CTU MEDIA RELEASE
06 August 2008
Fairness at work applies to young people too
The Council of Trade Unions has welcomed a new Bill aimed at giving children 15 years and under legal rights in employment, by requiring them to be employed, not contractors.
“Children who are in employment should have the same rights as adults in employment and Darien Fenton’s bill is a great start to a debate we need to have on children and work,” CTU president Helen Kelly said.
“Children who aren’t defined as employees find they aren’t protected by minimum conditions like the minimum wage, sick leave and holidays.”
“A recent study by Catholic social justice organisation Caritas detailed some concerning experiences that children are having, and Department of Labour research has shown children have high rates of injury from employment.”
“Children being able to have employment agreements would provide some of the solutions to the problems identified in the Caritas study, such as no established rates for pay, no travel costs and health and safety concerns.”
“We think there also needs to be some discussion about a code of employment rights for children, to include things like maximum hours, making sure work isn’t interfering with study and maximum loads to carry,” Helen Kelly said.