The Trades Union Congress has criticised local authorities for
failing to protect school children from unscrupulous employers and
has called for more spot checks in workplaces.
According to a TUC survey of 2,500 schoolchildren, 30 per cent
of children with term-time jobs said they did more than two hours a
day. One in 10 reported working more than five hours a day.
Under the European Young Workers Directive introduced last year
– which councils are responsible for enforcing – children under 16
should not work more than two hours on a school day or 12 hours in
any school week.
During school holidays, children under 15 cannot work more than
25 hours a week and 15-year-olds have a limit of 35 hours.
TUC general secretary John Monks said: “It’s fine for kids to
earn a bit of extra pocket money with a paper round or Saturday
job. But it becomes a real problem if they are missing school and
finding they can’t keep up with school or homework.”