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New law governs child employment

05 September 2011

Employers, parents and young people are being reminded that from next month there will be new legislation to govern the employment of children in the Island. The Children (Regulation of Employment) (Jersey) Order 2011 comes into effect on 1 October.

The order applies to 13 to 16 year olds and comes from the Health and Social Services Minister after wide consultation with parents and carers, young people and employers. It is essential that all who are affected are aware of it.

Later this month, every young person in full-time education from years 7 to 11, will receive a copy of an information leaflet about the new legislation, which will be available in English, Portuguese and Polish. The leaflets will be available Island-wide, and more information can be found on

The order is very similar to corresponding UK legislation and sets out:

  • the lower age limit a young person can work
  • the number of days per week a young person can work  
  • the hours of employment per day and per week 
  • rest period and work break requirements 
  • types of employment which are prohibited

Speaking about the order, the Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Judy Martin, who has responsibility for children's matters, said "This is an important piece of legislation and we are pleased it is in place. The order is essential for the protection of children in Jersey, and an important step in the ongoing work we are doing to make sure that the welfare of children and young people in the Island is looked after.

"While it is wholly recognised that the experience of working and earning a wage has real benefits for young people, giving them an insight into adult working life, as well as independence through earning their own money, we also have a duty to protect them.

"They need time to have a focus on their educational and vocational commitments. We are not trying to discourage young people from working, and we are not trying to discourage employers; it is about achieving a balance for the child or young person.

"The Health and Social Services Department will work with Education, Sport and Culture and the police to ensure that the order is understood by all, and enforcement of it will be light-touch."

Deputy Martin added "The order does not intend to restrict the undertaking of babysitting and odd jobs for pocket money, and it does not intend to restrict types of work which have no potential to cause harm. Also, it does not apply to work undertaken as part of work experience programmes organised by educational institutions."

Young people who work in a family business will still be able to undertake this work, but within the conditions set out in the order.

Child employment (employment and careers section)

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