What jobs are considered “light work”?

I just turned 14 and I’m starting to look for my first job. I’ve read my employer doesn’t need to get a government permit to hire me if I’ll only be doing “light work.”



Langford, BC

Under BC’s employment standards law, those aged 14 or 15 don’t need a permit from the Employment Standards Branch to work if they’re doing “light work.” Light work means tasks or jobs that aren’t considered harmful to a child’s health or development. 

Some tasks that fall into this category include:

  • administrative and secretarial work

  • bagging and carrying customers’ orders

  • stocking shelves

  • dishwashing

  • cutting grass

The law also prescribes certain jobs as light work. They include:

  • cashier

  • sports or recreational coach

  • messenger or courier

  • server of food or drink

  • visual artist or graphic designer

For more detail, see the provincial government’s website. Meanwhile, there is also guidance on other aspects of how old you have to be to work in BC.

Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

Ascent Employment Law
  • This information applies to British Columbia, Canada
  • Reviewed for legal accuracy in November 2023

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