§ Mr. Bellingham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he proposes to take to inform businesses about the risks and penalties relating to employment of child labour.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
Section 18 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 sets out general restrictions governing the employment of children under minimum school leaving age. Local authorities may make byelaws under that section to regulate further the hours and conditions of children's employment. The purpose of all the provisions is to enable children to work to the extent that their health, education and general welfare are not adversely affected.
Anyone, apart from the person employed, who is found guilty of contravening the provisions of section 18 or of any byelaw is liable to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale. Local education authorities are responsible for enforcing the provisions and ensuring that they are complied with.
Section 1(1) of the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act 1920 prohibits the employment of any person under school leaving age in an industrial undertaking. This legislation is enforced by Health and Safety Executive inspectors. The maximum penalty on conviction in the magistrates court is £2,000.