Finding a better way of protecting young workers

James McKechnie, Sandy Hobbs, Emma Littler, Amanda Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is widely acknowledged that the current system for protecting working children in the United Kingdom is ineffective. This paper discusses the possibility of finding a better approach, in particular the proposal that local authorities no longer issue “work permits” to individual children but instead keep a register of approved employers. Evidence from surveys of employers and local authority staff in England is considered as well as an analysis of an “employer register” system introduced in the Isle of Man. Potential strengths and weaknesses of a new approach are considered, including resource implications and the need for all concerned to be made more aware of their rights and obligations. It is proposed that the government should collaborate with a small number of local authorities to pilot a trial scheme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-180
Number of pages14
JournalYouth & Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


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