§ Mr. Lang
I am today publishing a consultation document with proposals for regulations to change employment law to give adolescent workers required entitlements to certain minimum daily and weekly rest periods and daily work breaks, and to health and capacity assessment before assignment to night work and at regular intervals thereafter.
We were able to agree to the EC directive on the protection of young people at work which requires these measures—the young workers directive—because its terms also give us an opt-out from what would have been unacceptable arbitrary limits on young people's working hours.
The consultation document seeks views on our proposals for enforcement arrangements to secure these entitlements, and on our assessment that, in general, employers will not have to make significant changes to their current practices in respect of employing young people. The Department of Health has already consulted on proposals for the changes which the directive requires us to make to the law regulating the employment of children, and the Health and Safety Commission about changes required to health and safety legislation.
The consultation period last until 7 May. We will then consider the position in the light of responses.