Taskforce to investigate laws governing children at work

The
Better Regulation Task Force is to look at the law governing the employment of
children and young people to stop them working excessive hours, or in
prohibited premises such as commercial kitchens.

The
taskforce is worried that the numerous pieces of legislation, including the
1933 Children and Young Persons Act, several EU Directives, International
Labour Organisation Conventions and domestic policy developments, may confuse
employers and children.

Simon
Petch, who will lead this study for the taskforce, said: "We would like to
find out if children are aware of their rights, if employers are aware of their
responsibilities, and if the legislation is actually achieving what it set out
to do."

TUC
general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Teenagers need as much protection
from exploitation at work as their parents, but because there are more than 200
different laws, directives and local by-laws covering their employment, parents
and teachers are often confused as to what the law actually allows young people
to do."

By Michael Millar

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