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Review of Child Labour Laws of Barbados

List of Hazardous Work The Act prohibits the employment of young persons in certain processes connected with lead manufacture. It states in Section 66 that no young person nor woman shall be employed in any of the following, namely,

  • (a)

    work at a furnace involving the reduction or treatment of zinc or lead ores;

  • (b)

    the manipulation, treatment or reduction of ashes containing lead, the desilverising of lead or the melting of scrap lead or zinc;

  • (c)

    the manufacture of solder or alloys containing more than 10 percent lead;

  • (d)

    the manufacture of any oxide, carbonate, sulphate, chromate, acetate, nitrate, or silicate of lead;

  • (e)

    mixing or pasting in connection with the manufacture or repair of electric accumulator or the recovery of plactes or lead compounds from discarded accumulators;

  • (f)

    the cleaning of workrooms where any of the processes mentioned above are carried on; or

  • (g)

    the manufacture of paint containing lead or the dry rubbing down of surfaces treated with paint containing paint.

It is submitted that this categorization of hazardous work is too limited. It does not take into account work that exposes children to psychological or sexual abuse or to an unhealthy environment. The competent authority, in consultation with the representative organizations of employers and workers, must therefore determine all types of employment or work that is considered to be hazardous for young persons bearing in mind the ILO Recommendation No. 190. In addition, the law should provide for the list of hazardous work to be periodically examined and reviewed.

It should be noted here that the issue of health and safety is also addressed in collective agreements and the management of industrial relations at the workplace. The Employers’ Confederation has recently brought on staff a health and safety officer responsible for advocacy and education and negotiations. A greater emphasis is placed on health and safety issues.

Night Work and Rest Periods The Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act provides further protection in terms of night work and rest periods. Section 8 prohibits night work except in limited circumstances. It provides that: “Except as set out in this Part, no young person shall be employed in any industrial undertaking during the night or in any work that by its nature or the circumstances under which it is done is likely to cause injury to his/her health, safety or moral.” Night is defined here as the period commencing at 6:00 p.m. of one day and ending at 7:00 a.m. of the following day.

The Act further provides that for the purposes of apprenticeship or vocational training in a specified industry or undertaking that is required to be carried on continuously, the Minister may, after consultation with the workers’ and employers’ organizations concerned, authorize the employment, during the night, of young persons. Where the


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