1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Labour Legislation
LABOUR LEGISLATION. Regulation of labour, in some form or another, whether by custom, royal authority, ecclesiastical rules or by formal legislation in the interests of a community, is no doubt as old as the most ancient forms of civilization. And older than all civilization is the necessity for the greater part of mankind to labour for maintenance, whether freely or in bonds, whether for themselves and their families or for the requirements or superfluities of others. Even while it is clear, however, that manual labour, or the application of the bodily forces—with or without mechanical aid—to personal maintenance and the production of goods, remains the common lot of the majority of citizens of the most developed modern communities, still there is much risk of confusion if modern technical terms such as “labour,” “employer,” “labour legislation” are freely applied to conditions in bygone civilizations with wholly different industrial organization and social relationships. In recent times in England there has been a notable disappearance from current use of correlative terms implying a social relationship which is greatly changed, for example, in the rapid passage from the Master and Servant Act 1867 to the Employer and Workman Act 1875. In the 18th century the term “manufacturer” passed from its application to a working craftsman to its modern connotation of at least some command of capital, the employer being no longer a small working master. An even more significant later change is seen in the steady development of a labour legislation, which arose in a clamant social need for the care of specially helpless “protected” persons in factories and mines, into a wider legislation for the promotion of general industrial health, safety and freedom for the worker from fraud in making or carrying out wage contracts.
If, then, we can discern these signs of important changes within so short a period, great caution is needed in rapidly reviewing long periods of time prior to that industrial revolution which is traced mainly to the application of mechanical power to machinery in aid of manual labour, practically begun and completed within the second half of the 18th century. “In 1740 save for the fly-shuttle the loom was as it had been since weaving had begun . . . and the law of the land was” (under the Act of Apprentices of 1563) “that wages in each district should be assessed by Justices of the Peace.” Turning back to still earlier times, legislation—whatever its source or authority—must clearly be devoted to aims very different from modern aims in regulating labour, when it arose before the labourer, as a man dependent on an “employer” for the means of doing work, had appeared, and when migratory labour was almost unknown through the serfdom of part of the population and the special status secured in towns to the artisan.
In the great civilizations of antiquity there were great aggregations of labour which was not solely, though frequently it was predominantly, slave labour; and some of the features of manufacture and mining on a great scale arose, producing the same sort of evils and industrial maladies known and regulated in our own times. Some of the maladies were described by Pliny and classed as “diseases of slaves.” And he gave descriptions of processes, for example in the metal trades, as belonging entirely to his own day, which modern archaeological discoveries trace back through the earliest known Aryan civilizations to a prehistoric origin in the East, and which have never died out in western Europe, but can be traced in a concentrated manufacture with almost unchanged methods, now in France, now in Germany, now in England.
Little would be gained in such a sketch as this by an endeavour to piece together the scattered and scanty materials for a comparative history of the varying conditions and methods of labour regulation over so enormous a range. While our knowledge continually increases of the remains of ancient craft, skill and massed labour, much has yet to be discovered that may throw light on methods of organization of the labourers. While much, and in some civilizations most, of the labour was compulsory or forced, it is clear that too much has been sometimes assumed, and it is by no means certain that even the pyramids of Egypt, much less the beautiful earliest Egyptian products in metal work, weaving and other skilled craft work, were typical products of slave labour. Even in Rome it was only at times that the proportion of slaves valued as property was greater than that of hired workers, or, apart from capture in war or self-surrender in discharge of a debt, that purchase of slaves by the trader, manufacturer or agriculturist was generally considered the cheapest means of securing labour. As in early England the various stages of village industrial life, medieval town manufacture, and organization in craft gilds, and the beginnings of the mercantile system, were parallel with a greater or less prevalence of serfdom and even with the presence in part of slavery, so in other ages and civilizations the various methods of organization of labour are found to some extent together. The Germans in their primitive settlements were accustomed to the notion of slavery, and in the decline of the Roman Empire Roman captives from among the most useful craftsmen were carried away by their northern conquerors.
The history and present details of the labour laws of various countries are dealt with below in successive sections: (1) history of legislation in the United Kingdom; (2) the results as shown by the law in force in 1909, with the corresponding facts for (3) Continental Europe and (4) the United States. Under other headings (Trade-Unions, Strikes and Lock-Outs, Arbitration and Conciliation , &c., &c.) are many details on cognate subjects.
1. Until the Close of the 15th Century.—Of the main conditions of industrial labour in early Anglo-Saxon England details are scanty. Monastic industrial communities were added in Christian times to village industrial communities. While generally husbandry was the first object of toil, and developed under elaborate regulation in the manorial system, still a considerable variety of industries grew up, the aim being expressly to make each social group self-sufficing, and to protect and regulate village artisans in the interest of village resources. This protective system, resting on a communal or co-operative view of labour and social life, has been compared as analogous to the much later and wider system under which the main purpose was to keep England as a whole self-sufficing. It has also been shown how greatly a fresh spirit of enterprise in industry and trade was stimulated first by the Danish and next by the Norman invasion; the former brought in a vigour shown in growth of villages, increase in number of freemen, and formation of trading towns; the latter especially opened up new communications with the most civilized continental people, and was followed by a considerable immigration of artisans, particularly of Flemings. In Saxon England slavery in the strictest sense existed, as is shown in the earliest English laws, but it seems that the true slave class as distinct from the serf class was comparatively small, and it may well be that the labour of an ordinary serf was not practically more severe, and the remuneration in maintenance and kind not much less than that of agricultural labourers in recent times. In spite of the steady protest of the Church, slavery (as the exception, not the general rule) did not die out for many centuries, and was apt to be revived as a punishment for criminals, e.g. in the fierce provisions of the statute of Edward VI. against beggars, not repealed until 1597. At no time, however, was it general, and as the larger village and city populations grew the ratio of serfs and slaves to the freemen in the whole population rapidly diminished, for the city populations “had not the habit and use of slavery,” and while serfs might sometimes find a refuge in the cities from exceptionally severe taskmasters, “there is no doubt that freemen gradually united with them under the lord’s protection, that strangers engaged in trade sojourned among them, and that a race of artisans gradually grew up in which original class feelings were greatly modified.” From these conditions grew two parallel tendencies in regulation of labour. On the one hand there was, under royal charters, the burgh or municipal organization and control of artisan and craft labour, passing later into the more specialized organization in craft gilds; on the other hand, there was a necessity, sometimes acute, to prevent undue diminution in the numbers available for husbandry or agricultural labour. To the latter cause must be traced a provision appearing in a succession of statutes (see especially an act of Richard II., 1388), that a child under twelve years once employed in agriculture might never be transferred to apprenticeship in a craft. The steady development of England, first as a wool-growing, later as a cloth-producing country, would accentuate this difficulty. During the 13th century, side by side with development of trading companies for the export of wool from England, may be noted many agreements on the part of monasteries to sell their wool to Florentines, and during the same century absorption of alien artisans into the municipal system was practically completed. Charters of Henry I. provided for naturalization of these aliens. From the time of Edward I. to Edward III. a gradual transference of burgh customs, so far as recognized for the common good, to statute law was in progress, together with an assertion of the rights of the crown against ecclesiastical orders. “The statutes of Edward I.,” says Dr. Cunningham, “mark the first attempt to deal with Industry and Trade as a public matter which concerns the whole state, not as the particular affair of leading men in each separate locality.” The first direct legislation for labour by statute, however, is not earlier than the twenty-third year of the reign of Edward III., and it arose in an attempt to control the decay and ruin, both in rural and urban districts, which followed the Hundred Years’ War, and the pestilence known as the Black Death. This first “Statute of Labourers” was designed for the benefit of the community, not for the protection of labour or prevention of oppression, and the policy of enforcing customary wages and compelling the able-bodied labourer, whether free or bond, not living in merchandise or exercising any craft, to work for hire at recognized rates of pay, must be reviewed in the circumstances and ideals of the time. Regulation generally in the middle ages aimed at preventing any individual or section of the community from making what was considered an exceptional profit through the necessity of others. The scarcity of labour by the reduction of the population through pestilence was not admitted as a justification for the demands for increased pay, and while the unemployed labourer was liable to be committed to gaol if he refused service at current rates, the lords of the towns or manors who promised or paid more to their servants were liable to be sued treble the sum in question. Similar restrictions were made applicable to artificers and workmen. By another statute, two years later, labourers or artificers who left their work and went into another county were liable to be arrested by the sheriff and brought back. These and similar provisions with similar aims were confirmed by statutes of 1360, 1368 and 1388, but the act of 1360, while prohibiting “all alliances and covins of masons, carpenters, congregations, chapters, ordinances and oaths betwixt them made,” allowed “every lord to bargain or covenant for their works in gross with such labourers and artificers when it pleaseth them, so that they perform such works well and lawfully according to the bargain and covenant with them thereof made.” Powers were given by the acts of 1368 and 1388 to justices to determine matters under these statutes and to fix wages. Records show that workmen of various descriptions were pressed by writs addressed to sheriffs to work for their king at wages regardless of their will as to terms and place of work. These proceedings were founded on notions of royal prerogative, of which impressment of seamen survived as an example to a far later date. By an act of 1388 no servant or labourer, man or woman, however, could depart out of the hundred to serve elsewhere unless bearing a letter patent under the king’s seal stating the cause of going and time of return. Such provisions would appear to have widely failed in their purpose, for an act of 1414 declares that the servants and labourers fled from county to county, and justices were empowered to send writs to the sheriffs for fugitive labourers as for felons, and to examine labourers, servants and their masters, as well as artificers, and to punish them on confession. An act of 1405, while putting a property qualification on apprenticeship and requiring parents under heavy penalties to put their children to such labour as their estates required, made a reservation giving freedom to any person “to send their children to school to learn literature.” Up to the end of the 15th century a monotonous succession of statutes strengthening, modifying, amending the various attempts (since the first Statute of Labourers) to limit free movement of labour, or demands by labourers for increased wages, may be seen in the acts of 1411, 1427, 1444, 1495. It was clearly found extremely difficult, if not impracticable, to carry out the minute control of wages considered desirable, and exceptions in favour of certain occupations were in some of the statutes themselves. In 1512 the penalties for giving wages contrary to law were repealed so far as related to masters, but it also appears that London workmen would not endure the prevalent restrictions as to wages, and that they secured in practice a greater freedom to arrange rates when working within the city. Several of these statutes, and especially one of 1514, fixed the hours of labour when limiting wages. During March to September the limits were 5 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m., with half an hour off for breakfast and an hour and a half off for midday dinner. In winter the outside limits were fixed by the length of daylight.
Throughout the 15th century the rapidly increasing manufacture of cloth was subject to a regulation which aimed at maintaining the standard of production and prevention of bad workmanship, and the noteworthy statute 4 Edward IV. c. 1, while giving power to royal officers to supervise size of cloths, modes of sealing, &c., also repressed payment to workers in “pins, girdles and unprofitable wares,” and ordained payment in true and lawful money. This statute (the first against “Truck”) gives an interesting picture of the way in which clothiers—or, as we should call them, wholesale merchants and manufacturers—delivered wool to spinners, carders, &c., by weight, and paid for the work when brought back finished. It appears that the work was carried on in rural as well as town districts. While this industry was growing and thriving other trades remained backward, and agriculture was in a depressed condition. Craft gilds had primarily the same purpose as the Edwardian statutes, that is, of securing that the public should be well served with good wares, and that the trade and manufacture itself should be on a sound basis as to quality of products and should flourish. Incidentally there was considerable regulation by the gilds of the conditions of labour, but not primarily in the interests of the labourer. Thus night work was prohibited because it tended to secrecy and so to bad execution of work; working on holidays was prohibited to secure fair play between craftsmen and so on. The position of apprentices was made clear through indentures, but the position of journeymen was less certain. Signs are not wanting of a struggle between journeymen and masters, and towards the end of the 15th century masters themselves, in at least the great wool trade, tended to develop from craftsmen into something more like the modern capitalist employer; from an act of 1555 touching weavers it is quite clear that this development had greatly advanced and that cloth-making was carried on largely by employers with large capitals. Before this, however, while a struggle went on between the town authorities and the craft gilds, journeymen began to form companies of their own, and the result of the various conflicts may be seen in an act of Henry VI., providing that in future new ordinances of gilds shall be submitted to justices of the peace—a measure which was strengthened in 1503.
2. From Tudor Days until the Close of the 18th Century.—A detailed history of labour regulation in the 16th century would include some account of the Tudor laws against vagrancy and methods of dealing with the increase of pauperism, attributable, at least in part, to the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII., and to the confiscation of craft gild funds, which proceeded under Somerset and Edward VI. It is sufficient here to point to the general recognition of the public right to compel labourers to work and thus secure control of unemployed as well as employed. The statutes of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. against vagrancy differed rather in degree of severity than in principle from legislation for similar purposes in previous and subsequent reigns. The Statute of Labourers, passed in the fifth year of Elizabeth’s reign (1562), as well as the poor law of the same year, was to a considerable extent both a consolidating and an amending code of law, and was so securely based on public opinion and deeply rooted custom that it was maintained in force for two centuries. It avowedly approves of principles and aims in earlier acts, regulating wages, punishing refusal to work, and preventing free migration of labour. It makes, however, a great advance in its express aim of protecting the poor labourer against insufficient wages, and of devising a machinery, by frequent meeting of justices, which might yield “unto the hired person both in time of scarcity and in time of plenty a convenient proportion of wages.” Minute regulations were made governing the contract between master and servant, and their mutual rights and obligations on parallel lines for (a) artificers, (b) labourers in husbandry. Hiring was to be by the year, and any unemployed person qualified in either calling was bound to accept service on pain of imprisonment, if required, unless possessed of property of a specified amount or engaged in art, science or letters, or being a “gentleman.” Persons leaving a service were bound to obtain a testimonial, and might not be taken into fresh employment without producing such testimonial, or, if in a new district, until after showing it to the authorities of the place. A master might be fined £5, and a labourer imprisoned, and if contumacious, whipped, for breach of this rule. The carefully devised scheme for technical training of apprentices embodied to a considerable extent the methods and experiences of the craft gilds. Hours of labour were as follows: “All artificers and labourers being hired for wages by the day or week shall, betwixt the midst of the months of March and September, be and continue at their work at or before 5 o’clock in the morning and continue at work and not depart until betwixt 7 and 8 o’clock at night, except it be in the time of breakfast, dinner or drinking, the which time at the most shall not exceed two hours and a half in a day, that is to say, at every drinking half an hour, for his dinner one hour and for his sleep when he is allowed to sleep, the which is from the midst of May to the midst of August, half an hour; and all the said artificers and labourers betwixt the midst of September and the midst of March shall be and continue at their work from the spring of the day in the morning until the night of the same day, except it be in time afore appointed for breakfast and dinner, upon pain to lose and forfeit one penny for every hour’s absence, to be deducted and defaulked out of his wages that shall so offend.” Although the standpoint of the Factory Act and Truck Act in force at the beginning of the 20th century as regards hours of labour or regulation of fines deducted from wages is completely reversed, yet the difference is not great between the average length of hours of labour permissible under the present law for women and those hours imposed upon the adult labourer in Elizabeth’s statute. Apart from the standpoint of compulsory imposition of fines, one advantage in the definiteness of amount deductable from wages would appear to lie on the side of the earlier statute.
Three points remain to be touched on in connexion with the Elizabethan poor law. In addition to (a) consolidation of measures for setting vagrants to work, we find the first compulsory contributions from the well-to-do towards poor relief there provided for, (b) at least a theoretical recognition of a right as well as an obligation on the part of the labourer to be hired, (c) careful provision for the apprenticing of destitute children and orphans to a trade.
One provision of considerable interest arose in Scotland, which was nearly a century later in organizing provisions for fixing conditions of hire and wages of workmen, labourers and servants, similar to those consolidated in the Elizabethan Statute of Labourers. In 1617 it was provided (and reaffirmed in 1661) that power should be given to the sheriffs to compel payment of wages, “that servants may be the more willing to obey the ordinance.” The difficulties in regulation of compulsory labour in Scotland must, however, have been great, for in 1672 houses of correction were erected for disobedient servants, and masters of these houses were empowered to force them to work and to correct them according to their demerits. While servants in manufacture were compelled to work at reasonable rates they might not enter on a new hire without their previous master’s consent.
Such legislation continued, at least theoretically, in force until the awakening effected by the beginning of the industrial revolution—that is, until the combined effects of steady concentration of capital in the hands of employers and expansion of trade, followed closely by an unexampled development of invention in machinery and application of power to its use. completely altered the face of industrial England. From time to time, in respect of particular trades, provisions against truck and for payment of wages in current coin, similar to the act of Edward IV. in the woollen industry, were found necessary, and this branch of labour legislation developed through the reigns of Anne and the four Georges until consolidation and amendment were effected, after the completion of the industrial revolution, in the Truck Act of 1831. From the close of the 17th century and during the 18th century the legislature is no longer mainly engaged in devising means for compelling labourers and artisans to enter into involuntary service, but rather in regulating the summary powers of justices of the peace in the matter of dispute between masters and servants in relation to contracts and agreements, express or implied, presumed to have been entered into voluntarily on both sides. While the movement to refer labour questions to the jurisdiction of the justices thus gradually developed, the main subject matter for their exercise of jurisdiction in regard to labour also changed, even when theoretically for a time the two sets of powers—such as (a) moderation of craft gild ordinances and punishment of workers refusing hire, or (b) fixing scales of wages and enforcement of labour contracts—might be concurrently exercised. Even in an act of George II. (1746) for settlement of disputes and differences as to wages or other conditions under a contract of labour, power was retained for the justices, on complaint of the masters of misdemeanour or ill-behaviour on the part of the servant, to discharge the latter from service or to send him to a house of correction “there to be corrected,” that is, to be held to hard labour for a term not exceeding a month or to be corrected by whipping. In an act with similar aims of George IV. (1823), with a rather wider scope, the power to order corporal punishment, and in 1867 to hard labour, for breach of labour contracts had disappeared, and soon after the middle of the 19th century the right to enforce contracts of labour also disappeared. Then breach of such labour contracts became simply a question of recovery of damages, unless both parties agreed that security for performance of the contract shall be given instead of damages.
While the endeavour to enforce labour apart from a contract died out in the latter end of the 18th century, sentiment for some time had strongly grown in favour of developing early industrial training of children. It appears to have been a special object of charitable and philanthropic endeavour in the 17th century, as well as the 18th, to found houses of industry, in which little children, even under five years of age, might be trained for apprenticeship with employers. Connected as this development was with poor relief, one of its chief aims was to prevent future unemployment and vagrancy by training in habits and knowledge of industry, but not unavowed was another motive: “from children thus trained up to constant labour we may venture to hope the lowering of its price.” The evils and excesses which lay enfolded within such a movement gave the first impulse to the new ventures in labour legislation which are specially the work of the 19th century. Evident as it is “that before the Industrial Revolution very young children were largely employed both in their own homes and as apprentices under the Poor Law,” and that “long before Peel’s time there were misgivings about the apprenticeship system,” still it needed the concentration and prominence of suffering and injury to child life in the factory system to lead to parliamentary intervention.
