From the age of 13, young people can take on light work – this also includes simple vacation jobs. It’s important that the young person’s health and development are not negatively influenced and that their school grades do not suffer. This is especially important to keep in mind if the vacation job becomes a regular part-time job. Children between 13 and 15 years of age are also not allowed to work more than eight hours a day for a maximum of half of the school vacations. Discuss these and additional legal provisions with your child before they start their vacation job. Support them if there are any uncertainties or if the employer does not comply with the protection of minors.

How can children find a vacation job?

Many young people find their first vacation job via personal contacts – whether at the local pool, with neighbors or with a farming family in the local area. Even without these local connections, your child may independently develop the desire to earn their own income.

If this is the case, the municipality’s public youth work authority can be a good place to start. In this way, teenagers can find a vacation job nearby without an extensive application process. The public youth work authority also monitors the protection of minors, is well connected and can generally recommend wages.

Additionally, there are various local vacation job markets that are easy to find by searching online. Look for suitable jobs there with your child. Also discuss what kind of jobs they’d like to do and what they find fun. Even if the focus is only on pocket money, your teenager’s first work experience should be positive and can help determine their further education and career path.

What happens with the money they earn?

In principle, the money your child earns belongs to them and they can decide how to use it. As with an apprentice wage, parents can ask their child to pay a small contribution to their upkeep. However, as the wages from a vacation job are normally very low, this is seldom put into practice.

Make sure to discuss with your child what plans they have for their wages before they start working. Will the wages be paid in cash or to a bank account and what will they be used for? If your child has a concrete savings goal, you can look together at how they can reach it. Also discuss how and whether you will continue to pay pocket money during the vacation job. There is no one-size rule as to how much extra money you should provide.

Key points at a glance:

  • Particular safeguards apply to young people who work. Read about the safeguards together and explain the most important rights to your child.
  • Ask about vacation jobs at the youth work authority in your region with your child.
  • Don’t let your child look for their first vacation job alone online. Many job boards mix vacation jobs and student jobs together. Supervise your child closely.
  • Before they start their vacation job, discuss how they will use their wages and whether they will continue to receive pocket money or Jugendlohn.

UBS’s educational principles

UBS’s educational principles

This article was written in collaboration with educator Marianne Heller, who has years of experience in teaching financial education and debt prevention programs for children and young people.