By Riley DesRoches
The Youth Employment Act aims to protect students who are productive members of the workforce. The guidelines set however, are not always followed. Personally, I can say I have worked more than 8 hours in a day; I have worked before 7am and for more than three hours on a school day. All three of these are breaches in the Youth Employment Act. Why are standards set if they are not enforced?
These standards are set to ensure a young person has ample time to complete the tasks that come before employment; there education. That, for everyone should be there top priority. I can personally say that my education has suffered because of my job; however never to the point where I couldn't make up for lost time.
Should there be restrictions around the amount of time a youth can work? Absolutely there should be. It can be very intimidating to tell your boss that you are uncomfortable with how you are being treated, most youth are probably being overworked now and have no idea that they have the right to refuse these conditions. For a young person to approach an adult with a position of authority and defy them can be stressful; and I would wager most times the youth would rather work in harsh conditions than deal with that conversation, not to mention the possibility of being let go, as there are infinite amounts of unemployed youth seeking employment.
These laws are not being enforced, and that is a crime in itself. It should not have to be the youth’s job to look after their rights; it should be the employers. That however, is a difficult task and one I do not anticipate will be completed. I feel that these laws either need revision or enforcement, but setting standards that don’t need to be followed is a dangerous situation for the youth, the employers and the government.