3. From 1800 to the Codes of 1872 and 1878.—A serious outbreak of fever in 1784 in cotton mills near Manchester appears to have first drawn widespread and influential public opinion to the overwork of children, under terribly dangerous and insanitary conditions, on which the factory system was then largely being carried on. A local inquiry, chiefly by a group of medical men presided over by Dr Percival, was instituted by the justices of the peace for Lancashire, and in the forefront of the resulting report stood a recommendation for limitation and control of the working hours of the children. A resolution by the county justices followed, in which they declared their intention in future to refuse “indentures of parish Apprentices whereby they shall be bound to Owners of Cotton Mills and other works in which children are obliged to work in the night or more than ten hours in the day.” In 1795 the Manchester Board of Health was formed, which, with fuller information, more definitely advised legislation for the regulation of the hours and conditions of labour in factories. In 1802 the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act was passed, which in effect formed the first step towards prevention of injury to and protection of labour in factories. It was directly aimed only at evils of the apprentice system, under which large numbers of pauper children were worked in cotton and woollen mills without education, for excessive hours, under wretched conditions. It did not apply to places employing fewer than twenty persons or three apprentices, and it applied the principle of limitation of hours (to twelve a day) and abolition of night work, as well as educational requirements, only to apprentices. Religious teaching and suitable sleeping accommodation and clothing were provided for in the act, also as regards apprentices. Lime-washing and ventilation provisions applied to all cotton and woollen factories employing more than twenty persons. “Visitors” were to be appointed by county justices for repression of contraventions, and were empowered to “direct the adoption of such sanitary regulations as they might on advice think proper.” The mills were to be registered by the clerk of the peace, and justices had power to inflict fines of from £2 to £5 for contraventions. Although enforcement of the very limited provisions of the act was in many cases poor or non-existent, in some districts excellent work was done by justices, and in 1803 the West Riding of Yorkshire justices passed a resolution substituting the ten hours’ limit for the twelve hours’ limit of the act, as a condition of permission for indenturing of apprentices in mills.
Rapid development of the application of steam power to manufacture led to growth of employment of children in populous centres, otherwise than on the apprenticeship system, and before long the evils attendant on this change brought the general question of regulation and protection of child labour in textile factories to the front. The act of 1819, limited as it was, was a noteworthy step forward, in that it dealt with this wider scope of employment of children in cotton factories, and it is satisfactory to record that it was the outcome of the efforts and practical experiments of a great manufacturer, Robert Owen. Its provisions fell on every point lower than the aims he put forward on his own experience as practicable, and notably in its application only to cotton mills instead of all textile factories. Prohibition of child labour under nine years of age and limitation of the working day to twelve in the twenty-four (without specifying the precise hour of beginning and closing) were the main provisions of this act. No provision was made for enforcement of the law beyond such as was attempted in the act of 1802. Slight amendments were attempted in the acts of 1825 and 1831, but the first really important factory act was in 1833 applying to textile factories generally, limiting employment of young persons under eighteen years of age, as well as children, prohibiting night work between 8.30 p.m. and 5.30 a.m., and first providing for “inspectors” to enforce the law. This is the act which was based on the devoted efforts of Michael Sadler, with whose name in this connexion that of Lord Ashley, afterwards earl of Shaftesbury, was from 1832 associated. The importance of this act lay in its provision for skilled inspection and thus for enforcement of the law by an independent body of men unconnected with the locality in which the manufactures lay, whose specialization in their work enabled them to acquire information needed for further development of legislation for protection of labour. Their powers were to a certain extent judicial, being assimilated to those possessed by justices; they could administer oaths and make such “rules, regulations and orders” as were necessary for execution of the act, and could hear complaints and impose penalties under the act. In 1844 a textile factory act modified these extensive inspectoral powers, organizing the service on lines resembling those of our own time, and added provision for certifying surgeons to examine workers under sixteen years of age as to physical fitness for employment and to grant certificates of age and ordinary strength. Hours of labour, by the act of 1833, were limited for children under eleven to 9 a day or 48 in the week, and for young persons under eighteen to 12 a day or 69 in the week. Between 1833 and 1844 the movement in favour of a ten hours’ day, which had long been in progress, reached its height in a time of great commercial and industrial distress, but could not be carried into effect until 1847. By the act of 1844 the hours of adult women were first regulated, and were limited (as were already those of “young persons”) to 12 a day; children were permitted either to work the same hours on alternate days or “half-time,” with compulsory school attendance as a condition of their employment. The aim in thus adjusting the hours of the three classes of workers was to provide for a practical standard working-day. For the first time detailed provisions for health and safety began to make their appearance in the law. Penal compensation for preventible injuries due to unfenced machinery was also provided, and appears to have been the outcome of a discussion by witnesses before the Royal Commission on Labour of Young Persons in Mines and Manufactures in 1841.
From this date, 1841, begin the first attempts at protective legislation for labour in mining. The first Mines Act of 1842 following the terrible revelations of the Royal Commission referred to excluded women and girls from underground working, and limited the employment of boys, excluding from underground working those under ten years, but it was not until 1850 that systematic reporting of fatal accidents and until 1855 that other safeguards for health, life and limb in mines were seriously provided by law. With the exception of regulations against truck there was no protection for the miner before 1842; before 1814 it was not customary to hold inquests on miners killed by accidents in mines. From 1842 onwards considerable interaction in the development of the two sets of acts (mines and factories), as regards special protection against industrial injury to health and limb, took place, both in parliament and in the department (Home Office) administering them. Another strong influence tending towards ultimate development of scientific protection of health and life in industry began in the work and reports of the series of sanitary commissions and Board of Health reports from 1843 onwards. In 1844 the mines inspector made his first report, but two years later women were still employed to some extent underground. Organized inspection began in 1850, and in 1854 the Select Committee on Accidents adopted a suggestion of the inspectors for legislative extension of the practice of several colliery owners in framing special safety rules for working in mines. The act of 1855 provided seven general rules, relating to ventilation, fencing of disused shafts, proper means for signalling, proper gauges and valve for steam-boiler, indicator and brake for machine lowering and raising; also it provided that detailed special rules submitted by mine-owners to the secretary of state, might, on his approval, have the force of law and be enforceable by penalty. The Mines Act of 1860, besides extending the law to ironstone mines, following as it did on a series of disastrous accidents and explosions, strengthened some of the provisions for safety. At several inquests strong evidence was given of incompetent management and neglect of rules, and a demand was made for enforcing employment only of certificated managers of coal mines. This was not met until the act of 1872, but in 1860 certain sections relating to wages and education were introduced. Steady development of the coal industry, increasing association among miners, and increased scientific knowledge of means of ventilation and of other methods for securing safety, all paved the way to the Coal Mines Act of 1872, and in the same year health and safety in metalliferous mines received their first legislative treatment in a code of similar scope and character to that of the Coal Mines Act. This act was amended in 1886, and repealed and recodified in 1887; its principal provisions are still in force, with certain revised special rules and modifications as regards reporting of accidents (1906) and employment of children (1903). It was based on the recommendations of a Royal Commission, which had reported in 1864, and which had shown the grave excess of mortality and sickness among metalliferous miners, attributed to the inhalation of gritty particles, imperfect ventilation, great changes of temperature, excessive physical exertion, exposure to wet, and other causes. The prohibition of employment of women and of boys under ten years underground in this class of mines, as well as in coal mines, had been effected by the act of 1842, and inspection had been provided for in the act of 1860; these were in amended form included in the code of 1872, the age of employment of boys underground being raised to twelve. In the Coal Mines Act of 1872 we see the first important effort to provide a complete code of regulation for the special dangers to health, life and limb in coal mines apart from other mines; it applied to “mines of coal, mines of stratified ironstone, mines of shale and mines of fire-clay.” Unlike the companion act—applying to all other mines—it maintained the age limit of entering underground employment for boys at ten years, but for those between ten and twelve it provided for a system of working analogous to the half-time system in factories, including compulsory school attendance. The limits of employment for boys from twelve to sixteen were 10 hours in any one day and 54 in anyone week. The chief characteristics of the act lay in extension of the “general” safety rules, improvement of the method of formulating “special” safety rules, provision for certificated and competent management, and increased inspection. Several important matters were transferred from the special to the general rules, such as compulsory use of safety lamps where needed, regulation of use of explosives, and securing of roofs and sides. Special rules, before being submitted to the secretary of state for approval, must be posted in the mine for two weeks, with a notice that objections might be sent by any person employed to the district inspector. Wilful neglect of safety provisions became punishable in the case of employers as well as miners by imprisonment with hard labour. But the most important new step lay in the sections relating to daily control and supervision of every mine by a manager holding a certificate of competency from the secretary of state, after examination by a board of examiners appointed by the secretary of state, power being retained for him to cause later inquiry into competency of the holder of the certificate, and to cancel or suspend the certificate in case of proved unfitness.
Returning to the development of factory and workshop law from the year 1844, the main line of effort—after the act of 1847 had restricted hours of women and young persons to 10 a day and fixed the daily limits between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Saturday 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.)—lay in bringing trade after trade in some degree under the scope of this branch of law, which had hitherto only regulated conditions in textile factories. Bleaching and dyeing works were included by the acts of 1860 and 1862; lace factories by that of 1861; calendering and finishing by acts of 1863 and 1864; bakehouses became partially regulated by an act of 1863, with special reference to local authorities for administration of its clauses. The report of the third Children’s Employment Commission brought together in accessible form the miserable facts relating to child labour in a number of unregulated industries in the year 1862, and the act of 1864 brought some of (these earthenware-making, lucifer match-making, percussion cap and cartridge making, paper-staining, and fustian cutting) partly under the scope of the various textile factory acts in force. A larger addition of trades was made three years later, but the act of 1864 is particularly interesting in that it first embodied some of the results of inquiries of expert medical and sanitary commissioners, by requiring ventilation to be applied to the removal of injurious gases, dust, and other impurities generated in manufacture, and made a first attempt to engraft part of the special rules system from the mines acts. The provisions for framing such rules disappeared in the Consolidating Act of 1878, to be revived in a better form later. The Sanitary Act of 1866, administered by local authorities, provided for general sanitation in any factories and workshops not under existing factory acts, and the Workshops Regulation Act of 1867, similarly to be administered by local authorities, amended in 1870, practically completed the application of the main principle of the factory acts to all places in which manual labour was exercised for gain in the making or finishing of articles or parts of articles for sale. A few specially dangerous or injurious trades brought under regulation in 1864 and 1867 (e.g. earthenware and lucifer match making, glass-making) ranked as “factories,” although not using mechanical power, and for a time employment of less than fifty persons relegated certain work-places to the category of “workshops,” but broadly the presence or absence of such motor power in aid of process was made and has remained the distinction between factories and workshops. The Factory Act of 1874, the last of the series before the great Consolidating Act of 1878, raised the minimum age of employment for children to ten years in textile factories. In most of the great inquiries into conditions of child labour the fact has come clearly to light, in regard to textile and non-textile trades alike, that parents as much as any employers have been responsible for too early employment and excessive hours of employment of children, and from early times until to-day in factory legislation it has been recognized that they must to some extent be held responsible for due observation of the limits imposed. For example, in 1831 it was found necessary to protect occupiers against parental responsibility for false certificates of age, and in 1833 parents of a child or “any Person having any benefit from the wages of such child” were made to share responsibility for employment of children without school attendance or beyond legal hours.
During the discussions on the bill which became law in 1874, it had become apparent that revision and consolidation of the multiplicity of statutes then regulating manufacturing industry had become pressingly necessary; modifications and exceptions for exceptional conditions in separate industries needed reconsideration and systematization on clear principles, and the main requirements of the law could with great advantage be applied more generally to all the industries. In particular, the daily limits as to period of employment, pauses for meals, and holidays, needed to be unified for non-textile factories and workshops, so as to bring about a standard working-day, and thus prevent the tendency in “the larger establishments to farm out work among the smaller, where it is done under less favourable conditions both sanitary and educational.” In these main directions, and that of simplifying definitions, summarizing special sanitary provisions that had been gradually introduced for various trades, and centralizing and improving the organization of the inspectorate, the Commission of 1876 on the Factory Acts made its recommendations, and the Factory Act of 1878 took effect. In the fixed working-day, provisions for pauses, holidays, general and special exceptions, distinctions between systems of employment for children, young persons and women, education of children and certificates of fitness for children and young persons, limited regulation of domestic workshops, general principles of administration and definitions, the law of 1878 was made practically the same as that embodied in the later principal act of 1901. More or less completely revised are: (a) the sections in the 1878 act relating to mode of controlling sanitary conditions in workshops (since 1891 primarily enforced by the local sanitary authority); (b) provision for reporting accidents and for enforcing safety (other than fencing of mill gearing and dangerous machinery); (c) detailed regulation of injurious and dangerous process and trades; (d) powers of certifying surgeons; (e) amount of overtime permissible (greatly reduced in amount and now confined to adults); (f) age for permissible employment of a child has been raised from ten years to twelve years. Entirely new since the act of 1878 are the provisions: (a) for control of outwork; (b) for supplying particulars of work and wages to piece-workers, enabling them to compute the total amount of wages payable to them; (e) extension of the act to laundries; (f) a tentative effort to limit the too early employment of mothers after childbirth.
Factories and Workshops.—The act of 1878 remained until 1901, although much had been meanwhile superimposed, a monument to the efforts of the great factory reformers of the first half of the 19th century, and the general groundwork of safety for workers in factories and workshops in the main divisions of sanitation, security against accidents, physical fitness of workers, general limitation of hours and times of employment for young workers and women. The act of 1901, which came into force 1st January 1902 (and became the principal act), was an amending as well as a consolidating act. Comparison of the two acts shows, however, that, in spite of the advantages of further consolidation and helpful changes in arrangement of sections and important additions which tend towards a specialized hygiene for factory life, the fundamental features of the law as fought out in the 19th century remain undisturbed. So far as the law has altered in character, it has done so chiefly by gradual development of certain sanitary features, originally subordinate, and by strengthening provision for security against accidents and not by retreat from its earlier aims. At the same time a basis for possible new developments can be seen in the protection of “outworkers” as well as factory workers against fraudulent or defective particulars of piece-work rates of wages.
Later acts directly and indirectly affecting the law are certain acts of 1903, 1906, 1907, to be touched on presently.
The act of 1878, in a series of acts from 1883 to 1895, received striking additions, based (1) on the experience gained in other branches of protective legislation, e.g. development of the method of regulation of dangerous trades by “special rules” and administrative inquiry into Additions to act of 1878. accidents under Coal Mines Acts; (2) on the findings of royal commissions and parliamentary inquiries, e.g. increased control of “outwork” and domestic workshops, and limitation of “overtime”; (3) on the development of administrative machinery for enforcing the more modern law relating to public health, e.g. transference of administration of sanitary provisions in workshops to the local sanitary authorities; (4) on the trade-union demand for means for securing trustworthy records of wage-contracts between employer and workman, e.g. the section requiring particulars of work and wages for piece-workers. The first additions to the act of 1878 were, however, almost purely attempts to deal more adequately than had been attempted in the code of 1878 with certain striking instances of trades injurious to health. Thus the Factory and Workshop Act of 1883 provided that white-lead factories should not be carried on without a certificate of conformity with certain conditions, and also made provision for special rules, on lines later superseded by those laid down in the act of 1891, applicable to any employment in a factory or workshop certified as dangerous or injurious by the secretary of state. The act of 1883 also dealt with sanitary conditions in bakehouses. Certain definitions and explanations of previous enactments touching overtime and employment of a child in any factory or workshop were also included in the act. A class of factories in which excessive heat and humidity seriously affected the health of operatives was next dealt with in the Cotton Cloth Factories Act 1889. This provided for special notice to the chief inspector from all occupiers of cotton cloth factories (i.e. any room, shed, or workshop or part thereof in which weaving of cotton cloth is carried on) who intend to produce humidity by artificial means; regulated both temperature of workrooms and amount of moisture in the atmosphere, and provided for tests and records of the same; and fixed a standard minimum volume of fresh air (600 cub. ft.) to be admitted in every hour for every person employed in the factory. Power was retained for the secretary of state to modify by order the standard for the maximum limit of humidity of the atmosphere at any given temperature. A short act in 1870 extended this power to other measures for the protection of health.
The special measures from 1878 to 1889 gave valuable precedents for further developments of special hygiene in factory life, but the next advance in the Factory and Workshop Act 1891, following the House of Lords Committee on the sweating system and the Berlin International Labour Conference, extended over much wider ground. Its principal objects were: (a) to render administration of the law relating to workshops more efficient, particularly as regards sanitation; with this end in view it made the primary controlling authority for sanitary matters in workshops the local sanitary authority (now the district council), acting by their officers, and giving them the powers of the less numerous body of factory inspectors, while at the same time the provisions of the Public Health Acts replaced in workshops the very similar sanitary provisions of the Factory Acts; (b) to provide for greater security against accidents and more efficient fencing of machinery in factories; (c) to extend the method of regulation of unhealthy or dangerous occupations by application of special rules and requirements to any incident of employment (other than in a domestic workshop) certified by the secretary of state to be dangerous or injurious to health or dangerous to life or limb; (d) to raise the age of employment of children and restrict the employment of women immediately after childbirth; (e) to require particulars of rate of wages to be given with work to piece-workers in certain branches of the textile industries; (f) to amend the act of 1878 in various subsidiary ways, with the view of improving the administration of its principles, e.g. by increasing the means of checking the amount of overtime worked, empowering inspectors to enter work-places used as dwellings without a justice’s warrant, and the imposition of minimum penalties in certain cases. On this act followed four years of greatly accelerated administrative activity. No fewer than sixteen trades were scheduled by the secretary of state as dangerous to health. The manner of preparing and establishing suitable rules was greatly modified by the act of 1901 and will be dealt with in that connexion.
