A few landmarks
a) child labour
Child labour is the employment of children under a specified legal age. In most western countries, children can work assoon as they are 14, but only under specific conditions. In the US, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 set the minimum age for employment in non-manufacturing countries at 14. In developingcountries, millions of children work in mines, factories, quarries and they usually carry out hazardous occupations. They make up more than 10% of the workforce (Middle-East, Asia, Latin America).1833 = Factory Act (in the UK) set the minimum age for employment at 9.
1847 = Ten Hours Act (in the UK) introduced the ten-hour day for children and women
1989 = the United Nations adoptedthe Convention on the Rights of the Child
b) fighting discrimination
The Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) was created in 1974 to improve industrial relations. Itexamines abuses of workers’ rights under legislation (Race Relations Act, 1976)
c) sex discrimination
It is the discrimination on the grounds of sex, which is an offence under thefollowing acts
1970 = Equal Pay Act
1975 = Sex Discrimination Act (it prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of marital status and gender)
1975 = creation of the Equal OpportunitiesCommission, which works towards the elimination of discrimination and which promotes equality of opportunity between the sexes
1997 = Protection from Harassment Act
Working Conditionsa) the EU Working Time Directive
Adopted in 1993, the EU Working Time Directive is an initiative to protect workers from exploitation by employers. It lays down regulations on:
✓ theaverage working week (maximum 48 hours a week, 8 hours’ night work). But the “opt-out” measures exist (workers can work more than 48 hours a week if they wish to do so, but they are not allowed to work...
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