Sidmouth businesses warned over child employment

PUBLISHED: 11:30 18 December 2010

EMPLOYMENT watchdog bosses have warned Sidmouth and Ottery businesses they face being fined thousands of pounds if they employ children unlawfully.

EMPLOYMENT watchdog bosses have warned Sidmouth and Ottery businesses they face being fined thousands of pounds if they employ children unlawfully.

With Christmas holidays approaching fast, Devon County Council (DCC) has moved to remind traders of legislation governing the employment of youngsters of compulsory school age.

The council’s education welfare department is keen to encourage those in the brewery and restaurant trade to take note of complicated employment law, specifically the section stipulating that no child can be employed before 7am or after 7pm before their official school leaving date- the last Friday in June of they year they turn 16.

All children of compulsory school age in the Sidmouth and Ottery areas require a work permit from DCC to take on a part time job and work lawfully.

The authority said this includes assisting in any trade or occupations carried on for profit, whether they work for their parents or receive payment or not.

The system helps the council keep track of where children are working, monitor their hours and ensure they aren’t involved in dangerous activities.

In order to obtain a work permit, a risk assessment appropriate to the age and inexperience of the child must be undertaken.

DCC Councillor Andrea Davis said: “Not everyone knows about the regulations in place to ensure young people’s safety when they are working.

“Many employers are under the misguided belief that once a child is sixteen they don’t need to worry about work permits or the regulations regarding child employment. This is not the case.”

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