Friday 14 June 2002

DTI Consultation on Young Workers

Following an initial consultation period last year, the DTI has issued a further consultation paper on the new laws required to comply with the Young Workers' Directive, having amended the original proposals.

The new law will apply to 'young workers', defined as those over school leaving age, but under 18.

The latest position, which will be introduced through amendments to the Working Time Regulations 1998, are:

Working Hours
• a young worker's time shall not exceed eight hours a day or 40 hours a week (whether working for one or more employers);
• the maximum 8-hour day / 40-hour week shall not apply where the work is necessary to maintain continuity of (or respond to a surge in) service or production, where the additional hours will not interfere with training and where there is no adult worker available to perform the work.

Night Work
• young workers are not permitted to work between either 10pm and 6am (the default position) or, if the contract of employment provides, between 11pm and 7am.
• unless they work in particular sectors (agriculture, retail trading, a hotel, a bakery, catering activities other than a restaurant or a bar, or postal/newspaper deliveries), when the prohibited hours of work are between 12 midnight and 4am.

The further consultation period is open until 6th September 2002, and the new legislation will be introduced very shortly afterwards.

For more detail, go to

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