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 the age of 16) are employed. Let's look at the A B C of the Regulations - exercise books at the ready; there will be a short test at the end and in comic book tradition the answers are printed at the bottom of the page.
A is for Age
No child under 13 can be employed in any capacity unless a licence has been granted by the Minister for Health and Social Services. Such a licence provides for children taking part in, amongst other things, film, stage, TV or radio productions.
B is for Breaks
When employing a child special consideration has to be given to their necessity for regular breaks and the Regulations stipulate that if a child works for more than 4.5 hours in a day they must have a break of at least 30 minutes. During any 24 hour period they must have a rest period of at least 14 consecutive hours and in any one year they must have a work free period of at least two consecutive weeks during a school holiday.
C is for Clocking In and Clocking Off
A child can only work between the hours of 6 am and 8.15 pm, and not during school hours, and must have at least one day off in any week. Again a licence can be granted to allow for children to take part in theatrical or other productions that go on later than 8.15 pm.
During term time a child can not work more than 2 hours a day nor for more than 12 hours in any one week. While on holiday a child under 15 can not work for more than 7 hours a day and no more than 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 Da nger
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 also a long list of work types that are specifically prohibited, such as places of adult entertainment, dealing with alcohol, tobacco, fuel or refuse, working in arcades (sorry kids), door-to-door sales, nursing homes, and as if it needs to be said, working with biological or chemical agents.
E is for Exemptions
Despite the overall prohibitions to the employment of children 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 has proved so popular and gives much needed 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 the ability 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 will be a letter from teacher to your parents!
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.