Those employing children below 14 years of age for any work, except where a child is helping his family post school hours or during vacation, can get up to two-year imprisonment and maximum fine of Rs 50,000, as per a new law which has got nod from President Pranab Mukherjee.
The new legislation bars employment of “adolescent” –a person between 14 and 18 years of age– in hazardous occupations like mines and inflammable substance or explosives.
The law, however, is not applicable for a child working in films, advertisement or television industry.
The President has given assent to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, on Friday and the law has been notified, officials said.
The new law amends Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 to enhance the punishment for employing any child in an occupation besides penalty.
It empowers the government to carry out periodic inspection of the places at which the employment of children is prohibited and hazardous occupations.
A bill in this regard was passed by Lok Sabha on July 26. Rajya Sabha had passed the bill on July 19.
The amended Act provides for enhanced punishment for violators. The penalty for employing a child will now be imprisonment between six months and two years (from three months to one year) or a fine of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 (from Rs 10,000-20,000) or both.
The second time offence will attract imprisonment of one year to three years, the Act says.
According to the law, no child should be employed in any occupation or process except where he or she helps his family after school hours or during vacations.
The Act is not applicable to a child who works as an artist in an audio-visual entertainment industry, including advertisement, films, television serials or any such other entertainment or sports activities except the circus, provided that no such work shall effect the school education of children.