Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act
The Act designates a child as a person who has not completed their 14th year of age.
It aims to regulate the hours and the working conditions of child workers and to prohibit child workers from being employed in hazardous industries.
Child Labour constitutes the following:
a) All forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery including but not limited to the sale or trafficking of children, debt bondage, and forced or compulsory labor.
b) It also means the forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
c) The use of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography, or for pornographic performances.
d) The use of a child for illicit activities in particular for the production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international treaties.
e) It also includes work, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, that is likely to harm the health, safety, and morals of children.
Child Labour does not include the following work:
a) Children’s or adolescents’ participation in work that does not affect their health and personal development or interfere with their schooling, is generally regarded as being something positive.
b) Activities such as helping their parents around the home, assisting in a family business, or earning pocket money outside school hours and during school holidays. These activities are in fact believed to contribute to children’s development.
Hours of Work:
No children or adolescent shall be permitted or required to work between 7 PM and 8 AM.
No adolescent shall be required or permitted to work in any establishment in excess of such number of hours as may be prescribed for such establishment or class of establishments.
No adolescent shall be allowed to work for more than 5 hours in a day.
No children or adolescent shall be permitted or required to work overtime.
Interval for Rest and Meals:
The period of work on each day shall be so fixed that no period shall exceed 3 hours and that adolescent shall not work for more than 3 hours before he has had an interval for rest for at least 1 hour.
Maintenance of Register:
There shall be maintained by every occupier in respect of children employed or permitted to work in any establishment, a register to be available for inspection of an Inspector at all times during working hours or when work is being carried on in any such establishment,
(a) the name and date of birth of every child so employed or permitted to work;
(b) hours and periods of work of any such child and the intervals of rest to which he is entitled;
(c) the nature of work of any such child and
(d) such other particulars as may be prescribed.
Fails to comply with or contravenes any other provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to 1 month or with fine which may extend to rupees 10,000 or with both.
Author – CA Gaurav Agrawal, Kishore Gupta & Co, Chartered Accountants in Practice from Central Delhi and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org & Mobile Number 9711033545.