Factory Laws

Factory Laws

The 1819 Factory Act : no children under 9 to work in factories. Children from 9 to 16 allowed to work a maximum of 72 hours per week with one and a half hours a day for meals.

1833 Althorp`s Factory Act : children from 9 to 13 to work a maximum of 42 hours per week; also children aged 13 to 16 to work a maximum of 69 hours a week. No night work for anybody under the age of 18.

1842 Mines and Colleries Act : banned all women and children under 10 from working underground. No-one under 15 years was to work winding gear in mines.

1844 Graham`s Factory Act : minimum age for working in factories reduced to 8 years old. 8 to 13 years old to work a maximum of six and a half hours a day. 13 to 18 year olds to work a maximum of 12 hours a day and the same applied to women. Safety guards had to be fitted to all machines.

1847 Fielder`s Factory Act : 10 hour day introduced for under 18's and for women.

There were factory inspectors to 'enforce' these laws but they were so poorly paid, they were easily bribed. Also many working parents were desperate for money and they lied about the ages of their children to get them work in factories and mines. So the laws may have been good in theory, they were very difficult to enforce.






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