Newsagents to face continued council employment checks

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EAST Sussex County Council will continue to visit newsagents to remind them of child employment law and ensure that anyone doing a paper round does so safely.

Ensuring young people are safe when they are doing their paper rounds was the focus of this year’s Child Employment Fortnight in East Sussex which took place in the spring.

As part of the activity during the campaign fortnight Child Employment Officers from East Sussex County Council visited 15 local newsagents to provide them with information packs on employing children – including making sure their paper round is as safe as possible.

The officers also visited six secondary schools to talk to pupils about working and what the law allows them to do.

They provided pupils with activity sheets and information leaflets and were able to answer questions young people had about starting a part-time job, such as what hours they can work and the type of jobs they are allowed to do.

Cllr Nick Bennett, the county council’s lead member for learning and school effectiveness, said, “We targeted newsagents because they are a large employer of young people but this information is relevant to any company that employs young people.

“There are rules that apply when young people work and it’s really important that both the employers and the young people themselves are aware of them.”

Officers were particularly keen to ensure that all employers and young people know that they have to have a permit to work.

Cllr Bennett added that officers would be building on the work carried out during Child Employment Fortnight, by visiting more newsagents.

“We have a duty to ensure the safety and welfare of all children in East Sussex.

“The work permits are one way in which we can be kept informed of where children are employed, can monitor the hours they work and check the work they do is not dangerous.

“Part-time work can be a really good thing, introducing young people to the world of work and giving them the chance to earn a bit of extra pocket money.

“However, it’s also vitally important we ensure young people are not exploited in any way and that nothing compromises their safety.”

Anyone who would like more information on the law, as laid out in the Children and Young Persons Act, including guides from East Sussex County Council for employers and young people, should log on to www.eastsussex.gov.uk/childrenatwork