Warning over rules for child workers

EMPLOYERS in the East Riding are being warned they will be fined if they give children work during the summer holidays without holding the necessary permits.

Businesses are being reminded they are responsible for children’s health and safety while they are at work and must have child employment permits for staff aged between 13 and 16.

To ensure their compliance officers from East Riding Council will be making spot checks of businesses in the area – and have warned firms who do not have the necessary paperwork they could be fined up to £1,000.

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The permits, which are issued by the authority, are free and can be processed within a week. They apply to every child within the age group who is working, whether they are being paid or not and even if they are working in the voluntary sector.

Without it companies are not covered by their employers’ liability insurance and would not receive compensation if there was an accident. This also applies to young people working within a family business.

There are limits to the times children can work and the type of work they are allowed and the permits allow the authority to ensure children are working in appropriate employment in a safe environment.

Paul Butler, inclusion and access manager at the council, said: “We take children’s safety very seriously and would encourage all employers to register to ensure that they not only have safe working practices, but are working within the law.

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“Where they do not act responsibly, then we are prepared to take legal action and this could result in a court appearance with a fine of up to £1,000.”

Mr Butler also said parents could face legal actions if their child does not have a permit. He said: “Parents should be aware that they are also responsible for ensuring their child has a work permit and the same legal proceedings could be taken against them.”