Can child employment legislation work?

James McKechnie, Sandy Hobbs, Seonaid Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has shown the existing legislation on child employment in Britain is ineffective. This paper reports on the first study to investigate whether compliance with the present regulatory framework could be improved. A programme was devised consisting of two proactive interventions and one control condition. The target groups were school students, employers and parents. The primary aim of the study was to increase the number of young employees registering for the required work permit. A significant increase in permit levels was found in the two proactive conditions. However, questions remain about the efficacy of the interventions. A large percentage of young workers still did not have work permits and it is unclear whether the beneficial effects of the interventions will persist over time. The findings are discussed in the context of current local authority policy and practice and the resources available to support this legislation. The wider implications for the national legislation on child employment are also considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
JournalYouth & Policy
Issue numberWinter
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Can child employment legislation work?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this