Labour ministry to crack down on those hiring minors for New Year parties

The state government is all set to prosecute child labour hirers this festive season at the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Owing to the huge demand for waiters at parties on December 24 and 31, caterers and party organisers are under government scanner this season so that minors are not hired to serve food and drinks. It has been a usual practice to hire young children and get away with it. "We have a committee to look into this. At present we are in the process of detection of the places. If found guilty, authorities of these places would be dealt with according to the provision of law," said state Labour Minister Purnendu Basu.

When asked who would be responsible in a case where a club or hotel hires caterers who hire minors, he said, "The principal employer would be held for any discrepancy. So it becomes the responsibility of hotels, resorts and party organisers to make sure that caterers do not bring in any underage waiter."

A team comprising officials of the labour ministry would intimate all major establishments and put up notification for all party organisers to avoid the practice. They also urge the citizens to keep the department informed about any party that has youngsters as waiters.

"There had been cases when these children indulge in drinking and smoking after the party is over and instances have been there when trouble breaks out between them and the guests. These need to be checked as well. So far, offenders did this with impunity but now there can be fine, imprisonment or both," said a senior official of the labour ministry.

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