09 June 2011
The lack of legislation to govern the employment of children in the Island will change later this year if new legislation, called the Children (Regulation of Employment) (Jersey) Order 201-, comes into effect.
The Order, about the appropriate employment of children and young people, comes from the Health and Social Services Minister, and is expected to be implemented in October. The time period between June to October will be used to publicise the new legislation so that all parents, employers and young people are aware of it.
In 2009, wide consultation took place with parents, children, schools and local businesses to find out details about the paid employment of children and young people.
The Order is very similar to corresponding UK legislation and sets out:
- upper and lower age limits
- 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, Assistant Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Judy Martin, who has responsibility for children's matters said: "The Order is essential for the protection of children in Jersey, and in 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.
Download Children (Regulation of Employment) (Jersey) Order 201- (size 345kb)