legal focus – The ABC of Employing Children

On 1 October this year the Children (Regulation of Employment) (Jersey) Order 2011 comes into force and provides the rules that will govern the way in which children (under 16) are employed. Let?s look at the ABC of the Regulations – exercise books at the ready; there will be a short test at the end?

A is for Age
No child under 13 can be employed unless a licence has been granted by the Minister for Health and Social Services. This licence also provides for children taking part in film, stage, tv or radio productions.

B is for Breaks
Special consideration has to be given for regular breaks: if a child works for more than 4.5 hours in a day they must have a break of at least 30 minutes. In any one year they must have a work-free period of at least two consecutive weeks.

C is for Clocking In and Clocking Off
A child can only work between 6 am and 8.15 pm, and not during school hours, and must have at least one day off a week. A licence can be granted to allow children to take part in theatrical productions that go on later than 8.15 pm.

During term time a child can not work more than 2 hours a day. While on holiday a child under 15 cannot work for more than 7 hours a day or 25 hours in a week. A child over 15 gets an extra 1 hour a day (a total of 8) and 10 hours a week (a total of 35) to work.

D is for Danger
It goes without saying that children can not be employed in any work which is likely to be harmful to the child?s safety, health or development. There is a long list of work types that are specifically prohibited such as places of adult entertainment, dealing with alcohol and tobacco, working in arcades (sorry kids) and door-to-door sales.

E is for Exemptions
The States of Jersey have recognised that there are some occasions where children can be employed either under age (such as in the performing arts) or where they are taking part in employment approved under the Education (Jersey) Law 1999 such as Project Trident, which gives work experience to children just about to leave school.

Overall the Regulations strike a balance between allowing children who want to earn extra pocket money to do so and making sure that their health, education and development are protected.

So, just to see if you have been paying attention, here are three simple questions.

1) What is the age below which children can not be employed
(without special permission)?

2) What are the hours between which children can be employed
(without special permission)?

3) How many days must a child have off in any one week?

Three correct – you are a swot – go to the top of the class.
Two correct – not quite teacher?s pet – pay more attention.
One correct – must try harder.
None correct – oh dear, there?ll be a letter to your parents!

13, 6am and 8.15pm, 1


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