The Factory and Workshop Act 1895 followed thus on a period of exercise of new powers of administrative regulation (the period being also that during which the Royal Commission on Labour made its wide survey of industrial conditions), and after two successive annual reports of the chief inspector of factories had embodied reports and recommendations from the women inspectors, who in 1893 were first added to the inspectorate. Again, the chief features of an even wider legislative effort than that of 1891 were the increased stringency and definiteness of the measures for securing hygienic and safe conditions of work. Some of these measures, however, involved new principles, as in the provision for the prohibition of the use of a dangerous machine or structure by the order of a magistrate’s court, and the power to include in the special rules drawn up in pursuance of section 8 of the act of 1891, the prohibition of the employment of any class of persons, or the limitation of the period of employment of any class of persons in any process scheduled by order of the secretary of state. These last two powers have both been exercised, and with the exercise of the latter passed away, without opposition, the absolute freedom of the employer of the adult male labourer to carry on his manufacture without legislative limitation of the hours of labour. Second only in significance to these new developments was the addition, for the first time since 1867, of new classes of workplaces not covered by the general definitions in section 93 of the Consolidating Act of 1878, viz.: (a) laundries (with special conditions as to hours, &c.); (b) docks, wharves, quays, warehouses and premises on which machinery worked by power is temporarily used for the purpose of the construction of a building or any structural work in connexion with the building (for the purpose only of obtaining security against accidents). Other entirely new provisions in the act of 1895, later strengthened by the act of 1901, were the requirement of a reasonable temperature in workrooms, the requirement of lavatories for the use of persons employed in any department where poisonous substances are used, the obligation on occupiers and medical practitioners to report cases of industrial poisoning; and the penalties imposed on an employer wilfully allowing wearing apparel to be made, cleaned or repaired in a dwelling-house where an inmate is suffering from infectious disease. Another provision empowered the secretary of state to specify classes of outwork and areas with a view to the regulation of the sanitary condition of premises in which outworkers are employed. Owing to the conditions attached to its exercise, no case was found in which this power could come into operation, and the act of 1901 deals with the matter on new lines. The requirement of annual returns from occupiers of persons employed, and the competency of the person charged with infringing the act to give evidence in his defence, were important new provisions, as was also the adoption of the powers to direct a formal investigation of any accident on the lines laid down in section 45 of the Coal Mines Regulation Act 1887. Other sections, relating to sanitation and safety, were developments of previous regulations, e.g. the fixing of a standard of overcrowding, provision of sanitary accommodation separate for each sex where the standard of the Public Health Act Amendment Act of 1890 had not been adopted by the competent local sanitary authority, power to order a fan or other mechanical means to carry off injurious gas, vapour or other impurity (the previous power covering only dust). The fencing of machinery and definition of accidents were made more precise, young persons were prohibited from cleaning dangerous machinery, and additional safeguards against risk of injury by fire or panic were introduced. On the question of employment the foremost amendments lay in the almost complete prohibition of overtime for young persons, and the restriction of the power of an employer to employ protected persons outside his factory or workshop on the same day that he had employed them in the factory or workshop. Under the head of particulars of work and wages to piece-workers an important new power, highly valued by the workers, was given to apply the principle with the necessary modifications by order of the secretary of state to industries other than textile and to outworkers as well as to those employed inside factories and workshops.
In 1899 an indirect modification of the limitation to employment of children was effected by the Elementary Education Amendment Act, which, by raising from eleven to twelve the minimum age at which a child may, by the by-laws of a local authority, obtain total or The act of 1901. partial exemption from the obligation to attend school, made it unlawful for an occupier to take into employment any child under twelve in such a manner as to prevent full-time attendance at school. The age of employment became generally thereby the same as it has been for employment at a mine above ground since 1887. The act of 1901 made the prohibition of employment of a child under twelve in a factory or workshop direct and absolute. Under the divisions of sanitation, safety, fitness for employment, special regulation of dangerous trades, special control of bakehouses, exceptional treatment of creameries, new methods of dealing with home work and outworkers, important additions were made to the general law by the act of 1901, as also in regulations for strengthened administrative control. New general sanitary provisions were those prescribing: (a) ventilation per se for every workroom, and empowering the secretary of state to fix a standard of sufficient ventilation; (b) drainage of wet floors; (c) the power of the secretary of state to define in certain cases what shall constitute sufficient and suitable sanitary accommodation. New safety provisions were those relating to—(a) Examination and report on steam boilers; (b) prohibition of employment of a child in cleaning below machinery in motion; (c) power of the district council to make by-laws for escape in case of fire. The most important administrative alterations were: (a) a justice engaged in the same trade as, or being officer of an association of persons engaged in the same trade as, a person charged with an offence may not act at the hearing and determination of the charge; (b) ordinary supervision of sanitary conditions under which outwork is carried on was transferred to the district council, power being reserved to the Home Office to intervene in case of neglect or default by any district council.
The Employment of Children Act 1903, while primarily providing for industries outside the scope of the Factory Act, incidentally secured that children employed as half-timers should not also be employed in other occupations. The Notice of Accidents Act 1906 amended Acts of 1903, 1906, 1907. the whole system of notification of accidents, simultaneously in mines, quarries, factories and workshops, and will be set out in following paragraphs. The Factory and Workshop Act of 1907 amended the law in respect of laundries by generally applying the provisions of 1901 to trade laundries while granting them choice of new exceptional periods, and by extending the provisions of the act (with certain powers to the Home Office by Orders laid before parliament to allow variations) to institution laundries carried on for charitable or reformatory purposes. The Employment of Women Act 1907 repealed an exemption in the act of 1901 (and earlier acts) relating to employment of women in flax scutch mills, thus bringing this employment under the ordinary provisions as to period of employment.
The following paragraphs aim at presenting an idea of the scope of the modified and amended law, as a whole, adding where clearly necessary reference to the effect of acts, which ceased to apply after the 31st of December 1901:—
The workplaces to which the act applies are, first, “factories” and “workshops”; secondly, laundries, docks, wharves, &c., enumerated above as introduced and regulated partially only by the act of 1895 and subsequent acts. Apart from Definitions. this secondary list, and having regard to workplaces which remain undefined by the law, the act may broadly be said to apply to premises, rooms or places in which manual labour, with or without the aid of mechanical power, is exercised for gain in or incidental to the making, altering, repairing, ornamenting, washing, cleaning or finishing or adapting for sale of any article or part of any article. If steam, water or other mechanical power is used in aid of the manufacturing process, the workplace is a factory; if not, it is a workshop. There is, however, a list of eighteen classes of works (brought under the factory law for reasons of safety, &c., before workshops generally were regulated) which are defined as factories whether power is used in them or not. Factories are, again, subdivided into textile and non-textile: they are textile if the machinery is employed in preparing, manufacturing or finishing cotton, wool, hair, silk, flax, hemp, jute, tow, China grass, cocoanut fibre or other like material either separately or mixed together, or mixed with any other material, or any fabric made thereof; all other factories are non-textile. The distinction turns on the historical origin of factory regulation and the regulations in textile factories remain in some respects slightly more stringent than in the non-textile factories and workshops, though the general provisions are almost the same. Three special classes of workshops have for certain purposes to be distinguished from ordinary workshops, which include tenement workshops: (a) Domestic workshops, i.e. any private house, room or place, which, though used as a dwelling, is by reason of the work carried on there a workshop, and in which the only persons employed are members of the same family, dwelling there alone—in these women’s hours are unrestricted; (b) Women’s workshops, in which neither children nor young persons are employed—in these a more elastic arrangement of hours is permissible than in ordinary workshops; (c) Workshops in which men only are employed—these come under the same general regulations in regard to sanitation as other workshops, also under the provisions of the Factory Act as regards security, and, if certified by the secretary of state, may be brought under special regulations. They are otherwise outside the scope of the act of 1901.
The person to whom the regulations apply in the above-defined workplaces are children, i.e. persons between the ages of twelve and fourteen, young persons, i.e. boys or girls between the ages of fourteen (or if an educational certificate has been obtained, thirteen) and eighteen years of age, and women, i.e. females above the age of eighteen; these are all “protected” persons to whom the general provisions of the act, inclusive of the regulation of hours and times of employment, apply. To adult men generally those provisions broadly only apply which are aimed at securing sanitation and safety in the conduct of the manufacturing process.
The person generally responsible for observance of the provisions of the law, whether these relate to health, safety, limitation of the hours of labour or other matters, is the occupier (a term undefined in the act) of the factory, workshop or laundry. There are, however, limits to his responsibility: (a) generally, where the occupier has used due diligence to enforce the execution of the act, and can show that another person, whether agent, servant, workman or other person, is the real offender; (b) specially in a factory the sections relating to employment of protected persons, where the owner or hirer of a machine or implement driven by mechanical power is some person other than the occupier of the factory, the owner or hirer, so far as respects any offence against the act committed in relation to a person who is employed in connexion with the machine or implement, and is in the employment or pay of the owner or hirer, shall be deemed to be the occupier of the factory; (c) for the one purpose of reporting accidents, the actual employer of the person injured in any factory or workshop is bound under penalty immediately to report the same to the occupier; (d) so far as relates to sanitary conditions, fencing of machinery, affixing of notices in tenement factories, the owner (as defined by the Public Health Act 1875), generally speaking, takes the place of the occupier.
Employment in a factory or workshop includes work whether for wages or not: (a) in a manufacturing process or handicraft, (b) in cleaning any place used for the same, (c) in cleaning or oiling any part of the machinery, (d) any work whatsoever incidental to the process or handicraft, or connected with the article made. Persons found in any part of the factory or workshop, where machinery is used or manufacture carried on, except at meal-times, or when machinery is stopped, are deemed to be employed until the contrary is proved. The act, however, does not apply to employment for the sole purpose of repairing the premises or machinery, nor to the process of preserving and curing fish immediately upon its arrival in the fishing boats in order to prevent the fish from being destroyed or spoiled, nor to the process of cleaning and preparing fruit so far as is necessary to prevent it from spoiling during the months of June, July, August and September. Certain light handicrafts carried on by a family only in a private house or room at irregular intervals are also outside the scope of the act.
The foremost provisions are those relating to the sanitary condition of the workplaces and the general security of every class of worker. Every factory must be kept in a cleanly condition, free from noxious effluvia, ventilated in such a manner as to render harmless, so far as practicable, gases, Sanitation. vapours, dust or other impurities generated in the manufacture; must be provided with sufficient and suitable sanitary conveniences separate for the sexes; must not be overcrowded (not less than 250 cubic ft. during the day, 400 during overtime, for each worker). In these matters the law of public health takes in workshops the place of the Factory Act, the requirements being substantially the same. Although, however, primarily the officers of the district council enforce the sanitary provisions in workshops, the government factory inspectors may give notice of any defect in them to the district council in whose district they are situate; and if proceedings are not taken within one month by the latter, the factory inspector may act in default and recover expenses from the district council. This power does not extend to domestic workshops which are under the law relating to public health so far as general sanitation is concerned. General powers are reserved to the secretary of state, where he is satisfied that the Factory Act or law relating to public health as regards workplaces has not been carried out by any district council, to authorize a factory inspector during a period named in his order to act instead of the district council. Other general sanitary provisions administered by the government inspectors are the requirement in factories and workshops of washing conveniences where poisonous substances are used; adequate measures for securing and maintaining a reasonable temperature of such a kind as will not interfere with the purity of the air in each room in which any person is employed; maintenance of sufficient means of ventilation in every room in a factory or workshop (in conformity with such standard as may be prescribed by order of the secretary of state); provision of a fan to carry off injurious dust, gas or other impurity, and prevent their inhalation in any factory or workshop; drainage of floors where wet processes are carried on. For laundries and bakehouses there are further sanitary regulations; e.g. in laundries all stoves for heating irons shall be sufficiently separated from any ironing-room or ironing-table, and the floors shall be “drained in such a manner as will allow the water to flow off freely”; and in bakehouses a cistern supplying water to a bakehouse must be quite separate from that supplying water to a water-closet, and the latter may not communicate directly with the bakehouse. Use of underground bakehouses (i.e. a baking room with floor more than 3 ft. below the ground adjoining) is prohibited, except where already used at the passing of the act; further, in these cases, after 1st January 1904, a certificate as to suitability in light, ventilation, &c., must be obtained from the district council. In other trades certified by the secretary of state further sanitary regulations may be made to increase security for health by special rules to be presently touched on. The secretary of state may also make sanitary requirements a condition of granting such exceptions to the general law as he is empowered to grant. In factories, as distinct from workshops, a periodical lime washing (or washing with hot water and soap where paint and varnish have been used) of all inside walls and ceilings once at least in every fourteen months is generally required (in bakehouses once in six months). As regards sufficiency and suitability of sanitary accommodation, the standards determined by order of the secretary of state shall be observed in the districts to which it is made applicable. An order was made called the Sanitary Accommodation Order, on the 4th of February 1903, the definitions and standards in which have also been widely adopted by local sanitary authorities in districts where the Order itself has no legal force, the local authority having parallel power under the Public Health Act of 1890.
Security in the use of machinery is provided for by precautions as regards the cleaning of machinery in motion and working between the fixed and traversing parts of self-acting machines driven by power, by fencing of machinery, and by empowering inspectors to obtain an order from a court of Security and accidents. summary jurisdiction to prohibit the use, temporarily or absolutely, of machinery, ways, works or plant, including use of a steam boiler, which cannot be used without danger to life and limb. Every hoist and fly-wheel directly connected with mechanical power, and every part of a water-wheel or engine worked by mechanical power, and every wheel race, must be fenced, whatever its position, and every part of mill-gearing or dangerous machinery must either be fenced or be in such position that it is as safe as if fenced. No protected persons may clean any part of mill-gearing in motion, and children may further not clean any part of or below manufacturing machinery in motion by aid of mechanical power; young persons further may not clean any machinery if the inspector notifies it to the occupier as dangerous. Security as regards the use of dangerous premises is provided for by empowering courts of summary jurisdiction, on the application of an inspector, to prohibit their use until the danger has been removed. The district council, or, in London, the county council, or in case of their default the factory inspector, can require certain provisions for escape in case of fire in factories and workshops in which more than forty persons are employed; special powers to make by-laws for means of escape from fire in any factory or workshop are, in addition to any powers for prevention of fire that they possess, given to every district council, in London to the county council. The means of escape must be kept free from obstruction. Provisions are made for doors to open outwards in each room in which more than ten persons are employed, and to prevent the locking, bolting or fastening of doors so that they cannot easily be opened from inside when any person is employed or at meals inside the workplace. Further, provisions for security may be provided in special regulations. Every boiler for generating steam in a factory or workshop or place where the act applies must have a proper safety valve, a steam gauge, and a water gauge, and every such boiler, valve and gauge must be maintained in proper condition. Examination by a competent person must take place at least once in every fourteen months. The occupier of any factory or workshop may be liable for penal compensation not exceeding £100 in case of injury or death due to neglect of any provision or special rule, the whole or any part of which may be applied for the benefit of the injured person or his family, as the secretary of state determines. When a death has occurred by accident in a factory or workshop, the coroner must advise the factory inspector for the district of the place and time of the inquest. The secretary of state may order a formal investigation of the circumstances of any accident as in the case of mines. Careful and detailed provisions are made for the reporting by occupiers to inspectors, and entry in the registers at factories and workshops of accidents which occur in a factory or workshop and (a) cause loss of life to a person employed there, or (b) are due to machinery moved by mechanical power, molten metal, hot liquid, explosion, escape of gas or steam, electricity, so disabling any person employed in the factory or workshop as to cause him to be absent throughout at least one whole day from his ordinary work, (c) are due to any other special cause which the secretary of state may determine, (d) not falling under the previous heads and yet cause disablement for more than seven days’ ordinary work to any person working in the factory or workshop. In the case of (a) or (b) notice has also to be sent to the certifying surgeon by the occupier. Cases of lead, phosphorus, arsenical and mercurial poisoning, or anthrax, contracted in any factory or workshop must similarly be reported and registered by the occupier, and the duty of reporting these cases is also laid on medical practitioners under whose observation they come. The list of classes of poisoning can be extended by the secretary of state’s order.
Certificates of physical fitness for employment must be obtained by the occupier from the certifying surgeon for the district for all persons under sixteen years of age employed in a factory, and in any class of workshops to which the requirement has been extended by order of the secretary of state, and Physical fitness of workers. an inspector may suspend any such persons for re-examination in a factory, or for examination in a workshop, when “disease or bodily infirmity” unfits the person, in his opinion, for the work of the place. The certifying surgeon may examine the process as well as the person submitted, and may qualify the certificate he grants by conditions as to the work on which the person is fit to be employed. An occupier of a factory or workshop or laundry shall not knowingly allow a woman to be employed therein within four weeks after childbirth.
The employment of children, young persons and women is regulated as regards ordinary and exceptional hours of work, ordinary and exceptional meal-times, length of spells and holidays. The outside limits of ordinary periods of employment and holidays are, broadly, the same for textile factories as for Hours of protected persons. non-textile factories and workshops; the main difference lies in the requirement of not less than a total two hours’ interval for meals out of the twelve, and a limit of four and a half hours for any spell of work, a longer weekly half holiday, and a prohibition of overtime, in textile factories, as compared with a total one and a half hours’ interval for meals and a limit of five hours for spells and (conditional) permission of overtime in non-textile factories. The hours of work must be specified, and from Monday to Friday may be between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., or 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; in non-textile factories and workshops the hours also may be taken between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. or by order of the secretary of state for special industries 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Between these outside limits, with the proviso that meal-times must be fixed and limits as to spells observed, women and young persons may be employed the full time, children on the contrary only half time, on alternate days, or in alternate sets attending school half time regularly. On Saturdays, in textile factories in which the period commences at 6 a.m. all manufacturing work must cease at 12 if not less than one hour is given for meals, or 11.30 if less than one hour is given for meals (half an hour extra allowed for cleaning), and in non-textile factories and workshops at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., according as the hour of beginning is 6 a.m., 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. In “domestic workshops” the total number of hours for young persons and children must not exceed those allowed in ordinary workshops, but the outside limits for beginning and ending are wider; and the case is similar as regards hours of women in “women’s workshops.” Employment outside a factory or workshop in the business of the same is limited in a manner similar to that laid down in the Shop Hours Act, to be touched on presently. Overtime in certain classes of factories, workshops and warehouses attached to them is permitted, under conditions specified in the acts, for women, to meet seasonal or unforeseen pressure of business, or where goods of a perishable nature are dealt with, for young persons only in a very limited degree in factories liable to stoppage for drought or flood, or for an unfinished process. These and other cases of exceptional working are under minute and careful administrative regulations. Broadly these same regulations as to exceptional overtime may apply in laundries but the act of 1907 granted to laundries not merely ancillary to the manufacture carried on in a factory or workshop (e.g. shirt and collar factories), additional power to fix different periods of employment for different days of the week, and to make use of one or other of two exceptional methods of arranging the daily periods so as to permit of periods of different length on different days; these exceptional periods cannot be worked in addition to overtime permissible under the general law. Laundries carried on in connexion with charitable or reformatory institutions were brought in 1907 within the scope of the law, but special schemes for regulation as to hours, meals, holidays, &c., may be submitted by the managers to the secretary of state, who is empowered to approve them if he is satisfied that they are not less favourable than the corresponding provisions of the principal act; such schemes shall be laid as soon as possible before both Houses of Parliament.
Night work is allowed in certain specified industries, under conditions, for male young persons, but for no other workers under eighteen, and overtime for women may never be later than 10 p.m. or before 6 a.m. Sunday work is prohibited except, Dangerous and unhealthy industries. under conditions, for Jews; and in factories, workshops and laundries six holidays (generally the Bank holidays) must be allowed in the year. In creameries in which women and young persons are employed the secretary of state may by special order vary the beginning and end of the daily period of employment, and allow employment for not more than three hours on Sundays and holidays.
