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Factory Reform

Factory Legislation

There were various Acts of Parliament during the 19th Century which were intended to improve the working conditions of children in the factories. Some of the features of the main Acts are:

1819 Factory Act

  • Children must be at least nine before being employed
  • Children under 16 cannot work more than 12 hours per day
  • Mill owners would be fined if they did not comply

1833 Althorp's Factory Act

  • Children aged 9-13 could only work a maximum of 9 hours per day.
  • Night work banned for under 18 year olds
  • Children up to age 13 'shall attend some school'
  • Four inspectors to be appointed

1844 Factory Act (Graham's Act)

  • Children aged 8-13 could work up to maximum of 6 and a half hours per day
  • All textile machinery had to be fenced
  • Cleaning of moving machinery was banned

1847 Fielden's Act

  • Maximum length of the working day for young people under 8 was to be 10 hours
  • Same regulations would apply to women workers

1878 Disraeli's Factory Act

  • No children under 10 to be employed
  • 10-14 year olds could only be employed for half days
  • Factory code extended to all trades

Test your knowledge in our Factory Reform Quiz.

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