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Consultation on changes to the current Byelaws on the Employment of Children

Background

Pembrokeshire County Council believes that young people of compulsory school age can benefit from experience gained in undertaking part time work, providing that this work is suitable and there are proper safeguards in place. The Council has a set of byelaws setting out the conditions under which young people can be employed. These legal requirements ensure that the young people are properly registered, and are not being exploited or undertaking work that could damage their health, place them in physical danger or have an adverse effect on their education.

Under byelaws regulating the Employment of Children and Street Trading by persons aged under 18 years old, which was introduced over 50 years ago (Section 18(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (as amended)), teenagers aged between 13 and 16 years old can take part in light work in a number of different areas including: shop work, office work and working in cafes, restaurants, car washing and riding stables. During term time, no child can be employed for more than 12 hours per week and there are also other guidelines for the number of weekends and hours during holiday times that children can work.

Section 8 of the Education Act 1996 defines a child as a person who is not yet over compulsory school age. The official date for leaving school is the last Friday in June in the school year in which the pupil is 16. Before this date young people between the ages of 13 and 16 must have a work permit if they wish to do part time work. An application form must be completed and signed by the parents and the employer, and submitted to the Licensing Officer at the Education Welfare Service for approval. If the type of work is suitable, and the hours to be worked are within the stipulated limits, a work permit will be issued.

In 2007 Cabinet gave authorisation for the Local Authority’s Director for Children and Schools to revise the previous byelaws. These are due for revision and the proposals are as follows:

 

Proposed way forward 

To change the current Byelaws to remove

  • Prohibiting the selling or delivery of alcohol;

  • Prohibiting the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home.

  • Where appropriate, using the option of giving a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). A FPN could be given to an employer who employs a child of compulsory school age in contravention to the byelaws. If a FPN is given to a person, it would offer that persons an opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of a fixed penalty.

Turning to the proposals in the consultation, the table below outlines how the Children and Schools Directorate proposes to respond:

 

Old / Current Byelaws

New

Rationale

Prohibited employment - No child of any age may be permitted to sell or deliver alcohol except in sealed containers.

Prohibited employment - No child of any age may be permitted to sell or deliver alcohol.

Children under compulsory school age should not have access to alcohol or provision to sell and deliver alcohol under PCC byelaws.

Prohibited employment – No child of any age may be employed in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home unless under the direct supervision of a responsible adult.

Prohibited employment – No child of any age may be employed in the personal care of residents of any residential care home or nursing home.

Children under compulsory school age should not be employed in the care of residents in care or nursing homes.

(No reference)

Where appropriate, using the option of giving a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). A FPN could be given to an employer who employs a child of compulsory school age in contravention to the byelaws. If a FPN is given to a person, it would offer that persons an opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of a fixed penalty.

Introduce FPN’s as an early intervention to address contraventions to byelaws.

 

Draft New Byelaws on the Employment of Children

Your Views

Please send your feedback to surveys@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or post to: Pembrokeshire County Council, Policy, 2D County Hall, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP by Friday 29th November 2019

 

ID: 5735, revised 28/10/2019