The general provisions of the act may be supplemented where specially dangerous or unhealthy trades are carried on, by special regulations. This was provided for in the law in force until 31st December 1901, as in the existing principal act, and the power to establish rules had been exercised between 1892 and 1901 in twenty-two trades or processes where injury arose either from handling of dangerous substances, such as lead and lead compounds, phosphorus, arsenic or various chemicals, or where there is inhalation of irritant dust or noxious fumes, or where there is danger of explosion or infection of anthrax. Before the rule could be drawn up under the acts of 1891 to 1895, the secretary of state had to certify that in the particular case or class of cases in question (e.g. process or machinery), there was, in his opinion, danger to life or limb or risk of injury to health; thereupon the chief inspector might propose to the occupier of the factory or workshop such special rules or measures as he thought necessary to meet the circumstances. The occupier might object or propose modifications, but if he did not the rules became binding in twenty-one days; if he objected, and the secretary of state did not assent to any proposed modification, the matters in difference had to be referred to arbitration, the award in which finally settled the rules or requirement to be observed. In November 1901, in the case of the earthenware and china industry, the last arbitration of the kind was opened and was finally concluded in 1903. The parties to the arbitration were the chief inspector, on behalf of the secretary of state, and the occupier or occupiers, but the workmen interested might be and were represented on the arbitration. In the establishing of the twenty-two sets of existing special rules only thrice has arbitration been resorted to, and only on two of these occasions were workmen represented. The provisions as to the arbitration were laid down in the first schedule to the Act of 1891, and were similar to those under the Coal Mines Regulation Acts. Many of these codes have still the force of law and will continue until in due course revised under the amended procedure of the act of 1901. They might not only regulate conditions of employment, but also restrict or prohibit employment of any class of workers; where such restriction or prohibition affected adult workers the rules had to be laid for forty days before both Houses of Parliament before coming into operation. The obligation to observe the rules in detail lies on workers as well as on occupiers, and the section in the act of 1891 providing a penalty for non-observance was drafted, as in the case of the mines, so as to provide for a simultaneous fine for each (not exceeding two pounds for the worker, not exceeding ten pounds for the employer).
The provisions as to special regulations of the act of 1901 touch primarily the method of procedure for making the regulations, but they also covered for the first time domestic workshops and added a power as to the kind of regulations that may be made; further, they strengthened the sanction for observance of any rules that may be established, by placing the occupier in the same general position as regards penalty for non-observance as in other matters under the act. On the certificate of the secretary of state that any manufacture, machinery, plant, process or manual labour used in factories or workshops is dangerous or injurious to life, health or limb, such regulations as appear to the secretary of state to meet the necessity of the case may be made by him after he has duly published notice: (1) of his intention; (2) of the place where copies of the draft regulations can be obtained; and (3) of the time during which objections to them can be made by persons affected. The secretary of state may modify the regulations to meet the objections made. If not, unless the objection is withdrawn or appears to him frivolous, he shall, before making the regulations, appoint a competent person to hold a public inquiry with regard to the draft regulations and to report to him thereon. The inquiry is to be made under such rules as the secretary of state may lay down, and when the regulations are made, they must be laid as soon as possible before parliament. Either House may annul these regulations or any of them, without prejudice to the power of the secretary of state to make new regulations. The regulations may apply to all factories or workshops in which the certified manufacture, process, &c., is used, or to a specified class. They may, among other things, (a) prohibit or limit employment of any person or class of persons; (b) prohibit, limit, or control use of any material or process; (c) modify or extend special regulations contained in the Act. Regulations have been established among others in the following trades and processes: felt hat-making where any inflammable solvent is used; file-cutting by hand; manufacture of electric accumulators; docks, processes of loading, unloading, &c.; tar distilling; factories in which self-acting mules are used; use of locomotives; spinning and weaving of flax, hemp and jute; manufacture of paints and colours; heading of yarn dyed by means of lead compounds.
Although the Factory and Workshop Acts have not directly
regulated wages, they have made certain provision for securing to
the worker that the amount agreed upon shall be received:
(a) by extending every act in force relating to the inspection
of weights, measures and weighing machines for use
Measures and particulars
to piece-workers. in the sale of goods to those used in a factory or workshop for checking or ascertaining the wages of persons employed; (b) by ensuring that piece-workers in the textile trades (and other trades specified by the secretary of state) shall receive, before commencing any piece of work, clear particulars of the wages applicable to the work to be done and of the work to which that rate is to be applied. Unless the particulars of work are ascertainable by an automatic indicator, they must be given to textile workers in writing, and in the case of weavers in the cotton, worsted and woollen trades the particulars of wages must be supplied separately to each worker, and also shown on a placard in a conspicuous position. In other textile processes, it is sufficient to furnish the particulars separately to each worker. The secretary of state has used his powers to extend this protection to non-textile workers, with suitable modifications, in various hardware industries, including pen-making, locks, chains, in wholesale tailoring and making of wearing apparel, in fustian cutting, umbrella-making, brush-making and a number of other piece-work trades. He further has in most of these and other trades used his power to extend this protection to outworkers.
With a view to efficient administration of the act (a) certain notices have to be conspicuously exhibited at the factory or workshop, (b) registers and lists kept, and (c) notices sent to the inspector by the occupier. Among the first the most important are the prescribed abstract of the act, Administration. the names and addresses of the inspector and certifying surgeon, the period of employment, and specified meal-times (which may not be changed without fresh notice to the inspector), the air space and number of persons who may legally be employed in each room, and prescribed particulars of exceptional employment; among the second are the general registers of children and young persons employed, of accidents, of limewashing, of overtime, and lists of outworkers; among the third are the notice of beginning to occupy a factory or workshop, which the occupier must send within one month, report of overtime employment, notice of accident, poisoning or anthrax, and returns of persons employed, with such other particulars as may be prescribed. These must be sent to the chief inspector at intervals of not less than one and not more than three years, as may be directed by the secretary of state.
The secretary of state for the Home Department controls the administration of the acts, appoints the inspectors referred to in the acts, assigns to them their duties, and regulates the manner and cases in which they are to exercise the powers of inspectors. The act, however, expressly assigns certain duties and powers to a chief inspector and certain to district inspectors. Many provisions of the acts depend as to their operation on the making of orders by the secretary of state. These orders may impose special obligations on occupiers and increase the stringency of regulations, may apply exceptions as to employment, and may modify or relax regulations to meet special classes of circumstances. In certain cases, already indicated, his orders guide or determine the action of district councils, and, generally, in case of default by a council he may empower his inspectors to act as regards workplaces, instead of the council, both under the Factory Acts and Public Health Acts.
The powers of an inspector are to enter, inspect and examine, by day or by night, at any reasonable time, any factory or workshop (or laundry, dock, &c.), or part of one, when he has reason to believe that any person is employed there; to take with him a constable if he has reasonable cause to expect obstruction; to require production of registers, certificates, &c., under the acts; to examine, alone or in the presence of any other person, as he sees fit, every person in the factory or workshop, or in a school where the children employed are being educated; to prosecute, conduct or defend before a court of summary jurisdiction any proceeding under the acts; and to exercise such other powers as are necessary for carrying the act into effect. The inspector has also the duty of enforcing the Truck Acts in places, and in respect of persons, under the Factory Acts. Certifying surgeons are appointed by the chief inspector subject to the regulations of the secretary of state, and their chief duties are (a) to examine workers under sixteen, and persons under special rules, as to physical fitness for the daily work during legal periods, with power to grant qualified certificates as to the work for which the young worker is fit, and (b) to investigate and report on accidents and cases of lead, phosphorus or other poisoning and anthrax.
In 1907 there were registered as under inspection 110,276 factories, including laundries with power, 146,917 workshops (other than men’s workshops), including laundries without power; of works under special rules or regulations (included in the figures just given) there were 10,586 and 19,687 non-textile works under orders for supply of particulars to piece-workers. Of notices of accidents received there were 124,325, of which 1179 were fatal; of reported cases of poisoning there were 653, of which 40 were fatal. Prosecutions were taken by inspectors in 4474 cases and convictions obtained in 4211 cases. Of persons employed there were, according to returns of occupiers, 1904, 4,165,791 in factories and 688,756 in workshops.
Coal Mines.—The mode of progress to be recorded in the regulation of coal mines since 1872 can be contrasted in one aspect with the progress just recorded of factory legislation since 1878. Consolidation was again earlier adopted when large amendments were found necessary, with the result that by far the greater part of the law is to be found in the act of 1887, which repealed and re-enacted, with amendments, the Coal Mines Acts of 1872 and 1886, and the Stratified Ironstone Mines (Gunpowder) Act, 1881. The act of 1881 was simply concerned with rules relating to the use of explosives underground. The act of 1886 dealt with three questions: (a) The election and payment of checkweighers (i.e. the persons appointed and paid by miners in pursuance of section 13 of the act of 1887 for the purpose of taking a correct account on their behalf of the weight of the mineral gotten by them, and for the correct determination of certain deductions for which they may be liable); (b) provision for new powers of the secretary of state to direct a formal investigation of any explosion or accident, and its causes and circumstances, a provision which was later adopted in the law relating to factories; (c) provision enabling any relatives of persons whose death may have been caused by explosions or accidents in or about mines to attend in person, or by agent, coroners’ inquests thereon, and to examine witnesses. The act of 1887, which amended, strengthened and consolidated these acts and the earlier Consolidating Act of 1872, may also be contrasted in another aspect with the general acts of factory legislation. In scope it formed, as its principal forerunner had done, a general code; and in some measure it went farther in the way of consolidation than the Factory Acts had done, inasmuch as certain questions, which in factories are dealt with by statutes distinct from the Factory Acts, have been included in the Mines Regulation Acts, e.g. the prohibition of the payment of wages in public-houses, and the machinery relating to weights and measures whereby miners control their payment; further, partly from the less changing nature of the industry, but probably mainly from the power of expression gained for miners by their organization, the code, so far as it went, at each stage answered apparently on the whole more nearly to the views and needs of the persons protected than the parallel law relating to factories. This was strikingly seen in the evidence before the Royal Commission on Labour in 1892–1894, where the repeated expression of satisfaction on the part of the miners with the provisions as distinct from the administration of the code (“with a few trifling exceptions”) is in marked contrast with the long and varied series of claims and contentions put forward for amendment of the Factory Acts.
Since the act of 1887 there have followed five minor acts, based on the recommendation of the officials acting under the acts, while two of them give effect to claims made by the miners before the Royal Commission on Labour. Thus, in 1894, the Coal Mines (Checkweigher) Act rendered it illegal for an employer (“owner, agent, or manager of any mine, or any person employed by or acting under the instructions of any such owner, agent, or manager”) to make the removal of a particular checkweigher a condition of employment, or to exercise improper influence in the appointment of a checkweigher. The need for this provision was demonstrated by a decision of the Court of Session in Edinburgh, which upheld an employer in his claim to the right of dismissing all the workmen and re-engaging them on condition that they would dismiss a particular checkweigher. In 1896 a short act extended the powers to propose, amend and modify special rules, provided for representation of workmen on arbitration under the principal act on any matter in difference, modified the provision for plans of mines in working and abandoned mines, amended three of the general rules (inspection before commencing work, use of safety lamp and non-inflammable substances for stemming), and empowered the secretary of state by order to prohibit or regulate the use of any explosive likely to become dangerous. In 1900 another brief act raised the age of employment of boys underground from twelve to thirteen. In 1903 another amending act allowed as an alternative qualification for a manager’s certificate a diploma in scientific and mining training after at least two years’ study at a university mining school or other educational institution approved by the secretary of state, coupled with practical experience of at least three years in a mine. In the same year the Employment of Children Act affected children in mines to the extent already indicated in connexion with factories. In 1905 a Coal Mines (Weighing of Minerals) Act improved some provisions relating to appointment and pay of checkweighers and facilities for them and their duly appointed deputies in carrying out their duties. In 1906 the Notice of Accidents Act provided for improved annual returns of accidents and for immediate reporting to the district inspector of accidents under newly-defined conditions as they arise in coal and metalliferous mines.
While the classes of mines regulated by the act of 1887 are the
same as those regulated by the act of 1872 (i.e. mines of coal, of
stratified ironstone, of shale and of fire-clay, including
works above ground where the minerals are prepared for
use by screening, washing, &c.) the interpretation of the
1887. term “mine” is wider and simpler, including “every shaft in the course of being sunk, and every level and inclined plane in the course of being driven, and all the shafts, levels, planes, works, tramways and sidings, both below ground and above ground, in and adjacent to and belonging to the mine.” Of the persons responsible under penalty for the observance of the acts the term “owner” is defined precisely as in the act of 1872, but the term “agent” is modified to mean “any person appointed as the representative of the owner in respect of any mine or any part thereof, and, as such, superior to a manager appointed in pursuance of this act.” Of the persons protected, the term “young person” disappeared from the act, and “boy,” i.e. “a male under the age of sixteen years,” and “girl,” i.e. “a female under the age of sixteen years,” take their place, and the term “woman” means, as before, “a female of the age of sixteen years and upwards.” The prohibition of employment underground of women and girls remains untouched, and the prohibition of employment underground of boys has been successively extended from boys of the age of ten in 1872 to boys of twelve in 1887 and to boys of thirteen in 1900. The age of employment of boys and girls above ground in connexion with any mine is raised from ten years in 1872 to twelve years since 1887. The hours of employment of a boy below ground may not exceed fifty-four in any one week, nor ten in any one day from the time of leaving the surface to the time of returning to the surface. Above ground any boy or girl under thirteen (and over twelve) may not be employed on more than six days in any one week; if employed on more than three days in one week, the daily total must not exceed six hours, or in any other case ten hours. Protected persons above thirteen are limited to the same daily and weekly total of hours as boys below ground, but there are further provisions with regard to intervals for meals and prohibiting employment for more than five hours without an interval of at least half an hour for a meal. Registers must be kept of all protected persons, whether employed above or below ground. Section 38 of the Public Health Act 1875, which requires separate and sufficient sanitary conveniences for persons of each sex, was first extended by the act of 1887 to the portions of mines above ground in which girls and women are employed; underground this matter is in metalliferous mines in Cornwall now provided for by special rules. Ventilation, the only other requirement in the acts that can be classed as sanitary, is provided for in every mine in the “general rules” which are aimed at securing safety of mines, and which, so far as ventilation is concerned, seek to dilute and render harmless noxious or inflammable gases. The provision which prohibits employment of any persons in mines not provided with at least two shafts is made much more stringent by the act of 1887 than in the previous code, by increasing the distance between the two shafts from 10 to 15 yds., and increasing the height of communications between them. Other provisions amended or strengthened are those relating to the following points: (a) Daily personal supervision of the mine by the certificated manager; (b) classes of certificates and constitution of board for granting certificates of competency; (c) plan of workings of any mine to be kept up to a date not more than three months previously at the office of the mine; (d) notice to be given to the inspector of the district by the owner, agent or manager, of accidents in or about any mine which cause loss of life or serious personal injury, or are caused by explosion of coal or coal dust or any explosive or electricity or any other special cause that the secretary of state specifies by order, and which causes any personal injury to any person employed in or about the mine; it is provided that the place where an explosion or accident occurs causing loss of life or serious personal injury shall be left for inspection for at least three days, unless this would tend to increase or continue a danger or impede working of the mine: this was new in the act of 1887; (e) notice to be given of opening and abandonment of any mine: this was extended to the opening or abandonment of any seam; (f) plan of an abandoned mine or seam to be sent within three months; (g) formal investigation of any explosion or accident by direction of the secretary of state: this provision, first introduced by the act of 1886, was modified in 1887 to admit the appointment by the secretary of state of “any competent person” to hold the investigation, whereas under the earlier section only an inspector could be appointed.
The “general rules” for safety in mines have been strengthened in many ways since the act of 1872. Particular mention may be made of rule 4 of the act of 1887, relating to the inspection of conditions as to gas ventilation beyond appointed stations at the entrance to the mine or different parts of the mine; General rules. this rule generally removed the earlier distinction between mines in which inflammable gas has been found within the preceding twelve months, and mines in which it has not been so found; of rules 8, 9, 10 and 11, relating to the construction, use, &c., of safety lamps, which are more detailed and stringent than rule 7 of the act of 1872, which they replaced; of rule 12, relating to the use of explosives below ground; of rule 24, which requires the appointment of a competent male person not less than twenty-two years of age for working the machinery for lowering and raising persons at the mine; of rule 34, which first required provision of ambulances or stretchers with splints and bandages at the mine ready for immediate use; of rule 38, which strengthened the provision for periodical inspection of the mine by practical miners on behalf of the workmen at their own cost. With reference to the last-cited rule, during 1898 a Prussian mining commission visited Great Britain, France and Belgium, to study and compare the various methods of inspection by working miners established in these three countries. They found that, so far as the method had been applied, it was most satisfactory in Great Britain, where the whole cost is borne by the workers’ own organizations, and they attributed part of the decrease in number of accidents per thousand employed since 1872 to the inauguration of this system.
The provisions as to the proposal, amendment and modification
of “special rules,” last extended by the act of 1896, may be contrasted
with those of the Factory Act. In the latter
it is not until an industry or process has been scheduled
as dangerous or injurious by the secretary of state’s
rules. order that occasion arises for the formation of special rules, and then the initiative rests with the Factory Department whereas in mines it is incumbent in every case on the owner, agent or manager to propose within three months of the commencement of any working, for the approval of the secretary of state, special rules best calculated to prevent dangerous accidents, and to provide for the safety, convenience and proper discipline of the persons employed in or about the mine. These rules may, if they relate to lights and lamps used in the mine, description of explosives, watering and damping of the mine, or prevention of accidents from inflammable gas or coal dust, supersede any general rule in the principal act. Apart from the initiation of the rules, the methods of establishing them, whether by agreement or by resort to arbitration of the parties (i.e. the mine owners and the secretary of state), are practically the same as under the Factory Act, but there is special provision in the Mines Acts for enabling the persons working in the mine to transmit objections to the proposed rules, in addition to their subsequent right to be represented on the arbitration, if any.
Of the sections touching on wages questions, the prohibition of the payment of wages in public-houses remains unaltered, being re-enacted in 1887; the sections relating to payment by weight for amount of mineral gotten by persons employed, and for checkweighing the amount by a “checkweigher” stationed by the majority of workers at each place appointed for the weighing of the material, were revised, particularly as to the determination of deductions by the act of 1887, with a view to meeting some problems raised by decisions on cases under the act of 1872. The attempt seems not to have been wholly successful, the highest legal authorities having expressed conflicting opinions on the precise meaning of the terms “mineral contracted to be gotten.” The whole history of the development of this means of securing the fulfilment of wage contract to the workers may be compared with the history of the sections affording protection to piece-workers by particulars of work and wages in the textile trades since the Factory Act of 1891.
As regards legal proceedings, the chief amendments of the act of 1872 are: the extension of the provision that the “owner, agent, or manager” charged in respect of any contravention by another person might be sworn and examined as an ordinary witness, to any person charged with any offence Administration. under the act. The result of the proceedings against workmen by the owner, agent or manager in respect of an offence under the act is to be reported within twenty-one days to the inspector of the district. The powers of inspectors were extended to cover an inquiry as to the care and treatment of horses and other animals in the mine, and as to the control, management or direction of the mine by the manager.
An important act was passed in 1908 (Coal Mines Regulation Act 1908) limiting the hours of work for workmen below ground. It enacted that, subject to various provisions, a workman was not to be below ground in a mine for the purpose of his work, and of going to and from his work, for more than eight hours in any consecutive twenty-four hours. Exception was made in the case of those below ground for the purpose of rendering assistance in the event of an accident, or for meeting any danger, or for dealing with any emergency or work incompleted, through unforeseen circumstances, which requires to be dealt with to avoid serious interference in the work of the mine. The authorities of every mine must fix the times for the lowering and raising of the men to begin and be completed, and such times must be conspicuously posted at the pit head. These times must be approved by an inspector. The term “workman” in the act means any person employed in a mine below ground who is not an official of the mine (other than a fireman, examiner or deputy), or a mechanic or a horse keeper or a person engaged solely in surveying or measuring. In the case of a fireman, examiner, deputy, onsetter, pump minder, fanman or furnace man, the maximum period for which he may be below ground is nine hours and a half. A register must be kept by the authorities of the mine of the times of descent and ascent, while the workmen may, at their own cost, station persons (whether holding the office of checkweigher or not) at the pit head to observe the times. The authorities of the mine may extend the hours of working by one hour a day on not more than sixty days in one calendar year (s. 3). The act may be suspended by order in council in the event of war or of imminent national danger or great emergency, or in the event of any grave economic disturbance due to the demand for coal exceeding the supply available at any time. The act came into force on the 1st of July 1909 except for the counties of Northumberland and Durham where its operation was postponed until the 1st of January 1910.
