including the age of 21. The employment of children outside the context of their education is prohibited. As an exception to this, authorization may be requested for the participation of children as actors or performers in films, fashion shows, etc. Exceptions are subject to strict control and are valid only for a specified period and for clearly specified activities, which may under no circumstances take place later than 2300 hrs.

Young workers may not work for more than 10 hours per day. If an uninterrupted period of work on any one day lasts for more than four and a half hours, they must be given a thirty minutes' break; if it lasts for more than six hours, they must be given an hour's break. With the agreement of the relevant Joint Committee , different arrangements for breaks can be imposed by Royal Decree. Young workers may not perform work which is too arduous for them or which endangers their health or morality. This is defined in more detail by Royal Decree, under which special protective provisions can be imposed for underground, dangerous and unhealthy work. Young workers are in any case prohibited from performing underground work in mines and quarries.

Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.