Factory Acts

Among the factory laws or the factory legislation ( Factory Act ) is in England in 1833 and later in other countries slowly varying state legislation to protect workers in England before, above all, perceived as a national resource to be particularly worth protecting women and children, the arbitrariness of the factory owners (entrepreneurs ), which are usually employed to them at the beginning of industrialization completely delivered workers 15 hours, and more. The Factory Act was replaced in Switzerland in the 20th century by the Labour Code.

Development in England

The Factory Acts were initially very competitive. So warned the contemporary economist Nassau William Senior before the limitation of working hours to 10 hours a day since the reduction of working time must lead to the collapse of the wool spinning industry. In his study, he would have found that the factories would generate a profit only in the last (ie the twelfth ) hour of work. The Ten - Hour Act was passed by Parliament after several attempts until 1847.

The measure adopted by the British Parliament on August 29, 1833 Factory Act limited the workday for children for the first time, and although carefully graded: between 9 and 13 years to eight hours, for children between 14 and 18 years to 12 hours, children under 9 years of age should the school visit.

Four factory inspectors should enforce the law throughout England.

Further steps (in England ) were:

Development in Switzerland

After the beginning of the industrialization first individual cantons such as Zurich and Glarus factory had enacted laws to protect the workers in Switzerland, took over in 1877, the state of the appropriate legislative powers to the worst abuses to combat nationwide. For example, school-age children worked regularly before and after class in the factories until it was banned.

Early legislation in the canton of Glarus

In the field of social legislation of the canton of Glarus in Switzerland took a pioneering role, which in the form of the rural community was possible because of direct democracy. The laws of 1848 and 1856 saw before work safety and hygiene measures as well as a modest Wöchnerinnenschutz, and the founding of the Corps of Cadets Glarus took place in 1856 in this environment. For the implementation of adopted by the rural community protection provisions was crucial that the control was carried out by a cantonal Factory Commission and not by the municipalities.

The individual development steps were as follows:

Early legislation in the canton of Zurich

Legislation in the economic significant and governed by the Liberals Canton Zurich began earlier than in the canton of Glarus. However, the development stopped and finally the Canton of Zurich from Canton Glarus was overtaken in social legislation:

Takeover legislative competence by the Swiss State

The first all- Swiss Factory Act was adopted only in 1877 and replaced the factory cantonal laws. This factory law of the federation was adopted after the pattern of the Factory Act, 1872 issued by the Canton of Glarus, was responsible for the responsible Federal Joachim Heer, FDP, which originated in the canton of Glarus. The strong impact of the canton Glarus on the early Swiss social legislation is also evident that one of the first three Swiss factory inspectors, namely Fridolin Schuler, came from the canton of Glarus.

The new law forbade, among other children under the age of 14 access to factories, which is considered a critical step in preventing child labor. Not all, however, wanted to keep it and so about the embroidery in St. Gallen was increasingly restructured to work at home, where the children could be exploited fully as before.