In 1905 the number of coal-mines reported on was 3126, and the number of persons employed below ground was 691,112 of whom 43,443 were under 16 years of age. Above ground 167,261 were employed, of whom 6154 were women and girls. The number of separate fatal accidents was 1006, causing the loss of 1205 lives. Of prosecutions by far the greater number were against workmen, numbering in coal and metalliferous mines 953; owners and managers were prosecuted in 72 cases, and convictions obtained in 43 cases.
Quarries.—From 1878 until 1894 open quarries (as distinct from underground quarries regulated by the Metalliferous Mines Regulation Act) were regulated only by the Factory Acts so far as they then applied. It was laid down in section 93 of the act of 1878 (41 Vict. c. 16), that “any premises or place shall not be excluded from the definition of a factory or workshop by reason only that such premises, &c., are or is in the open air,” thereby overruling the decision in Kent v. Astley that quarries in which the work, as a whole, was carried on in the open air were not factories; in a schedule to the same act quarries were defined as “any place not being a mine in which persons work in getting slate, stone, coprolites or other minerals.” The Factory Act of 1891 made it possible to bring these places in part under “special rules” adapted to meet the special risks and dangers of the operations carried on in them, and by order of the secretary of state they were certified, December 1892, as dangerous, and thereby subject to special rules. Until then, as reported by one of the inspectors of factories, quarries had been placed under the Factory Acts without insertion of appropriate rules for their safe working, and many of them were “developed in a most dangerous manner without any regard for safety, but merely for economy,” and managers of many had “scarcely seen a quarry until they became managers.” In his report for 1892 it was recommended by the chief inspector of factories that quarries should be subject to the jurisdiction of the government inspectors of mines. At the same time currency was given, by the published reports of the evidence before the Royal Commission on Labour, to the wish of large numbers of quarrymen that open as well as underground quarries should come under more specialized government inspection. In 1893 a committee of experts, including inspectors of mines and of factories, was appointed by the Home Office to investigate the conditions of labour in open quarries, and in 1894 the Quarries Act brought every quarry, as defined in the Factory Act 1878, any part of which is more than 20 ft. deep, under certain of the provisions of the Metalliferous Mines Acts, and under the inspection of the inspectors appointed under those acts; further, it transferred the duty of enforcing the Factory and Workshop Acts, so far as they apply in quarries over 20 ft. deep, from the Factory to the Metalliferous Mines inspectors.
The provisions of the Metalliferous Mines Acts 1872 and 1875, applied to quarries, are those relating to payment of wages in public-houses, notice of accidents to the inspector, appointment and powers of inspectors, arbitration, coroners’ inquests, special rules, penalties, certain of the definitions, and the powers of the secretary of state finally to decide disputed questions whether places come within the application of the acts. For other matters, and in particular fencing of machinery and employment of women and young persons, the Factory Acts apply, with a proviso that nothing shall prevent the employment of young persons (boys) in three shifts for not more than eight hours each. In 1899 it was reported by the inspectors of mines that special rules for safety had been established in over 2000 quarries. In the reports for 1905 it was reported that the accounts of blasting accidents indicated that there was “still much laxity in observance of the Special rules, and that many irregular and dangerous practices are in vogue.” The absence or deficiency of external fencing to a quarry dangerous to the public has been since 1887 (50 & 51 Vict. c. 19) deemed a nuisance liable to be dealt with summarily in the manner provided by the Public Health Act 1875.
In 1905, 94,819 persons were employed, of whom 59,978 worked inside the actual pits or excavations, and 34,841 outside. Compared with 1900, there was a total increase of 924 in the number of persons employed. Fatal accidents resulted in 1900 in 127 deaths; compared with 1899 there was an increase of 10 in the number of deaths, and, as Professor Le Neve Foster pointed out, this exceeded the average death-rate of underground workers at mines under the Coal Mines Acts during the previous ten years, in spite of the quarrier “having nothing to fear from explosions of gas, underground fires or inundations.” He attributed the difference to a lax observance of precautions which might in time be remedied by stringent administration of the law. In 1905 there were 97 fatal accidents resulting in 99 deaths. In 1900 there were 92 prosecutions against owners or agents, with 67 convictions, and 13 prosecutions of workers, with 12 convictions, and in 1905 there were 45 prosecutions of owners or agents with 43 convictions and 9 prosecutions of workmen with 5 convictions.
In 1883 a short act extended to all “workmen” who are manual labourers other than miners, with the exception of domestic or menial servants, the prohibition of payment of wages in public-houses, beer-shops and other places for the sale of spirituous or fermented liquor, laid down in the Coal Payment of wages in public-houses. Mines Regulations and Metalliferous Mines Regulation Acts. The places covered by the prohibition include any office, garden or place belonging to or occupied with the places named, but the act does not apply to such wages as are paid by the resident, owner or occupier of the public-house, beer-shop and other places included in the prohibition to any workman bona fide employed by him. The penalty for an offence against this act is one not exceeding £10 (compare the limit of £20 for the corresponding offence under the Coal Mines Act), and all offences may be prosecuted and penalties recovered in England and Scotland under the Summary Jurisdiction Acts. The act does not apply to Ireland, and no special inspectorate is charged with the duty of enforcing its provisions.
Shop Hours.—In four brief acts, 1892 to 1899, still in force, the first very limited steps were taken towards the positive regulation of the employment of shop assistants. In the act of 1904 certain additional optional powers were given to any local authority making a “closing order” fixing the hour (not earlier than 7 p.m. or on one day in the week 1 p.m.) at which shops shall cease to serve customers throughout the area of the authority or any specified part thereof as regards all shops or as regards any specified class of shops. Before such an order can be made (1) a prima facie case for it must appear to the local authority; (2) the local authority must inquire and agree; (3) the order must be drafted and sent for confirmation or otherwise to the central authority, that is, the secretary of state for the Home Department; (4) the order must be laid before both Houses of Parliament. The Home Office has given every encouragement to the making of such orders, but their number in England is very small, and the act is practically inoperative in London and many large towns where the need is greatest. As the secretary of state pointed out in the House of Commons on the 1st of May 1907, the local authorities have not taken enough initiative, but at the same time there is a great difficulty for them in obtaining the required two-thirds majority, among occupiers of the shops to be affected, in favour of the order, and at the same time shop assistants have no power to set the law in motion. In England 364 local authorities have taken no steps, but in Scotland rather better results have been obtained. The House resolved, on the date named, that more drastic legislation is required. As regards shops, therefore, in place of such general codes as apply to factories, laundries, mines—only three kinds of protective requirement are binding on employers of shop assistants: (1) Limitation of the weekly total of hours of work of persons under eighteen years of age to seventy-four inclusive of meal-times; (2) prohibition of the employment of such persons in a shop on the same day that they have, to the knowledge of the employer, been employed in any factory or workshop for a longer period than would, in both classes of employment together, amount to the number of hours permitted to such persons in a factory or workshop; (3) provision for the supply of seats by the employer, in all rooms of a shop or other premises where goods are retailed to the public, for the use of female assistants employed in retailing the goods—the seats to be in the proportion of not fewer than one to every three female assistants. The first two requirements are contained in the act of 1892, which also prescribed that a notice, referring to the provisions of the act, and stating the number of hours in the week during which a young person may be lawfully employed in the shop, shall be kept exhibited by the employer; the third requirement was first provided by the act of 1899. The intervening acts of 1893 and 1895 are merely supplementary to the act of 1892; the former providing for the salaries and expenses of the inspectors which the council of any county or borough (and in the City of London the Common Council) were empowered by the act of 1892 to appoint; the latter providing a penalty of 40s. for failure of an employer to keep exhibited the notice of the provisions of the acts, which in the absence of a penalty it had been impossible to enforce. The penalty for employment contrary to the acts is a fine not exceeding £1 for each person so employed, and for failure to comply with the requirements as to seats, a fine not exceeding £3 for a first offence, and for any subsequent offence a fine of not less than £1 and not exceeding £5.
A wide interpretation is given by the act of 1892 to the class
of workplace to which the limitation of hours applies. “Shop”
means retail and wholesale shops, markets, stalls and
warehouses in which assistants are employed for hire,
and includes licensed public-houses and refreshment
of “shop.” houses of any kind. The person responsible for the observance of the acts is the “employer” of the “young persons” (i.e. persons under the age of eighteen years), whose hours are limited, and of the “female assistants” for whom seats must be provided. Neither the term “employer” nor “shop assistant” (used in the title of the act of 1899) is defined; but other terms have the meaning assigned to them in the Factory and Workshop Act 1878. The “employer” has, in case of any contravention alleged, the same power as the “occupier” in the Factory Acts to exempt himself from fine on proof of due diligence and of the fact that some other person is the actual offender. The provisions of the act of 1892 do not apply to members of the same family living in a house of which the shop forms part, or to members of the employer’s family, or to any one wholly employed as a domestic servant.
In London, where the County Council has appointed men and women inspectors to apply the acts of 1892 to 1899, there were, in 1900, 73,929 premises, and in 1905, 84,269, under inspection. In the latter year there were 22,035 employing persons under 18 years of age. In 1900 the number of young persons under the acts were: indoors, 10,239 boys and 4428 girls; outdoors, 35,019 boys, 206 girls. In 1905 the ratio between boys and girls had decidedly altered: indoors, 6602 boys, 4668 girls; outdoors, 22,654 boys, 308 girls. The number of irregularities reported in 1900 were 9204 and the prosecutions were 117; in 1905 the irregularities were 6966 and the prosecutions numbered 34. As regards the act of 1899, in only 1088 of the 14,844 shops affected in London was there found in 1900 to be failure to provide seats for the women employed in retailing goods. The chief officer of the Public Control Department reported that with very few exceptions the law was complied with at the end of the first year of its application.
As regards cleanliness, ventilation, drainage, water-supply and sanitary condition generally, shops have been since 1878 (by 41 Vict. c. 16, s. 101) subject to the provisions of the Public Health Act 1875, which apply to all buildings, except factories under the Factory Acts, in which any persons, whatever their number be, are employed. Thus, broadly, the same sanitary provisions apply in shops as in workshops, but in the former these are enforced solely by the officers of the local authority, without reservation of any power, as in workshops for the Home Office inspectorate, to act in default of the local authority.
Shop assistants, so far as they are engaged in manual, not merely clerical labour, come under the provisions of the Truck Acts 1831 to 1887, and in all circumstances they fall within the sections directed against unfair and unreasonable fines in the Truck Act of 1896; but, unlike employés in factories, workshops, laundries and mines, they are left to apply these provisions so far as they can themselves, since neither Home Office inspectors nor officers of the local authority have any specially assigned powers to administer the Truck Acts in shops.
Truck.—Setting aside the special Hosiery Manufacture (Wages) Act 1874, aimed at a particular abuse appearing chiefly in the hosiery industry—the practice of making excessive charges on wages for machinery and frame rents—only two acts, those of 1887 and 1896, have been added to the general law against truck since the act of 1831, which repealed all prior Truck Acts and which remains the principal act. Further amendments of the law have been widely and strenuously demanded, and are hoped for as the result of the long inquiry by a departmental committee appointed early in 1906. The Truck Act Amendment Act 1887, amended and extended the act without adding any distinctly new principle; the Truck Act of 1896 was directed towards providing remedies for matters shown by decisions under the earlier Truck Acts to be outside the scope of the principles and provisions of those acts. Under the earlier acts the main objects were: (1) to make the wages of workmen, i.e. the reward of labour, payable only in current coin of the realm, and to prohibit whole or part payment of wages in food or drink or clothes or any other articles; (2) to forbid agreements, express or implied, between employer and workmen as to the manner or place in which, or articles on which, a workman shall expend his wages, or for the deduction from wages of the price of articles (other than materials to be used in the labour of the workmen) supplied by the employer. The The Truck Act 1887. act of 1887 added a further prohibition by making it illegal for an employer to charge interest on any advance of wages, “whenever by agreement, custom, or otherwise a workman is entitled to receive in anticipation of the regular period of the payment of his wages an advance as part or on account thereof.” Further, it strengthened the section of the principal act which provided that no employer shall have any action against his workman for goods supplied at any shop belonging to the employer, or in which the employer is interested, by (a) securing any workman suing an employer for wages against any counter-claim in respect of goods supplied to the workman by any person under any order or direction of the employer, and (b) by expressly prohibiting an employer from dismissing any worker on account of any particular time, place or manner of expending his wages. Certain exemptions to the prohibition of payment otherwise than in coin were provided for in the act of 1831, if an agreement were made in writing and signed by the worker, viz. rent, victuals dressed and consumed under the employer’s roof, medicine, fuel, provender for beasts of burden used in the trade, materials and tools for use by miners, advances for friendly societies or savings banks; in the case of fuel, provender and tools there was also a proviso that the charge should not exceed the real and true value. The act of 1887 amended these provisions by requiring a correct annual audit in the case of deductions for medicine or tools, by permitting part payment of servants in husbandry in food, drink (not intoxicants) or other allowances, and by prohibiting any deductions for sharpening or repairing workmen’s tools except by agreement not forming part of the condition of hiring. Two important administrative amendments were made by the act of 1887: (1) a section similar to that in the Factory and Mines Acts was added, empowering the employer to exempt himself from penalty for contravention of the acts on proof that any other person was the actual offender and of his own due diligence in enforcing the execution of the acts; (2) the duty of enforcing the acts in factories, workshops, and mines was imposed upon the inspectors of the Factory and Mines Departments, respectively, of the Home Office, and to their task they were empowered to bring all the authorities and powers which they possessed in virtue of the acts under which they are appointed; these inspectors thus prosecute defaulting employers and recover penalties under the Summary Jurisdiction Acts, but they do not undertake civil proceedings for improper deductions or payments, proceedings for which would lie with workmen under the Employers and Persons benefited by Truck Acts. Workmen Act 1875. The persons to whom the benefits of the act applied were added to by the act of 1887, which repealed the complicated list of trades contained in the principal act and substituted the simpler definition of the Employers and Workmen Act, 1875. Thus the acts 1831 to 1887, and also the act of 1896, apply to all workers (men, women and children) engaged in manual labour, except domestic servants; they apply not only in mines, factories and workshops, but, to quote the published Home Office Memorandum on the acts, “in all places where workpeople are engaged in manual labour under a contract with an employer, whether or no the employer be an owner or agent or a parent, or be himself a workman; and therefore a workman who employs and pays others under him must also observe the Truck Acts.” The law thus in certain circumstances covers outworkers for a contractor or sub-contractor. A decision of the High Court at Dublin in 1900 (Squire v. Sweeney) strengthened the inspectors in investigation of offences committed amongst outworkers by supporting the contention that inquiry and exercise of all the powers of an inspector could legally take place in parts of an employer’s premises other than those in which the work is given out. It defined for Ireland, in a narrower sense than had hitherto been understood and acted upon by the Factory Department, the classes of outworkers protected, by deciding that only such as were under a contract personally to execute the work were covered. In 1905 the law in England was similarly declared in the decided case of Squire v. The Midland Lace Co. The judges (Lord Alverstone, C.J.; and Kennedy and Ridley, J.J.) stated that they came to the conclusion with “reluctance,” and said: “We venture to express the hope that some amendment of the law may be made so as to extend the protection of the Truck Act to a class of workpeople indistinguishable from those already within its provisions.” The workers in question were lace-clippers taking out work to do in their homes, and in the words of the High Court decision “though they do sometimes employ assistants are evidently, as a class, wage-earning manual labourers and not contractors in the ordinary and popular sense.” The principle relied on in the decision was that in the case of Ingram v. Barnes.
At the time of the passing of the act of 1887 it seems to have been generally believed that the obligation under the principal act to pay the “entire amount of wages earned” in coin rendered illegal any deductions from wages in respect of fines. Important decisions in 1888 and 1889 showed this belief Meaning of “wages.” to have been ill-founded. The essential point lies in the definition of the word “wages” as the “recompense, reward or remuneration of labour,” which implies not necessarily any gross sum in question between employer and workmen where there is a contract to perform a certain piece of work, but that part of it, the real net wage, which the workman was to get as his recompense for the labour performed. As soon as it became clear that excessive deductions from wages as well as payments by workers for materials used in the work were not illegal, and that deductions or payments by way of compensation to employers or by way of discipline might legally (with the single exception of fines for lateness for women and children, regulated by the Employers and Workmen Act 1875) even exceed the degree of loss, hindrance or damage to the employer, it also came clearly into view that further legislation was desirable to extend the principles at the root of the Truck Acts. It was desirable, that is to say, to hinder more fully the unfair dealing that may be encouraged by half-defined customs in work-places, on the part of the employer in making a contract, while at the same time leaving the principle of freedom The Truck Act 1896. of contract as far as possible untouched. The Truck Act of 1896 regulates the conditions under which deductions can be made by or payments made to the employer, out of the “sum contracted to be paid to the worker,” i.e. out of any gross sum whatever agreed upon between employer and workman. It makes such deductions or payments illegal unless they are in pursuance of a contract; and it provides that deductions (or payments) for (a) fines, (b) bad work and damaged goods, (c) materials, machines, and any other thing provided by the employer in relation to the work shall be reasonable, and that particulars of the same in writing shall be given to the workman. In none of the cases mentioned is the employer to make any profit; neither by fines, for they may only be imposed in respect of acts or omissions which cause, or are likely to cause, loss or damage; nor by sale of materials, for the price may not exceed the cost to the employer; nor by deductions or payments for damage, for these may not exceed the actual or estimated loss to the employer. Fines and charges for damage must be “fair and reasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the case,” and no contract could make legal a fine which a court held to be unfair to the workman in the sense of the act. The contract between the employer and workman must either be in writing signed by the workman, or its terms must be clearly stated in a notice constantly affixed in a place easily accessible to the workman to whom, if a party to the contract, a copy shall be given at the time of making the contract, and who shall be entitled, on request, to obtain from the employer a copy of the notice free of charge. On each occasion when a deduction or payment is made, full particulars in writing must be supplied to the workman. The employer is bound to keep a register of deductions or payments, and to enter therein particulars of any fine made under the contract, specifying the amount and nature of the act or omission in respect of which the fine was imposed. This register must be at all times open to inspectors of mines or factories, who are entitled to make a copy of the contract or any part of it. This act as a whole applies to all workmen included under the earlier Truck Acts; the sections relating to fines apply also to shop assistants. The latter, however, apparently are left to enforce the provisions of the law themselves, as no inspectorate is empowered to intervene on their behalf. In these and other cases a prosecution under the Truck Acts may be instituted by any person. Any workman or shop assistant may recover any sum deducted by or paid to his employer contrary to the act of 1896, provided that proceedings are commenced within six months, and that where he has acquiesced in the deduction or payment he shall only recover the excess over the amount which the court may find to have been fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case. It is expressly declared in the act that nothing in it shall affect the provisions of the Coal Mines Acts with reference to payment by weight, or legalize any deductions, from payments made, in pursuance of those provisions. The powers and duties of inspectors are extended to cover the case of a laundry, and of any place where work is given out by the occupier of a factory or workshop or by a contractor or sub-contractor. Power is reserved for the secretary of state to exempt by order specified trades or branches of them in specified areas from the provisions of the act of 1896, if he is satisfied that they are unnecessary for the protection of the workmen. This power has been exercised only in respect of one highly organized industry, the Lancashire cotton industry. The effect of the exemption is not to prevent fines and deductions from being made, but the desire for it demonstrated that there are cases where leaders among workers have felt competent to make their own terms on their own lines without the specific conditions laid down in this act. The reports of the inspectors of factories have demonstrated that in other industries much work has had to be done under this act, and knowledge of a highly technical character to be gradually acquired, before opinions could be formed as to the reasonableness and fairness, or the contrary, of many forms of deduction. Owing partly to difficulties of legal interpretation involving the necessity of taking test cases into court, partly to the margin for differences of opinion as to what constitutes “reasonableness” in a deduction, the average number of convictions obtained on prosecutions is not so high as under the Factory Acts, though the average penalty imposed is higher. In 1904, 61 cases were taken into court resulting in 34 convictions with an average penalty of £1, 10s. In 1905, 38 cases resulting in 34 convictions were taken with an average penalty of £1, 3s. In 1906, 37 cases resulting in 25 convictions were taken with an average penalty of £1, 10s.
