Checking the welfare of child workers in Tameside
Monday 17th April 2017 12:11 News Tameside Posted by Adam Higgins

Education welfare officers will be visiting Tameside businesses over the next few weeks to check the arrangements for any children they employ.

While many young people of compulsory school age can benefit from working part-time, there are legal requirements in place to ensure young people are properly registered and are not being exploited or undertaking work that could damage their health, place them in physical danger or have an adverse effect on their education.

Children and young people can only work in a limited type of job and for a limited number of hours, until they reach the minimum school leaving date.

The official date for leaving school is the last Friday in June in the school year, in which the pupil is 16. Before this date young people between the ages of 13 and 16 must have a work permit if they wish to do part time work.

An application form must be completed and signed by the parents and the employer before being submitted to the Education Welfare Service for approval. If the type of work is suitable and the hours to be worked are within the stipulated limits, a work permit will be issued.

Any employer who allows a child of school age to work, without first obtaining a work permit, is breaking the law and could be prosecuted. There is also a risk the employer won’t be insured against any accidents involving the child.

Tameside Council has issued approximately 400 licences for children to be employed over the past four years. However, the amount of licence applications have dropped over the past 12 months, despite the knowledge that children are still working.

During Child Employment Fortnight, which takes place between April 17 and 30, Tameside education welfare officers will visit local businesses to raise awareness and stress the importance of children having an employment permit. They will also be working closely with market staff as many children work both before and after school and at weekends on markets.

A spokesperson for Tameside Education Welfare Service said: “We recognise the benefits and experience which young people gain whilst working but we want to ensure they are working safely and legally and we need the collaboration of young people, employers and parents to achieve this.”

More information can be found at www.tameside.gov.uk/childemployment. You can contact the Education Welfare Service on 0161 342 3258/4094 or email [email protected].

If you think that children are working without a permit, please contact the Education Welfare Team as soon as possible.