Get an adolescent work permit

Get an adolescent work permit

Employers must get a permit if an employee aged 12 to 14 years will be working in a job that’s not approved by Alberta Employment Standards.

Jobs that don’t need permits

Adolescents (age 12, 13 or 14 years old) may only work in jobs that are approved by Employment Standards. For more information, see rules for Employees under 18.

No permits are needed for these approved jobs:

  • delivery person for newspapers, flyers and handbills
  • delivery person for small goods and merchandise for a retail store
  • clerk in a retail store
  • clerk or messenger in an office

Restaurant and food services jobs

Adolescents may work in these approved restaurant and food services jobs. While no permits are needed for these jobs, the employer must submit a Safety Checklist in advance of the employee’s proposed start date:

  • host/hostess
  • cashier
  • dish washing
  • bussing tables
  • server or waiter
  • providing customer service
  • assembling food orders
  • cleaning

Submit a Safety Checklist

Before an adolescent starts a restaurant and food services industry job, the employer must fill out and submit a Safety Checklist for Adolescent Employees in Restaurant and Food Services form (PDF, 1.5 MB).

Note: you don’t need to wait for a response from Employment Standards before the adolescent can start work, however, the completed safety checklist must be submitted to Employment Standards in advance of the adolescent’s start date.

Terms and conditions

Restaurant and food services jobs are subject to the following restrictions.

Jobs that don’t qualify for permits

Permits won’t be issued for these non-approved jobs that could be harmful to adolescents, including but not limited to:

  • construction
  • jobs requiring heavy lifting (anything exceeding 10 lbs)
  • working with or near fuel or propane
  • working with or near moving vehicles and equipment
  • working with potentially hazardous equipment, such as:
    • powered equipment (power tools, lawnmowers, line trimmers, etc)
    • pneumatic drills
    • conveyors for bulk materials
    • pressure washers
    • hand grinders
    • welding equipment
    • hammers
    • blowtorches
    • deep fryers
    • grills
    • slicers
    • sharp knives

Jobs that need permits

An employer may apply for a permit from the Director if the proposed employment is not on the list of approved jobs.

The employer must apply for and receive an approved permit before the adolescent can begin working. This helps parents or guardians, employers, and Employment Standards to make sure the job isn’t likely to be harmful to the adolescent’s life, health, education or well-being.

How to apply

Step 1. Download application

If you’re the employer, download and open this fillable form:

Application for a Permit to Employ an Adolescent (PDF, 1.8 MB)

Step 2. Fill out application

Follow the instructions on the form. To fill it out, either:

  1. Fill out the form online, then save a copy to your computer. Print the completed form.


  1. Print form and fill out by hand.

Note: when filling out the form, choose only one correspondence preference: email, fax or mail.

Step 3. Sign application

After the application is filled out, the following individuals must review and sign it:

  • employer
  • parent or guardian
  • adolescent

Scan the signed application if submitting it by email.

Step 4. Submit application

The employer can send in the application to Employment Standards, by:

Fax: 780-422-8944
Permits Analyst
Employment Standards Program Delivery
Alberta Labour
6th floor, Labour Building
10808-99 Avenue
Edmonton AB T5K 0G5

Step 5. After you apply

  • after you apply for a permit for your potential employee, it may take approximately 5 to 10 business days from the date it’s received by Employment Standards before you’ll receive the Director’s response.  Please note processing times may be impacted and delays may occur if an application is incomplete or is missing crucial information
  • during the review period, Employment Standards may contact you if they need more information–your fast response will speed up the review process
  • if the permit is approved, Employment Standards will send it to you by mail, email or fax (as pre-selected on the application form)
  • Employment Standards will also forward a copy of the permit directly to the adolescent employee via letter mail
  • the employer must retain the permit on file
Modified: 2017-04-24
PID: 12192

Contact Employment Standards

Call the Employment Standards Contact Centre for general information or submit an inquiry online:

  • 780-427-3731 (Edmonton)
  • 1-877-427-3731 (toll-free)

View more contact options