Health and Morals of Apprentices Act limited the work of children in textile mills to 12 hours per day; prohibited night work; required minimum standards of accommodation; some elementary education to be provided; factories to be periodically lime washed; and infectious diseases attended to and reported.
Each apprentice was to be given two sets of clothing, suitable linen, stockings, hats, and shoes, and a new set each year thereafter. All apprentices were to be educated in reading, writing and arithmetic for the first four years of their apprenticeship. The Act specified that this should be done every working day within usual working hours but did not state how much time should be set aside for it. Educational classes should be held in a part of the mill or factory designed for the purpose.
The act attempted to enforce on all employers the conditions provided by the more humane mill-owners. Enforcement was in the hands of the local justices of peace who varied in the rigor with which they carried out these duties.
- Statutes at Large: Statutes of the United Kingdom, 1801–1806. 1822.