INDIANAPOLIS — Coming July 1, just in time for the summer rush, youth will no longer need work permits sponsored by their local school districts.

Instead, those employing five or more minors must register their employees with the Youth Employment System, which will launch in June to give employers the opportunity to become familiar with the new process, according to the Indiana Department of Labor.

“This requirement now shifts the responsibility of tracking and reporting minor employees to Indiana employers. … Schools will no longer be issuing work permits effective July 1,” said Michael Myers, director of the department’s Bureau of Youth Employment.

“All of this can simply be done on their cell phone at work, rather than having to send a minor in to go get a work permit and wait a day or two or three.”

Previously, only home-schooled children, non-Indiana residents and minors in Career and Technical Education programs were exempt from the work permit process. For all others under age 18, schools issued work permits.

When the work permit process launched in Indiana, schools, in order to “protect their education,” would limit how many hours minors with poor attendance or subpar grades were allowed to work, according to Myers.

“The legislature has found that (protecting their education) has been accomplished over the years and, right now, there’s very few issues in that area,” he said. “So there’s no need to get the schools involved anymore.”

The change will not alter Indiana’s laws limiting minors from certain hazardous occupations and work hours. Employers who fail to register by July 1 could face penalties.

Because of this, Myers said, inspectors will still monitor to ensure employers meet those requirements.

“It’s going to be much more streamlined and effective for the employer,” Myers said. “Our goal … is to help the employer manage these minors, to keep them safe and get them home every night and to keep them in school.”

To learn more, visit https://www.in.gov/dol/youthemployment.htm

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