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Conditions of Work
Published 22 September 10
Legislation exists to protect young people in the work place and on farms in particular. For example, under the Children and Young Persons Act no child under 13 may be employed, apart from a few specific strictly-controlled (non-agricultural) exceptions. It is also against the law to allow a child under 13 to ride on or drive agricultural tractors and certain other farm machinery.
Employees under school
Strict rules govern the employment of school-age young people. Generally, young people are permitted to work in agricultural activities, provided the tasks performed are 'light work', but different Local Authorities may impose differing regulations and provisos. Local Authorities also legally require employers who are employing a young person under the school-leaving age to apply for a permit.
No one under the age of 16 may be employed in any dangerous activity, for example the handling of toxic chemicals. This regulation can have particular importance in agriculture. Health and safety regulations also stipulate that a young person's immaturity, lack of experience and of awareness must be taken into account when carrying-out risk assessments on hazardous activities on the farm.
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