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Factories Act 1937

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71Reduction of weekly hours of work of young persons under sixteen

(1)Subject to the provisions of this section, as from the expiration of a period of one year after the commencement of this Act, the foregoing provision of this Part of this Act limiting the hours worked in any week, exclusive of intervals allowed for meals and rest, shall have effect, in the case of young persons who have not attained the age of sixteen, as if for the reference to forty-eight hours there were substituted a reference to forty-four hours.

(2)If representations are made to the Secretary of State with respect to any class or description of factory—

(a)that the industry carried on in that class or description of factory is, either generally or as respects a particular process, so dependent on the employment of such young persons and so organised that the carrying on of the industry would be seriously prejudiced unless the number of hours worked in a week by such young persons employed in that industry or in that process were permitted to exceed forty-four;

(b)that such increased hours would not be likely to be injurious to the health of the young persons; and

(c)that the work in which the young persons would be employed in that industry or process is particularly suitable for young persons, and that their employment would familiarise them with, and help to train them for employment in, processes in which older persons are employed in the industry, and be likely to lead to their permanent employment in the industry;

the Secretary of State may direct an inquiry to be held, and if, as a result of the inquiry, he is satisfied with respect to all the matters aforesaid, he may make regulations increasing the total hours, exclusive of intervals allowed for meals and rest, that may be worked by such young persons in any week in that class or description of factory, or, as the case may be, in a particular process carried on therein, to such figure, not exceeding forty-eight, as may be specified in the regulations. Paragraph 5 of the Second Schedule to this Act shall apply, with such adaptations as may be prescribed, to any inquiry held under this subsection.

(3)If, at the expiration of a period of one year after the commencement of this Act, an inquiry under the last foregoing subsection has been directed but has not been held, or the decision of the Secretary of State after any such inquiry has not been given, this section shall not have effect as respects any class or description of factory or any process to which the inquiry relates until such date as may be appointed by order of the Secretary of State and the date shall, in a case where regulations are made as a result of the inquiry, be the date of the coming into operation of those regulations.

(4)The Secretary of State may, as respects factories, or any class or description of factory, in which the number of hours permitted to be worked in any week by young persons who have not attained the age of sixteen is less than forty-eight, by regulations make such modifications of this Part of this Act, and make such provision as to the period of employment of such young persons and the intervals allowed to them for meals and rest, as appear or appears to him to be necessary or expedient for regulating the arrangement of the hours to be worked by such young persons.

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