A PUB boss has spoken of his shock at having to fire his waitresses because they were too young to wash up.
David Dobson, the landlord of Linthwaite boozer The Bull’s Head, said he was forced to sack his team of teenage workers after receiving a phone call from Kirklees Council.
Mr Dobson employed two 15-year-olds and one 16-year-old waitress at his pub to serve food and wash up afterwards.
Their shifts normally ended between 8pm and 9pm but Mr Dobson said he had now been told they were not allowed to work in the kitchen after 7pm.
Despite more than 30 years in the trade, Mr Dobson, 59, said this was the first time he had ever heard of the rule.
He said: “We’ve had their parents on and they’re saying the children are distraught and in tears.
“It seems a little bizarre – they’re old enough to get married and get social security at 16 but you can’t wash up.
“What kind of things are we teaching?
“The parents have been telling me that their grades have improved since they started working here.
“They’re not treated as school children, they’re treated as adults.
“They’re all local girls and we had a good community spirit up here and it’s been a big kick in the teeth.”
Mr Dobson, who has also managed pubs in Leeds and spent 10 years running restaurants in France, said he had also been told the girls were only allowed to work two hours on a Sunday.
He added: “Who’s going to employ someone to work two hours?
“I think other pubs should be aware of this.
“I’ve spoken to 15 other landlords and there’s not one that knew about it.”
Mike Smith, father of Danielle Welburn, said he and his wife were “massively disappointed” by the decision.
He said: “Since she’s worked here she’s really come on leaps and bounds.
“What she learns at school doesn’t really prepare her for working life.
“It really has given her a level of independence having her own money.
“I feel like we’re having parental choice taken away.
“Kirklees are putting a lot of effort into stopping her working but not a lot into finding her work.”
A spokesman from Kirklees Council, said: “Nobody from the council has visited the Bulls Head landlord in person, but we have advised him over the phone about the relevant child employment bylaws.
“These state that no child of school age can work after 7pm or in a commercial kitchen.
“We will continue working with Mr Dobson to resolve any issues.”