Reference should here be made to the Shop Clubs Act of 1902 as closely allied with some of the provisions of the Truck Acts by its provision that employers shall not make it a condition of employment that any workman shall become a member of a shop club unless it is registered under the Friendly Societies Act of 1896. As in the case of payment of wages in Public Houses Act, no special inspectorate has the duty of enforcing this act.
In comparing legislation affecting factories, mines, shops and truck in the chief industrial countries of the continent with that of Great Britain, it is essential to a just view that inquiry should be extended beyond the codes themselves to the general social order and system of law and administration in each country. Further, special comparison of the definitions and the sanctions of each industrial code must be recognized as necessary, for these vary in all. In so brief a summary as is appended here no more is possible than an outline indication of the main general requirements and prohibitions of the laws as regards: (1) hours and times of employment, (2) ordinary sanitation and special requirements for unhealthy and dangerous industries, (3) security against accidents, and (4) prevention of fraud and oppression in fulfilment of wage contracts. As regards the first of these subdivisions, in general in Europe the ordinary legal limit is rather wider than in Great Britain, being in several countries not less than 11 hours a day, and while in some, as in France, the normal limit is 10 hours daily, yet the administrative discretion in granting exceptions is rather more elastic. The weekly half-holiday is a peculiarly British institution. On the other hand, in several European countries, notably France, Austria, Switzerland and Russia, the legal maximum day applies to adult as well as youthful labour, and not only to specially protected classes of persons. As regards specialized sanitation for unhealthy factory industries, German regulations appear to be most nearly comparable with British. Mines’ labour regulation in several countries, having an entirely different origin linked with ownership of mines, is only in few and most recent developments comparable with British Mines Regulation Acts. In regulation of shops, Germany, treating this matter as an integral part of her imperial industrial code, has advanced farther than has Great Britain. In truck legislation most European countries (with the exception of France) appear to have been influenced by the far earlier laws of Great Britain, although in some respects Belgium, with her rapid and recent industrial development, has made interesting original experiments. The rule of Sunday rest (see Sunday) has been extended in several countries, most recently in Belgium and Spain. In France this partially attempted rule has been so modified as to be practically a seventh day rest, not necessarily Sunday.
France.—Hours of labour were, in France, first limited in factories (usines et manufactures) for adults by the law of the 9th of September 1848 to 12 in the 24. Much uncertainty existed as to the class of workplaces covered. Finally, in 1885, an authoritative decision defined them as including: (1) Industrial establishments with motor power or continual furnaces, (2) workshops employing over 20 workers. In 1851, under condition of notification to the local authorities, exceptions, still in force, were made to the general limitation, in favour of certain industries or processes, among others for letterpress and lithographic printing, engineering works, work at furnaces and in heating workshops, manufacture of projectiles of war, and any work for the government in the interests of national defence or security. The limit of 12 hours was reduced, as regards works in which women or young workers are employed, in 1900 to 11, and was to be successively reduced to 101 hours and to 10 hours at intervals of two years from April 1900. This labour law for adults was preceded in 1841 by one for children, which prevented their employment in factories before 8 years of age and prohibited night labour for any child under 13. This was strengthened in 1874, particularly as regards employment of girls under 21, but it was not until 1892 that the labour of women was specially regulated by a law, still in force, with certain amendments in 1900. Under this law factory and workshop labour is prohibited for children under 13 years, though they may begin at 12 if qualified by the prescribed educational certificate and medical certificate of fitness. The limit of daily hours of employment is the same as for adult labour, and, similarly, from the 1st of April 1902 was 101, and two years later became 10 hours in the 24. Notice of the hours must be affixed, and meal-times or pauses with absolute cessation of work of at least one hour must be specified. By the act of 1892 one day in the week, not necessarily Sunday, had to be given for entire absence from work, in addition to eight recognized annual holidays, but this was modified by a law of 1906 which generally requires Sunday rest, but allows substitution of another day in certain industries and certain circumstances. Night labour—work between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.—is prohibited for workers under 18, and only exceptionally permitted, under conditions, for girls and women over 18 in specified trades. In mines and underground quarries employment of women and girls is prohibited except at surface works, and at the latter is subject to the same limits as in factories. Boys of 13 may be employed in certain work underground, but under 16 may not be employed more than 8 hours in the 24 from bank to bank. A law of 1905 provided for miners a 9 hours’ day and in 1907 an 8 hours’ day from the foot of the entrance gallery back to the same point.
As in Great Britain, distinct services of inspection enforce the law in factories and mines respectively. In factories and workshops an inspector may order re-examination as to physical fitness for the work imposed of any worker under 16; certain occupations and processes are prohibited—e.g. girls under 16 at machines worked by treadles, and the weights that may be lifted, pushed or carried by girls or boys under 18 are carefully specified. The law applies generally to philanthropic and religious institutions where industrial work is carried on, as in ordinary trading establishments; and this holds good even if the work is by way of technical instruction. Domestic workshops are not controlled unless the industry is classed as dangerous or unhealthy; introduction of motor power brings them under inspection. General sanitation in industrial establishments is provided for in a law of 1893, amended in 1903, and is supplemented by administrative regulations for special risks due to poisons, dust, explosive substances, gases, fumes, &c. Ventilation, both general and special, lighting, provision of lavatories, cloakrooms, good drinking water, drainage and cleanliness are required in all workplaces, shops, warehouses, restaurant kitchens, and where workers are lodged by their employers hygienic conditions are prescribed for dormitories. In many industries women, children and young workers are either absolutely excluded from specified unhealthy processes, or are admitted only under conditions. As regards shops and offices, the labour laws are: one which protects apprentices against overwork (law of 22nd February 1851), one (law of 29th December 1900) which requires that seats shall be provided for women and girls employed in retail sale of articles, and a decree of the 28th of July 1904 defining in detail conditions of hygiene in dormitories for workmen and shop assistants. The law relating to seats is enforced by the inspectors of factories. In France there is no special penal legislation against abuses of the truck system, or excessive fines and deductions from wages, although bills with that end in view have frequently been before parliament. Indirect protection to workers is no doubt in many cases afforded in organized industries by the action of the Conseils de Prud’hommes.
Belgium.—In 1848 in Belgium the Commission on Labour proposed legislation to limit, as in France, the hours of labour for adults, but this proposal was never passed. Belgian regulation of labour in industry remains essentially, in harmony with its earliest beginnings in 1863 and onwards, a series of specialized provisions to meet particular risks of individual trades, and did not, until 1889, give any adherence to a common principle of limitation of hours and times of labour for “protected” persons. This was in the law of the 13th of December 1889, which applies to mines, quarries, factories, workshops classed as unhealthy, wharves and docks, transports. As in France, industrial establishments having a charitable or philanthropic or educational character are included. The persons protected are girls and women under 21 years, and boys under 16; and women over 21 only find a place in the law through the prohibition of their employment within four weeks after childbirth. As the hours of labour of adult women remain ordinarily unlimited by law, so are the hours of boys from 16 to 21. The law of Sunday rest dated the 17th of July 1905, however, applies to labour generally in all industrial and commercial undertakings except transport and fisheries, with certain regulated exceptions for (a) cases of breakdown or urgency due to force majeure, (b) certain repairs and cleaning, (c) perishable materials, (d) retail food supply. Young workers are excluded from the exceptions. The absolute prohibitions of employment are: for children under 12 years in any industry, manufacturing or mining or transport, and for women and girls under 21 years below the surface in working of mines. Boys under 16 years and women and girls under 21 years may in general not be employed before 5 a.m. or after 9 p.m., and one day in the seven is to be set apart for rest from employment; to these rules exception may be made either by royal decree for classes or groups of processes, or by local authorities in exceptional cases. The exceptions may be applied, generally, only to workers over 14 years, but in mines, by royal decree, boys over 12 years may be employed from 4 a.m. The law of 1889 fixes only a maximum of 12 hours of effective work, to be interrupted by pauses for rest of not less than 11 hours, empowering the king by decree to formulate more precise limits suited to the special circumstances of individual industries. Royal decrees have accordingly laid down the conditions for many groups, including textile trades, manufacture of paper, pottery, glass, clothing, mines, quarries, engineering and printing works. In some the daily limit is 10 hours, but in more 101 or 11 hours. In a few exceptionally unhealthy trades, such as the manufacture of lucifer matches, vulcanization of india-rubber by means of carbon bi-sulphide, the age of exclusion from employment has been raised, and in the last-named process hours have been reduced to 5, broken into two spells of 21 hours each. As a rule the conditions of health and safeguarding of employments in exceptionally injurious trades have been sought by a series of decrees under the law of 1863 relating to public health in such industries. Special regulations for safety of workers have been introduced in manufactures of white-lead, oxides of lead, chromate of lead, lucifer match works, rag and shoddy works; and for dangers common to many industries, provisions against dust, poisons, accidents and other risks to health or limb have been codified in a decree of 1896. A royal decree of the 31st of March 1903 prohibits employment of persons under 16 years in fur-pulling and in carotting of rabbit skins, and another of the 13th of May 1905 regulates use of lead in house-painting. In 1898 a law was passed to enable the authorities to deal with risks in quarries under the same procedure. Safety in mines (which are not private property, but state concessions to be worked under strict state control) has been provided for since 1810. In matters of hygiene, until 1899 the powers of the public health authorities to intervene were insufficient, and a law was passed authorizing the government to make regulations for every kind of risk in any undertaking, whether classed under the law of public health or not. By a special law of 1888 children and young persons under 18 years are excluded from employment as pedlars, hawkers or in circuses, except by their parents, and then only if they have attained 14 years. Abuses of the truck system have, since 1887, been regulated with care. The chief objects of the law of 1887 were to secure payment in full to all workers, other than those in agriculture or domestic service, of wages in legal tender, to prohibit payment of wages in public-houses, and to secure prompt payment of wages. Certain deductions were permitted under careful control for specific customary objects: lodging, use of land, uniforms, food, firing. A royal order of the 10th of October 1903 required use of automatic indicators for estimating wages in certain cases in textile processes. The law of the 15th of June 1896 regulates the affixing in workplaces, where at least five workers are employed, of a notice of the working rules, the nature and rate of fines, if any, and the mode of their application. Two central services the mines inspectorate and the factory and workshop inspectorate, divide the duties above indicated. There is also a system of local administration of the regulations relating to industries classed as unhealthy, but the tendency has been to give the supreme control in these matters to the factory service, with its expert staff.
Holland.—The first law for regulation of labour in manufacture was passed in 1874, and this related only to employment of children. The basis of all existing regulations was established in the law of the 5th of May 1889, which applies to all industrial undertakings, excluding agriculture and forestry, fishing, stock-rearing. Employment of children under 12 years is prohibited, and hours are limited for young persons under 16 and for women of any age. These protected persons may be excluded by royal decree from unhealthy industries, and such industries are specified in a decree of 1897 which supersedes other earlier regulations. Hours of employment must not exceed 11 in the 24, and at least one hour for rest must be given between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., which hour must not be spent in a workroom. Work before 5 a.m. or after 7 p.m., Sunday work, and work on recognized holidays is generally prohibited, but there are exceptions. Overtime from 7 to 10 p.m., under conditions, is allowed for women and young workers, and Sunday work for women, for example, in butter and cheese making, and night work for boys over 14 in certain industries. Employment of women within four weeks of childbirth is prohibited. Notices of working hours must be affixed in workplaces. Underground work in mines is prohibited for women and young persons under 16, but in Holland mining is a very small industry. In 1895 the first legislative provision was made for protection of workers against risk of accident or special injury to health. Sufficient cubic space, lighting, ventilation, sanitary accommodation, reasonable temperature, removal of noxious gases or dust, fencing of machinery, precautions against risk from fire and other matters are provided for. The manufacture of lucifer matches by means of white phosphorus was forbidden and the export, importation and sale was regulated by a law of the 28th of May 1901. By a regulation of the 16th of March 1904 provisions for safety and health of women and young workers were strengthened in processes where lead compounds or other poisons are used, and their employment at certain dangerous machines and in cleaning machinery or near driving belts was prohibited. No penal provision against truck exists in Holland, but possibly abuses of the system are prevented by the existence of industrial councils representing both employers and workers, with powers to mediate or arbitrate in case of disputes.
Switzerland.—In Switzerland separate cantonal legislation prepared the way for the general Federal labour law of 1877 on which subsequent legislation rests. Such legislation is also cantonal as well as Federal, but in the latter there is only amplification or interpretation of the principles contained in the law of 1877, whereas cantonal legislation covers industries not included under the Federal law, e.g. single workers employed in a trade (métier) and employment in shops, offices and hotels. The Federal law is applied to factories, workshops employing young persons under 18 or more than 10 workers, and workshops in which unhealthy or dangerous processes are carried on. Mines are not included, but are regulated in some respects as regards health and safety by cantonal laws. Further, the Law of Employers’ Liability 1881–1887, which requires in all industries precautions against accidents and reports of all serious accidents to the cantonal governments, applies to mines. This led, in 1896, to the creation of a special mining department, and mines, of which there are few, have to be inspected once a year by a mining engineer. The majority of the provisions of the Federal labour law apply to adult workers of both sexes, and the general limit of the 11–hours’ day, exclusive of at least one hour for meals, applies to men as well as women. The latter have, however, a legal claim, when they have a household to manage, to leave work at the dinner-hour half an hour earlier than the men. Men and unmarried women may be employed in such subsidiary work as cleaning before or after the general legal limits. On Saturdays and eves of the eight public holidays the 11-hours’ day is reduced to 10. Sunday work and night work are forbidden, but exceptions are permitted conditionally. Night work is defined as 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. in summer, 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. in winter. Children are excluded from employment in workplaces under the law until 14 years of age, and until 16 must attend continuation schools. Zürich canton has fixed the working day for women at 10 hours generally, and 9 hours on Saturdays and eves of holidays. Bâle-Ville canton has the same limits and provides that the very limited Sunday employment permitted shall be compensated by double time off on another day. In the German-speaking cantons girls under 18 are not permitted to work overtime; in all cantons except Glarus the conditional overtime of 2 hours must be paid for at an enhanced wage.
Sanitary regulations and fencing of machinery are provided for with considerable minuteness in a Federal decree of 1897. The plans of every new factory must be submitted to the cantonal government. In the case of lucifer match factories, not only the building but methods of manufacture must be submitted. Since 1901 the manufacture, sale and import of matches containing white phosphorus have been forbidden. Women must be absent from employment during eight weeks before and after childbirth. In certain dangerous occupations, e.g. where lead or lead compounds are in use, women may not legally be employed during pregnancy. A resolution of the federal council in 1901 classed thirty-four different substances in use in industry as dangerous and laid down that in case of clearly defined illness of workers directly caused by use of any of these substances the liability provided by article 3 of the law of the 25th of June 1881, and article 1 of the law of the 26th of April 1887, should apply to the manufacture. Legislative provision against abuses of the truck system appears to be of earlier origin in Switzerland (17th century) than any other European country outside England (15th century). The Federal Labour Law 1877 generally prohibits payment of wages otherwise than in current coin, and provides that no deduction shall be made without an express contract. Some of the cantonal laws go much farther than the British act of 1896 in forbidding certain deductions; e.g. Zürich prohibits any charge for cleaning, warming or lighting workrooms or for hire of machinery. By the Federal law fines may not exceed half a day’s wage. Administration of the Labour laws is divided between inspectors appointed by the Federal Government and local authorities, under supervision of the cantonal governments. The Federal Government forms a court of appeal against decisions of the cantonal governments.
