UK’s first-ever child-free workplace ban will not affect the rest of the UK
Posted On August 4, 2021
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Britain’s first child-only workplace ban announced on Thursday is unlikely to affect the other parts of the country that allow families to work, but it may put pressure on the rest.
The move by the United Kingdom’s government and health authorities follows a survey of nearly half a million British adults by the Ipsos MORI health organization that showed that nearly a third of adults (32 percent) do not want to have children in the workplace.
It comes after years of debate and scrutiny over what kind of family life should be allowed in Britain.
The ban, announced in the wake of the death of a child-friendly workplace at a London hotel, is part of the government’s plan to make the country a “family friendly” place.
It has not yet been put in place.
“It will not have any impact on the family friendly workplace in other parts or on the child-dependent workforce in other workplaces,” a spokeswoman for Health Minister Jeremy Hunt told Reuters.
The announcement was made during a government-backed public consultation on a childfree workplace, which has seen a spike in calls to ban children from workplaces since the death in September of a baby girl who died after being placed in a hot car.
The plan is to set up a group of “family-friendly” companies, which will be overseen by a government committee of experts.
The British Medical Association has called for the ban to be overturned and said the government should allow employers to decide what kind or number of children their staff want to be part of their workforce.
“The government must make clear that it is not just a matter of allowing people to decide how to spend their time, it is a matter for making sure children are protected from being abused and neglected by others,” the AMA said in a statement.
The AMA also said the ban on children working in a childfriendly workplace was “not going to have any real impact” on other workplaces.
The UK’s National Health Service, which runs the country’s hospitals and medical research institutions, has been among the countries that have banned children from work.
A spokeswoman for the UK’s Health Secretary said it was “a very difficult decision for parents and others to make”, adding that the government would “consider the implications for the workplace as we implement this decision”.
“We want to make sure that this does not impact on other employers and it is important to understand the impact this will have on the wider community,” the spokeswoman said.
A spokesman for the British Association of Teachers said that it was disappointed that the ban was not made more widely.
“We understand the concerns parents have and we understand that this is a difficult decision and we are working with the Health Secretary on how to make it easier for them to understand and make decisions about the impact it is having on their child’s education,” the spokesman said.