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Consultation Paper on Young Workers

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The partial opt-outs from the Young Workers Directive, adopted by the UK in 1998, ended in June 2000. The government is now consulting on how to implement the remaining provisions of the Directive into UK law.

Younh workers are defined as being over the minimum school leaving age, but under 18.

The three areas which are likely to be introduced (by amendment to the Working Time Regulations) are:

• limiting young workers' working hours to 8 per day and 40 per week. There is no provision for averaging working hours over a period of time. However, the 8 / 40 hour maxima may be excluded when there are objective grounds

• prohibiting young workers from working between 12 midnight and 4am. Exemptions exist for the armed forces or where there are objective grounds. Amongst other things, this is likely to prevent young people from working in nightclubs or as DJs at discos.

• prohibiting young workers from working between EITHER 10pm and 6am OR 11pm and 7am - but there is greater scope for derogation.

The consultation period over the scope of any amendments to the Working Time Regulations closes on 30th March 2001.

More detail can be found on the DTI website at