§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what action he will take to regularise child working conditions across the United Kingdom, in terms of hours worked, daytime work periods, nature of work and working conditions; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what studies have been carried out by his Department dealing with the number of children working in the United Kingdom; and what are his current estimates for the number of children working in Great Britain.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
There are no plans to introduce changes to the present provisions.
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, which is applicable to Great Britain, is enforced by Health and Safety Executive inspectors.
In England, the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 sets out general restrictions governing the part-time employment of children under school leaving age. Local authority byelaws made under the Act set out further restrictions while responding to local employment conditions.
The Department has not carried out any recent studies concerning the employment of children in England. Information is not collected centrally on the number of children employed in England.