Germany.—Regulation of the conditions of labour in industry throughout the German empire is provided for in the Imperial Industrial Code and the orders of the Federal Council based thereon. By far the most important recent amendment socially is the law regulating child-labour, dated the 30th of March 1903, which relates to establishments having industrial character in the sense of the Industrial Code. This Code is based on earlier industrial codes of the separate states, but more especially on the Code of 1869 of the North German Confederation. It applies in whole or in part to all trades and industrial occupations, except transport, fisheries and agriculture. Mines are only included so far as truck, Sunday and holiday rest, prohibition of employment underground of female labour, limitation of the hours of women and young workers are concerned; otherwise the regulations for protection of life and limb of miners vary, as do the mining laws of the different states. To estimate the force of the Industrial Code in working, it is necessary to bear in mind the complicated political history of the empire, the separate administration by the federated states, and the generally considerable powers vested in administration of initiating regulations. The Industrial Code expressly retains power for the states to initiate certain additions or exceptions to the Code which in any given state may form part of the law regulating factories there. The Code (unlike the Austrian Industrial Code) lays down no general limit for a normal working day for adult male workers, but since 1891 full powers were given to the Imperial government to limit hours for any classes of workers in industries where excessive length of the working day endangers the health of the worker (R.G.O. § 120e). Previously application had been made of powers to reduce the working day in such unhealthy industries as silvering of mirrors by mercury and the manufacture of white-lead. Separate states had, under mining laws, also limited hours of miners. Sunday rest was, in 1891, secured for every class of workers, commercial, industrial and mining. Annual holidays were also secured on church festivals. These provisions, however, are subject to exceptions under conditions. An important distinction has to be shown when we turn to the regulations for hours and times of labour for protected persons (women, young persons and children). Setting aside for the moment hours of shop assistants (which are under special sections since 1900), it is to “factory workers” and not to industrial workers in general that these limits apply, although they may be, and in some instances have been, further extended—for instance, in ready-made clothing trades—by imperial decree to workshops, and by the Child Labour Law of 1903 regulation of the scope and duration of employment of children is much strengthened in workshops, commerce, transport and domestic industries. The term “factory” (Fabrik) is not defined in the Code, but it is clear from various decisions of the supreme court that it only in part coincides with the English term, and that some workplaces, where processes are carried on by aid of mechanical power, rank rather as English workshops. The distinction is rather between wholesale manufacturing industry, with subdivision of labour, and small industry, where the employer works himself. Certain classes of undertaking, viz. forges, timber-yards, dockyards, brickfields and open quarries, are specifically ranked as factories. Employment of protected persons at the surface of mines and underground quarries, and in salt works and ore-dressing works, and of boys underground comes under the factory regulations. These exclude children from employment under 13 years, and even later if an educational certificate has not been obtained; until 14 years hours of employment may not exceed 6 in the 24. In processes and occupations under the scope of the Child Labour Law children may not be employed by their parents or guardians before 10 years of age or by other employers before 12 years of age; nor between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m., nor otherwise than in full compliance with requirements of educational authorities for school attendance and with due regard to prescribed pauses. In school term time the daily limit of employment for children is three hours, in holiday time three hours. As regards factories Germany, unlike Great Britain, France and Switzerland, requires a shorter day for young persons than for women—10 hours for the former, 11 hours for the latter. Women over 16 years may be employed 11 hours. Night work is forbidden, i.e. work between 8.30 p.m. and 5.30 a.m. Overtime may be granted to meet unforeseen pressure or for work on perishable articles, under conditions, by local authorities and the higher administrative authorities. Prescribed meal-times are—an unbroken half-hour for children in their 6 hours; for young persons a mid-day pause of one hour, and half an hour respectively in the morning and afternoon spells; for women, an hour at mid-day, but women with the care of a household have the claim, on demand, to an extra half-hour, as in Switzerland. No woman may be employed within four weeks after childbirth, and unless a medical certificate can then be produced, the absence must extend to six weeks. Notice of working periods and meal-times must be affixed, and copies sent to the local authorities. Employment of protected persons in factory industries where there are special risks to health or morality may be forbidden or made dependent on special conditions. By the Child Labour Law employment of children is forbidden in brickworks, stone breaking, chimney sweeping, street cleaning and other processes and occupations. By an order of the Federal Council in 1902 female workers were excluded from main processes in forges and rolling mills. All industrial employers alike are bound to organize labour in such a manner as to secure workers against injury to health and to ensure good conduct and propriety. Sufficient light, suitable cloakrooms and sanitary accommodation, and ventilation to carry off dust, vapours and other impurities are especially required. Dining-rooms may be ordered by local authorities. Fencing and provision for safety in case of fire are required in detail. The work of the trade accident insurance associations in preventing accidents is especially recognized in provisions for special rules in dangerous or unhealthy industries. Officials of the state factory departments are bound to give opportunity to trustees of the trade associations to express an opinion on special rules. In a large number of industries the Federal Council has laid down special rules comparable with those for unhealthy occupations in Great Britain. Among the regulations most recently revised and strengthened are those for manufacture of lead colours and lead compounds, and for horse-hair and brush-making factories. The relations between the state inspectors of factories and the ordinary police authorities are regulated in each state by its constitution. Prohibitions of truck in its original sense—that is, payment of wages otherwise than in current coin—apply to any persons under a contract of service with an employer for a specified time for industrial purposes; members of a family working for a parent or husband are not included; outworkers are covered. Control of fines and deductions from wages applies only in factory industries and shops employing at least 20 workers. Shop hours are regulated by requiring shops to be closed generally between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., by requiring a fixed mid-day rest of 11 hours and at least 10 hours’ rest in the 24 for assistants. These limits can be modified by administrative authority. Notice of hours and working rules must be affixed. During the hours of compulsory closing sale of goods on the streets or from house to house is forbidden. Under the Commercial Code, as under the Civil Code, every employer is bound to adopt every possible measure for maintaining the safety, health and good conduct of his employés. By an order of the Imperial Chancellor under the Commercial Code seats must be provided for commercial assistants and apprentices.
Austria.—The Industrial Code of Austria, which in its present outline (modified by later enactments) dates from 1883, must be carefully distinguished from the Industrial Code of the kingdom of Hungary. The latter is, owing to the predominantly agricultural character of the population, of later origin, and hardly had practical force before the law of 1893 provided for inspection and prevention of accidents in factories. No separate mining code exists in Hungary, and conditions of labour are regulated by the Austrian law of 1854. The truck system is repressed on lines similar to those in Austria and Germany. As regards limitation of hours of adult labour, Hungary may be contrasted with both those empires in that no restriction of hours applies either to men’s or women’s hours, whereas in Austrian factories both are limited to an 11-hours’ day with exceptional overtime for which payment must always be made to the worker. The Austrian Code has its origin, however, like the British Factory Acts, in protection of child labour. Its present scope is determined by the Imperial “Patent” of 1859, and all industrial labour is included except mining, transport, fisheries, forestry, agriculture and domestic industries. Factories are defined as including industries in which a “manufacturing process is carried on in an enclosed place by the aid of not less than twenty workers working with machines, with subdivision of labour, and under an employer who does not himself manually assist in the work.” In smaller handicraft industries the compulsory gild system of organization still applies. In every industrial establishment, large or small, the sanitary and safety provisions, general requirement of Sunday rest, and annual holidays (with conditional exceptions), prohibition of truck and limitation of the ages of child labour apply. Night work for women, 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., is prohibited only in factory industries; for young workers it is prohibited in any industry. Pauses in work are required in all industries; one hour at least must be given at mid-day, and if the morning and afternoon spells exceed 5 hours each, another half-hour’s rest at least must be given. Children may not be employed in industrial work before 12 years, and then only 8 hours a day at work that is not injurious and if educational requirements are observed. The age of employment is raised to 14 for “factories,” and the work must be such as will not hinder physical development. Women may not be employed in regular industrial occupation within one month after childbirth. In certain scheduled unhealthy industries, where certificates of authorization from local authorities must be obtained by intending occupiers, conditions of health and safety for workers can be laid down in the certificate. The Minister of the Interior is empowered to draw up regulations prohibiting or making conditions for the employment of young workers or women in dangerous or unhealthy industries. The provisions against truck cover not only all industrial workers engaged in manual labour under a contract with an employer, but also shop-assistants; the special regulations against fines and deductions apply to factory workers and shops where at least 20 workers are employed. In mines under the law of 1884, which supplements the general mining law, employment of women and girls underground is prohibited; boys from 12 to 16 and girls from 12 to 18 may only be employed at light work above ground; 14 is the earliest age of admission for boys underground. The shifts from bank to bank must not exceed 12 hours, of which not more than 10 may be effective work. Sunday rest must begin not later than 6 a.m., and must be of 24 hours’ duration. These last two provisions do not hold in case of pressing danger for safety, health or property. Sick and accident funds and mining associations are legislated for in minutest detail. The general law provides for safety in working, but special rules drawn up by the district authorities lay down in detail the conditions of health and safety. As regards manufacturing industry, the Industrial Code lays no obligation on employers to report accidents, and until the Accident Insurance Law of 1889 came into force no statistics were available. In Austria, unlike Germany, the factory inspectorate is organized throughout under a central chief inspector.
Scandinavian Countries.—In Sweden the Factory Law was amended in January 1901; in Denmark in July 1901. Until that year, however, Norway was in some respects in advance of the other two countries by its law of 1892, which applied to industrial works, including metal works of all kinds and mining. Women were thereby prohibited from employment: (a) underground; (b) in cleaning or oiling machinery in motion; (c) during six weeks after childbirth, unless provided with a medical certificate stating that they might return at the end of four weeks without injury to health; (d) in dangerous, unhealthy or exhausting trades during pregnancy. Further, work on Sundays and public holidays is prohibited to all workers, adult and youthful, with conditional exceptions under the authority of the inspectors. Children over 12 are admitted to industrial work on obtaining certificates of birth, of physical fitness and of elementary education. The hours of children are limited to 6, with pauses, and of young persons (of 14 to 18 years) to 10, with pauses. Night work between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. is prohibited. All workers are entitled to a copy of a code of factory rules containing the terms of the contract of work drawn up by representatives of employés with the employers and sanctioned by the inspector. Health and safety in working are provided for in detail in the same law of 1892. Special rules may be made for dangerous trades, and in 1899 such rules were established for match factories, similar to some of the British rules, but notably providing for a dental examination four times yearly by a doctor. In Denmark, regulation began with unhealthy industries, and it was not until the law of 1901 came into force, on the 1st of January 1902, that children under 12 years have been excluded from factory labour. Control of child labour can be strengthened by municipal regulation, and this has been done in Copenhagen by an order of the 23rd of May 1903. In Sweden the 12 years’ limit had for some time held in the larger factories; the scope has been extended so that it corresponds with the Norwegian law. The hours of children are, in Denmark, 61 for those under 14 years; in Sweden 6 for those under 13 years. Young persons may not in either country work more than 10 hours daily, and night work, which is forbidden for persons under 18 years, is now defined as in Norway. Women may not be employed in industry within four weeks of childbirth, except on authority of a medical certificate. All factories in Sweden where young workers are employed are subject to medical inspection once a year. Fencing of machinery and hygienic conditions (ventilation, cubic space, temperature, light) are regulated in detail. In Denmark the use of white phosphorus in manufacture of lucifer matches has been prohibited since 1874, and special regulations have been drawn up by administrative orders which strengthen control of various unhealthy or dangerous industries, e.g. dry-cleaning works, printing works and type foundries, iron foundries and engineering works. A special act of the 6th of April 1906 regulates labour and sanitary conditions in bakehouses and confectionery works.
Italy and Spain.—The wide difference between the industrial development of these southern Latin countries and the two countries with which this summary begins, and the far greater importance of the agricultural interests, produced a situation, as regards labour legislation until as recently as 1903, which makes it convenient to touch on the comparatively limited scope of their regulations at the close of the series. It was stated by competent and impartial observers from each of the two countries, at the International Congress on Labour Laws held at Brussels in 1897, that the lack of adequate measures for protection of child labour and inefficient administration of such regulations as exist was then responsible for abuse of their forces that could be found in no other European countries. “Their labour in factories, workshops, and mines constitutes a veritable martyrdom” (Spain). “I believe that there is no country where a sacrifice of child life is made that is comparable with that in certain Italian factories and industries” (Italy). In both countries important progress has since been made in organizing inspection and preventing accidents. In Spain the first step in the direction of limitation of women’s hours of labour was taken by a law of 1900, which took effect in 1902, in regulations for reduction of hours of labour for adults to 11, normally, in the 24. Hours of children under 14 must not exceed 6 in any industrial work nor 8 in any commercial undertaking. Labour before the age of 10 years and night work between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. was prohibited, and powers were taken to extend the prohibition of night work to young persons under 16 years. The labour of children in Italy was until 1902 regulated in the main by a law of 1886, but a royal decree of 1899 strengthened it by classing night work for children under 12 years as “injurious,” such work being thereby generally prohibited for them, though exceptions are admitted; at the same time it was laid down that children from 12 to 15 years might not be employed for more than 6 hours at night. The law of 1886 prohibits employment of children under 9 years in industry and under 10 years in underground mining. Night work for women was in Italy first prohibited by the law of the 19th of June 1902, and at the same time also for boys under 15, but this regulation was not to take full effect for 5 years as regards persons already so employed; by the same law persons under 15 and women of any age were accorded the claim to one day’s complete rest of 24 hours in the week; the age of employment of children in factories, workshops, laboratories, quarries, mines, was raised to 12 years generally and 14 years for underground work; the labour of female workers of any age was prohibited in underground work, and power was reserved to further restrict and regulate their employment as well as that of male workers under 15. Spain and Italy, the former by the law of the 13th of March 1900, the latter by the law of the 19th of June 1902, prohibit the employment of women within a fixed period of childbirth; in Spain the limit is three weeks, in Italy one month, which may be reduced to three weeks on a medical certificate of fitness. Sunday rest is secured in industrial works, with regulated exceptions in Spain by the law of the 3rd of March 1904. It is in the direction of fencing and other safeguards against accidents and as regards sanitary provisions, both in industrial workplaces and in mines, that Italy has made most advance since her law of 1890 for prevention of accidents. Special measures for prevention of malaria are required in cultivation of rice by a ministerial circular of the 23rd of April 1903; work may not begin until an hour after sunrise and must cease an hour before sunset; children under 13 may not be employed in this industry. (A. M. An.)
Under the general head of Labour Legislation all American statute laws regulating labour, its conditions, and the relation of employer and employé must be classed. It includes what is properly known as factory legislation. Labour legislation belongs to the latter half of the 19th century, so far History. as the United States is concerned. Like England in the far past, the Americans in colonial days undertook to regulate wages and prices, and later the employment of apprentices. Legislation relating to wages and prices was long ago abandoned, but the laws affecting the employment of apprentices still exist in some form, although conditions of employment have changed so materially that apprenticeships are not entered as of old; but the laws regulating the employment of apprentices were the basis on which English legislation found a foothold when parliament wished to regulate the labour of factory operatives. The code of labour laws of the present time is almost entirely the result of the industrial revolution during the latter part of the 18th century, under which the domestic or hand-labour system was displaced through the introduction of power machinery. As this revolution took place in the United States at a somewhat later date than in England, the labour legislation necessitated by it belongs to a later date. The factory, so far as textiles are concerned, was firmly established in America during the period from 1820 to 1840, and it was natural that the English legislation found friends and advocates in the United States, although the more objectionable conditions accompanying the English factory were not to be found there.
The first attempt to secure legislation regulating factory
employment related to the hours of labour, which were very long—from
twelve to thirteen hours a day. As machinery
was introduced it was felt that the tension resulting
from speeded machines and the close attention required
to regulate hours. in the factory ought to be accompanied by a shorter work-day. This view took firm hold of the operatives, and was the chief cause of the agitation which has resulted in a great body of laws applying in very many directions. As early as 1806 the caulkers and shipbuilders of New York City agitated for a reduction of hours to ten per day, but no legislation followed. There were several other attempts to secure some regulation relative to hours, but there was no general agitation prior to 1831. As Massachusetts was the state which first recognized the necessity of regulating employment (following in a measure, and so far as conditions demanded, the English labour or factory legislation), the history of such legislation in that state is indicative of that in the United States, and as it would be impossible in this article to give a detailed history of the origin of laws in the different states, the dates of their enactment, and their provisions, it is best to follow primarily the course of the Eastern states, and especially that of Massachusetts, where the first general agitation took place and the first laws were enacted. That state in 1836 regulated by law the question of the education of young persons employed in manufacturing establishments. The regulation of hours of labour was warmly discussed in 1832, and several legislative committees and commissions reported upon it, but no specific action on the general question of hours of labour secured the indorsement of the Massachusetts legislature until 1874, although the day’s labour of children under twelve years of age was limited to ten hours in 1842. Ten hours constituted a day’s labour, on a voluntary basis, in many trades in Massachusetts and other parts of the country as early as 1853, while in the shipbuilding trades this was the work-day in 1844. In April 1840 President Van Buren issued an order “that all public establishments will hereafter be regulated, as to working hours, by the ten-hours system.” The real aggressive movement began in 1845, through numerous petitions to the Massachusetts legislature urging a reduction of the day’s labour to eleven hours, but nothing came of these petitions at that time. Again, in 1850, a similar effort was made, and also in 1851 and 1852, but the bills failed. Then there was a period of quiet until 1865, when an unpaid commission made a report relative to the hours of labour, and recommended the establishment of a bureau of statistics for the purpose of collecting data bearing upon the labour question. This was the first step in this direction in any country. The first bureau of the kind was established in Massachusetts in 1869, but meanwhile, in accordance with reports of commissions and the address of Governor Bullock in 1866, and the general sentiment which then prevailed, the legislature passed an act regulating in a measure the conditions of the employment of children in manufacturing establishments; and this is one of the first laws of the kind in the United States, although the first legislation in the United States relating to the hours of labour which the writer has been able to find, and for which he can fix a date, was enacted by the state of Pennsylvania in 1849, the law providing that ten hours should be a day’s work in cotton, woollen, paper, bagging, silk and flax factories.
The Massachusetts law of 1866 provided, firstly, that no child under ten should be employed in any manufacturing establishment, and that no child between ten and fourteen should be so employed unless he had attended some public or private school at least six months during the Employment of children. year preceding such employment, and, further, that such employment should not continue unless the child attended school at least six months in each and every year; secondly, a penalty not exceeding $50 for every owner or agent or other person knowingly employing a child in violation of the act; thirdly, that no child under the age of fourteen should be employed in any manufacturing establishment more than eight hours in any one day; fourthly, that any parent or guardian allowing or consenting to employment in violation of the act should forfeit a sum not to exceed $50 for each offence; fifthly, that the Governor instruct the state constable and his deputies to enforce the provisions of all laws for regulating the employment of children in manufacturing establishments. The same legislature also created a commission of three persons, whose duty it was to investigate the subject of hours of labour in relation to the social, educational and sanitary condition of the working classes. In 1867 a fundamental law relating to schooling and hours of labour of children employed in manufacturing and mechanical establishments was passed by the Massachusetts legislature. It differed from the act of the year previous in some respects, going deeper into the general question. It provided that no child under ten should be employed in any manufacturing or mechanical establishment of the commonwealth, and that no child between ten and fifteen should be so employed unless he had attended school, public or private, at least three months during the year next preceding his employment. There were provisions relating to residence, &c., and a further provision that no time less than 120 half-days of actual schooling should be deemed an equivalent of three months, and that no child under fifteen should be employed in any manufacturing or mechanical establishment more than sixty hours any one week. The law also provided penalties for violation. It repealed the act of 1866.
In 1869 began the establishment of that chain of offices in the United States, the principle of which has been adopted by other countries, known as bureaus of statistics of labour, their especial purpose being the collection and dissemination of information relating to all features of industrial employment. As a result of the success of the first bureau, bureaus are in existence in thirty-three states, in addition to the United States Bureau of Labour.
A special piece of legislation which belongs to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, so far as experience shows, was that in 1872, providing for cheap morning and evening trains for the accommodation of working men living in the vicinity of Boston. Great Britain had long had such trains, which were called parliamentary trains. Under the Massachusetts law some of the railways running out of Boston furnished the accommodation required, and the system has since been in operation.
In different parts of the country the agitation to secure legislation regulating the hours of labour became aggressive again in 1870 and the years immediately following, there being a constant repetition of attempts to secure the enactment of a ten-hours law, but in Massachusetts Factory legislation, 1877. all the petitions failed till 1874, when the legislature of that commonwealth established the hours of labour at sixty per week not only for children under eighteen, but for women, the law providing that no minor under eighteen and no woman over that age should be employed by any person, firm or corporation in any manufacturing establishment more than ten hours in any one day. In 1876 Massachusetts reconstructed its laws relating to the employment of children, although it did not abrogate the principles involved in earlier legislation, while in 1877 the commonwealth passed Factory Acts covering the general provisions of the British laws. It provided for the general inspection of factories and public buildings, the provisions of the law relating to dangerous machinery, such as belting, shafting, gearing, drums, &c., which the legislature insisted must be securely guarded, and that no machinery other than steam engines should be cleaned while running. The question of ventilation and cleanliness was also attended to. Dangers connected with hoistways, elevators and well-holes were minimized by their protection by sufficient trap-doors, while fire-escapes were made obligatory on all establishments of three or more storeys in height. All main doors, both inside and outside, of manufacturing establishments, as well as those of churches, school-rooms, town halls, theatres and every building used for public assemblies, should open outwardly whenever the factory inspectors of the commonwealth deemed it necessary. These provisions remain in the laws of Massachusetts, and other states have found it wise to follow them.
