Legal Age To Work In Singapore? (Pretty Sure You’ve Got It Wrong!)

Since the June holidays are here, if you're a student, it's time to wind down after a rowdy grind of dreading school.

But perhaps, it's a time to earn some quick cash? Buy something you always wanted?

If you're a parent of a teenager in Secondary School, here are some rules and guide for your child. Encourage him/her to see the working world with some temporary jobs or part-time jobs?

Even Barack Obama's Daughter Worked Temporary Job!

Believe it or not, even US President Barack Obama's younger daughter Sasha took on work.

She had been working at popular seafood restaurant in Massachusetts as part of her summer job.

Click here to

Even if you have more than sufficient to provide for your child financially, it's the learning that is priceless!


So, I've found job ideas for you if you are on board that will hire your child aged 14 and above!!

It is beneficial for your child!

In the past, child labour was seen as exploitative and cruel. But today, working teenagers is a commonplace phenomenon at least in the developed countries.

It will opens a window to experiences that are novel to your child.

By allowing him or her to manage time properly, you can train a certain degree of financial independence.

This is not something a tuition centre or a learning camp can teach for you.

According to a research 'Beneficial “child labor”: The impact of adolescent work on future professional outcomes' by Marc-David L. Seidel.

It was found that from a sample study of 15 year-olds who worked, they had a higher chance of being employed! 

It is also stated that they have higher incomes and higher quality job matches later in life, compared to those who did not work.

However, it also mentioned that working while schooling has led to higher stress levels, lower family commitments.

Maybe the stress part comes if its work during school term. I believe that the advantages of working in school breaks trumps the disadvantages!

Singapore's Legal Employment Act

First of all, is you or your child legal to work yet?

According to the Employing young persons and children act by the Ministry of Manpower, the legal age to work in Singapore is 13 years old.

However, ages between 13-16 are subjected to conditions as shown in the table below:

Source: Employing young persons and children by the Ministry of Manpower

Before your child (age 13-16) apply for any jobs, do read the full guidelines here.

Fast food restaurants are not industrial setting and it is legal to work for them as a student. Check below.

Some job suggestions and minimum age!

Here are some popular part-time jobs for teenagers in Singapore

1) McDonald's: Min age 14

Source: McDonald's Careers

Working hours: Four hours of work minimum per day, at least once a week. Pay: $5-$7/h. Apply here

I've certainly seen young teenagers working in a McDonald's chain.

It is actually legal to work at this age.

Texas chicken and Mos Burger are also employing at a similar age.

2) Starbucks: Min age 16

                                     Source: Starbucks Singapore Career Center

Working hours: Flexible and Pay: $7-$9/h. Apply here

What's the youngest staff you've seen in Starbucks. I haven't seen a 16year old barista though. 

Maybe there are some years of training involved?

3) Banquet Server: Min age 16

Working hours: Flexible. Pay: $8-$11/h. Apply on Gumtree, Fastjobs etc.

I've certainly seen some very young banquet servers. If you're looking for a tough job for your child to try, consider this.

4) Flyer Distributor: Depends

Source: Transitioning.org

Working hours: Flexible. Pay: $8-$10/h. Apply on Gumtree, Fastjobs etc.

This is one of the easier jobs for your child to try. It's like collecting flag day donations?

More on teaching your kid on money!

Want more ideas? Click on the links below!


I understand the time constraint a secondary school student has. There is school work to catch up, CCA, coding classes etc, but learning in a work setting is TOTALLY different.

I worked in Soup Spoon before and I handled the food and the cashiering. Looking back, I learnt on how food businesses work and how tough it was to earn a pay check.

Of course, the world is your oyster, there are other jobs and opportunities out there other than the ones I've suggested.

Consider work for your child once he/she turns 13 and it will be ideal to take on jobs and not interfere with study commitments. Let me know your thoughts. 

                        Source:  #adulthood gif

Last updated on June 9th, 2019 at 11:45 am

The Astute Parent

A parent who has a sharp acumen on sieving through 'alien' financial jargon to dish out bite size financial tips from a parent's perspective.

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