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31/07/01 . By N/A . The Evening Standard . UK
McDonald's exploited child labour
Two McDonald's restaurants have been fined for exploiting child labour. Ten schoolchildren were found to be illegally working in two restaurants in Camberley, Surrey. They included a 15-year-old girl who worked 16 hours on a Saturday and another girl who worked from 5pm to 2am on a schoolday.
Ikhya Enterprises Ltd, which holds the franchise for both restaurants, was fined £12,400 with £60 costs at Camberley magistrates' court today after it admitted 20 offences of illegally employing schoolchildren.
The court heard how Surrey county council child employment officers swooped on the two fast food outlets last year following complaints from a parent. They discovered none of the youngsters had work permits and the education authority had no idea they were employed.
The restaurants were given a formal warning, but Surrey child employment officer Ian Hart said that between 24 May and 14 June last year, 51 breaches of regulations involving 10 youngsters aged 15 and 16 were then identified. Under the Children and Young Persons Act, 13 to 16-yearolds can only work 12 hours a week during term time.
A McDonald's spokesman said the firm was "deeply disappointed" franchisee Kevin Izatt broke the law and the firm's own rules.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.