The labour legislation in force in 1910 in the various states of the Union might be classified in two general branches: (A) protective labour legislation, or laws for the aid of workers who, on account of their economic dependence, are not in a position fully to protect themselves; (B) legislation having for its purpose the fixing of the legal status of the worker as an employé, such as laws relating to the making and breaking of the labour contract, the right to form organizations and to assemble peaceably, the settlement of labour disputes, the licensing of occupations, &c.
(A) The first class includes factory and workshop acts, laws relating to hours of labour, work on Sundays and holidays, the payment of wages, the liability of employers for injuries to their employés, &c. Factory acts have been passed by nearly all the states of the Union. These may be Factory and workshop acts. considered in two groups—first, laws which relate to conditions of employment and affect only children, young persons and women; and second, laws which relate to the sanitary condition of factories and workshops and to the safety of employés generally. The states adopting such laws have usually made provision for factory inspectors, whose duties are to enforce these laws and who have power to enter and inspect factories and workshops. The most common provisions of the factory acts in the various states are those which fix an age limit below which employment is unlawful. All but five states have enacted such provisions, and these five states have practically no manufacturing industries. In some states the laws fixing an age limit are restricted in their application to factories, while in others they extend also to workshops, bakeries, mercantile establishments and other work places where children are employed. The prescribed age limit varies from ten to fourteen years. Provisions concerning the education of children in factories and workshops may be considered in two groups, those relating to apprenticeship and those requiring a certain educational qualification as a pre-requisite to employment. Apprenticeship laws are numerous, but they do not now have great force, because of the practical abrogation of the apprenticeship system through the operation of modern methods of production. Most states have provisions prohibiting illiterates under a specified age, usually sixteen, from being employed in factories and workshops. The provisions of the factory acts relating to hours of labour and night work generally affect only the employment of women and young persons. Most of the states have enacted such provisions, those limiting the hours of children occurring more frequently than those limiting the hours of women. The hour limit for work in such cases ranges from six per day to sixty-six per week. Where the working time of children is restricted, the minimum age prescribed for such children ranges from twelve to twenty-one years. In some cases the restriction of the hours of labour of women and children is general, while in others it applies only to employment in one or more classes of industries. Other provisions of law for the protection of women and children, but not usually confined in their operation to factories and workshops, are such as require seats for females and separate toilet facilities for the sexes, and prohibit employment in certain occupations as in mines, places where intoxicants are manufactured or sold, in cleaning or operating dangerous machinery, &c. Provisions of factory acts relating to the sanitary condition of factories and workshops and the safety of employés have been enacted in nearly all the manufacturing states of the Union. They prohibit overcrowding, and require proper ventilation, sufficient light and heat, the lime-washing or painting of walls and ceilings, the provision of exhaust fans and blowers in places where dust or dangerous fumes are generated, guards on machinery, mechanical belts and gearing shifters, guards on elevators and hoistways, hand-rails on stairs, fire-escapes, &c.
The statutes relating to hours of labour may be considered under five groups, namely: (1) general laws which merely fix what shall be regarded as a day’s labour in the absence of a contract; (2) laws defining what shall constitute a day’s work on public roads; (3) laws limiting the hours of labour per Hours of labour. day on public works; (4) laws limiting the hours of labour in certain occupations; and (5) laws which specify the hours per day or per week during which women and children may be employed. The statutes included in the first two groups place no restrictions upon the number of hours which may be agreed upon between employers and employés, while those in the other three groups usually limit the freedom of contract and provide penalties for their violation. A considerable number of states have enacted laws which fix a day’s labour in the absence of any contract, some at eight and others at ten hours, so that when an employer and an employé make a contract and they do not specify what shall constitute a day’s labour, eight or ten hours respectively would be ruled as the day’s labour in an action which might come before the courts. In a number of the states it is optional with the citizens to liquidate certain taxes either by cash payments or by rendering personal service. In the latter case the length of the working day is defined by law, eight hours being usually specified. The Federal government and nearly one-half of the states have laws providing that eight hours shall constitute a day’s work for employés on public works. Under the Federal Act it is unlawful for any officer of the government or of any contractor or sub-contractor for public works to permit labourers and mechanics to work longer than eight hours per day. The state laws concerning hours of labour have similar provisions. Exceptions are provided for cases of extraordinary emergencies, such as danger to human life or property. In many states the hours of labour have been limited by law in occupations in which, on account of their dangerous or insanitary character, the health of the employés would be jeopardized by long hours of labour, or in which the fatigue occasioned by long hours would endanger the lives of the employés or of the public. The occupations for which such special legislation has been enacted are those of employés on steam and street railways, in mines and other underground workings, smelting and refining works, bakeries and cotton and woollen mills. Laws limiting the hours of labour of women and children have been considered under factory and workshop acts.
Nearly all states and Territories of the Union have laws prohibiting the employment of labour on Sunday. These laws usually make it a misdemeanour for persons either to labour themselves or to compel or permit their apprentices, servants or other employés, to labour on the first day of the week. Exceptions Sunday labour. are made in the case of household duties or works of necessity or charity, and in the case of members of religious societies who observe some other than the first day of the week.
Statutes concerning the payment of wages of employés may be
considered in two groups: (1) those which relate to the employment
contract, such as laws fixing the maximum period of wage
payments, prohibiting the payment of wages in scrip or
other evidences of indebtedness in lieu of lawful money,
of wages. prohibiting wage deductions on account of fines, breakage of machinery, discounts for prepayments, medical attendance, relief funds or other purposes, requiring the giving of notice of reduction of wages, &c.; (2) legislation granting certain privileges or affording special protection to working people with respect to their wages, such as laws exempting wages from attachment, preferring wage claims in assignments, and granting workmen liens upon buildings and other constructions on which they have been employed.
Employers’ liability laws have been passed to enable an employé to recover damages from his employer under certain conditions when he has been injured through accident occurring in the works of the employer. The common-law maxim that the principal is responsible for the acts of his agent does not Employers’ liability. apply where two or more persons are working together under the same employer and one of the employés is injured through the carelessness of his fellow-employé, although the one causing the accident is the agent of the principal, who under the common law would be responsible. The old Roman law and the English and American practice under it held that the co-employé was a party to the accident. The injustice of this rule is seen by a single illustration. A weaver in a cotton factory, where there are hundreds of operatives, is injured by the neglect or carelessness of the engineer in charge of the motive power. Under the common law the weaver could not recover damages from the employer, because he was the co-employé of the engineer. So, one of thousands of employés of a railway system, sustaining injuries through the carelessness of a switchman whom he never saw, could recover no damages from the railway company, both being co-employés of the same employer. The injustice of this application of the common-law rule has been recognized, but the only way to avoid the difficulty was through specific legislation providing that under such conditions as those related, and similar ones, the doctrine of co-employment should not apply, and that the workman should have the same right to recover damages as a passenger upon a railway train. This legislation has upset some of the most notable distinctions of law.
The first agitation for legislation of this character occurred in England in 1880. A number of states in the Union have now enacted statutes fixing the liability of employers under certain conditions and relieving the employé from the application of the common-law rule. Where the employé himself is contributory to the injuries resulting from an accident he cannot recover, nor can he recover in some cases where he knows of the danger from the defects of tools or implements employed by him. The legislation upon the subject involves many features of legislation which need not be described here, such as those concerning the power of employés to make a contract, and those defining the conditions, often elaborate, which lead to the liability of the employer and the duties of the employé, and the relations in which damages for injuries sustained in employment may be recovered from the employer.
(B) The statutes thus far considered may be regarded as protective labour legislation. There is, besides, a large body of statutory laws enacted in the various states for the purpose of fixing the legal status of employers and employés and defining their rights and privileges as such.
A great variety of statutes have been enacted in the various states relating to the labour contract. Among these are laws defining the labour contract, requiring notice of termination of contract, making it a misdemeanour to break a contract of service and thereby endanger human life or expose Labour contract. valuable property to serious injury, or to make a contract of service and accept transportation or pecuniary advancements with intent to defraud, prohibiting contracts of employment whereby employés waive the right to damages in case of injury, &c. A Federal statute makes it a misdemeanour for any one to prepay the transportation or in any way assist or encourage the importation of aliens under contract to perform labour or service of any kind in the United States, exceptions being made in the case of skilled labour that cannot otherwise be obtained, domestic servants and persons belonging to any of the recognized professions.
The Federal government and nearly all the states and territories have statutory provisions requiring the examination and licensing of persons practising certain trades other than those in the class of recognized professions. The Federal statute relates only to engineers on steam vessels, masters, mates, Licensed occupations. pilots, &c. The occupations for which examinations and licences are required by the various state laws are those of barbers, horseshoers, elevator operators, plumbers, stationary firemen, steam engineers, telegraph operators on railroads and certain classes of mine workers and steam and street railway employés.
The right of combination and peaceable assembly on the part of employés is recognized at common law throughout the United States. Organizations of working-men formed for their mutual benefit, protection and improvement, such as for endeavouring to secure higher wages, Labour organizations. shorter hours of labour or better working conditions, are nowhere regarded as unlawful. A number of states and the Federal government have enacted statutes providing for the incorporation of trade unions, but owing to the freedom from regulation or inspection enjoyed by unincorporated trade unions, very few have availed themselves of this privilege. A number of states have enacted laws tending to give special protection to and encourage trade unions. Thus, nearly one-half of the states have passed acts declaring it unlawful for employers to discharge workmen for joining labour organizations, or to make it a condition of employment that they shall not belong to such bodies. Laws of this kind have generally been held to be unconstitutional. Nearly all the states have laws protecting trade unions in the use of the union label, insignia of membership, credentials, &c., and making it a misdemeanour to counterfeit or fraudulently use them. A number of the states exempt labour organizations from the operations of the anti-trust and insurance acts.
Until recent years all legal action concerning labour disturbances was based upon the principles of the common law. Some of the states have now fairly complete statutory enactments concerning labour disturbances, while others have little or no legislation of this class. The Labour disputes. right of employés to strike for any cause or for no cause is sustained by the common law everywhere in the United States. Likewise an employer has a right to discharge any or all of his employés when they have no contract with him, and he may refuse to employ any person or class of persons for any reason or for no reason. Agreements among strikers to take peaceable means to induce others to remain away from the works of an employer until he yields to the demands of the strikers are not held to be conspiracies under the common law, and the carrying out of such a purpose by peaceable persuasion and without violence, intimidation or threats, is not unlawful. However, any interference with the constitutional rights of another to employ whom he chooses or to labour when, where or on what terms he pleases, is illegal. The boycott has been held to be an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade. The statutory enactments of the various states concerning labour disturbances are in part re-enactments of the rules of common law and in part more or less departures from or additions to the established principles. The list of such statutory enactments is a large one, and includes laws relating to blacklisting, boycotting, conspiracy against working-men, interference with employment, intimidation, picketing and strikes of railway employés; laws requiring statements of causes of discharge of employés and notice of strikes in advertisements for labour; laws prohibiting deception in the employment of labour and the hiring of armed guards by employers; and laws declaring that certain labour agreements do not constitute conspiracy. Some of these laws have been held to be unconstitutional, and some have not yet been tested in the courts.
The laws just treated relate almost entirely to acts either of employers or of employés, but there is another form of law, namely, that providing for action to be taken by others in the effort to prevent working people from losing employment, either by their own acts or by those of their employers, or to Arbitration and conciliation. settle any differences which arise out of controversies relating to wages, hours of labour, terms and conditions of employment, rules, &c. These laws provide for the mediation and the arbitration of labour disputes (see Arbitration and Conciliation). Twenty-three states and the Federal government have laws or constitutional provisions of this nature. In some cases they provide for the appointment of state boards, and in others of local boards only. A number of states provide for local or special boards in addition to the regular state boards. In some states it is required that a member of a labour organization must be a member of the board, and, in general, both employers and employés must be represented. Nearly all state boards are required to attempt to mediate between the parties to a dispute when information is received of an actual or threatened labour trouble. Arbitration may be undertaken in some states on application from either party, in others on the application of both parties. An agreement to maintain the status quo pending arbitration is usually required. The modes of enforcement of obedience to the awards of the boards are various. Some states depend on publicity alone, some give the decisions the effect of judgments of courts of law which may be enforced by execution, while in other states disobedience to such decisions is punishable as for contempt of court. The Federal statute applies only to common carriers engaged in interstate commerce, and provides for an attempt to be made at mediation by two designated government officials in controversies between common carriers and their employés, and, in case of the failure of such an attempt, for the formation of a board of arbitration consisting of the same officials together with certain other parties to be selected. Such arbitration boards are to be formed only at the request or upon the consent of both parties to the controversy.
The enforcement of laws by executive or judicial action is an important matter relating to labour legislation, for without action such laws would remain dead letters. Under the constitutions of the states, the governor is the commander-in-chief of the military forces, and he has The judicial enforcement of labour laws. the power to order the militia or any part of it into active service in case of insurrection, invasion, tumult, riots or breaches of the peace or imminent danger thereof. Frequent action has been taken in the case of strikes with the view of preventing or suppressing violence threatened or happening to persons or property, the effect being, however, that the militia protects those working or desiring to work, or the employers. The president of the United States may use the land and naval forces whenever by reason of insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful obstructions, conspiracy, combinations or assemblages of persons it becomes impracticable to enforce the laws of the land by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or when the execution of the laws is so hindered by reason of such events that any portion or class of the people are deprived thereby of their rights and privileges under the constitution and laws of the country. Under this general power the United States forces have been used for the protection of both employers and employés indirectly, the purpose being to protect mails and, as in the states, to see that the laws are carried out.
The power of the courts to interfere in labour disputes is through the injunction and punishment thereunder for contempt of court. It is a principle of law that when there are interferences, actual or threatened, with property or with rights of a pecuniary nature, and the common or statute law offers no adequate and immediate remedy for the prevention of injury, a court of equity may interpose and issue its order or injunction as to what must or must not be done, a violation of which writ gives the court which issued it the power to punish for contempt. The doctrine is that something is necessary to be done to stop at once the destruction of property and the obstruction of business, and the injunction is immediate in its action. This writ has been resorted to frequently for the indirect protection of employés and of employers. (C. D. W.)
Authorities.—English: (a) Factory Legislation: Abraham and Davies, Law relating to Factories and Workshops (London, 1897 and 1902); Redgrave, Factory Acts (London, 1897); Royal Commission on Labour, Minutes of Evidence and Digests, Group “C” (3 vols., 1892–1893), Assistant Commissioner’s Report on Employment of Women (1893), Fifth and Final Report of the Commission (1894); International Labour Conference at Berlin, Correspondence, Commercial Series (C, 6042) (1890); House of Lords Committee on the Sweating System, Report (1891); Home Office Reports: Annual Reports of H.M. Chief Inspector of Factories (1879 to 1901), Committee on White Lead and Various Lead Industries (1894), Working of the Cotton Cloth Factories Acts (1897), Dangerous Trades (Anthrax) Committee, Do., Miscellaneous Trades (1896–97–98–99), Conditions of Work in Fish-Curing Trade (1898), Lead Compounds in Pottery (1899), Phosphorus in Manufacture of Lucifer Matches (1899), &c., &c.; Whately Cooke-Taylor, Modern Factory System (London, 1891); Oliver, Dangerous Trades (London, 1902); Cunningham, Growth of English Commerce and Industry (1907); Hutchins and Harrison, History of Factory Legislation (1903); Traill, Social England, &c., &c. (b) Mines and Quarries: Statutes: Coal Mines Regulation Acts 1886, 1894, 1896, 1899; Metalliferous Mines Regulation Acts 1872, 1875; Quarries Act 1894; Royal Commission on Labour, Minutes of Evidence and Digests, Group “A” (1892–1893, 3 vols.); Royal Commission on Mining Royalties, Appendices (1894); Home Office Reports: Annual General Report upon the Mining Industry (1894–1897), Mines and Quarries, General Reports and Statistics (1898 to 1899), Annual Reports of H.M. Chief Inspector of Factories (1893–1895) (Quarries); Macswinney and Bristowe, Coal Mines Regulation Act 1887 (London, 1888). (c) Shops: Statutes: Shop Hours Acts 1892, 1893, 1896, Seats for Shop Assistants Act 1899; Report of Select Committee of House of Commons on the Shop Hours Regulation Bill 1886 (Eyre and Spottiswoode). (d) Truck: Home Office Reports: Annual Reports of H.M. Chief Inspector of Factories, especially 1895–1900, Memorandum on the Law relating to Truck and Checkweighing Clauses of the Coal Mines Acts 1896, Memorandum relating to the Truck Acts, by Sir Kenelm Digby, with text of Acts (1897).
Continental Europe: Annuaire de la législation du travail (Bruxelles, 1898–1905); Hygiène et sécurité des travailleurs dans les ateliers industriels (Paris, 1895); Bulletin de l’inspection du travail (Paris, 1895–1902); Bulletin de l’office international du travail (Paris, 1902–1906); Congrès international de législation du travail (1898); Die Gewerbeordnung für das deutsche Reich. (1) Landmann (1897); (2) Neukamp (1901); Gesetz betr. Kinderarbeit in gewerblichen Betrieben, 30. März 1903; Konrad Agahd, Manz’sche Gesetzausgabe, erster Band und siebenter Band (Wien, 1897–1898); Legge sugli infortunii del lavoro (Milan, 1900).
United States: See the Twenty-Second Annual Report of the Commissioner of Labor (1907) giving all labour laws in force in the United States in 1907, with annotations of decisions of courts; bimonthly Bulletins of the U.S. Bureau of Labor, containing laws passed since those published in the foregoing, and decisions of courts relating to employers and employés; also special articles in these Bulletins on “Employer and Employé under the Common Law” (No. 1), “Protection of Workmen in their Employment” (No. 26), “Government Industrial Arbitration” (No. 60), “Laws relating to the Employment of Women and Children, and to Factory Inspection and the Health and Safety of Employés” (No. 74), “Wages and Hours of Labor in Manufacturing Industries, 1890 to 1907” (No. 77), “Review of Labor Legislation of 1908 and 1909” (No. 85); also “Report of the Industrial Commission on Labor Legislation” (vol. v., U.S. Commission’s Report); C. D. Wright, Industrial Evolution in the United States (1887); Stimson, Handbook to the Labor Laws of the United States, and Labor in its Relation to Law; Adams and Sumner, Labor Problems; Labatt, Commentaries on the Law of Master and Servant.
- The term “labour” (Lat. labor) means strictly any energetic work, though in general it implies hard work, but in modern parlance it is specially confined to industrial work of the kind done by the “working-classes.”
- H. D. Traill, Social England, v. 602 (1896).
- W. Cunningham, Growth of English Commerce and Industry.
- W. Cunningham, Growth of English Commerce and Industry.
- From an “Essay on Trade” (1770), quoted in History of Factory Legislation, by B. L. Hutchins and A. Harrison (1903), pp. 5, 6.
- Minutes of Evidence, House of Commons, 1876; quoted in History of Factory Legislation, by Harrison and Hutchinson, p. 179.