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May 23, 2023
You will now need to apply for a licence before employing people under 15 as part of the changes to the Victoria Child Employment Act; previously, you had to have a permit for each individual child working. The changes are designed to “strengthen protections for children in the workplace and make it simpler for employers to understand their obligations.”
Licences will be free, and applications can be made from 1 July on the Victorian Government website.
An employer must have a licence before they employ someone under 15. With the new licences coming into effect on 1 July, prior child work permits will continue to be upheld, so you won’t need to apply for a licence for a child you already employ and have a permit for.
Victorian Child Employment Laws:
There are no minimum ages for working in a family business or the entertainment and advertising industry.
For any other work, a child must be at least:
There are restrictions on how many hours a child can work:
There are exemptions, and you can apply for variations if these don’t align with your business.
The major exemption is for family businesses. Parents or guardians don’t need a child employment permit to employ their child in a family business.
They are also exempt from age restrictions, hours of work and rest breaks. However, a parent or guardian must directly supervise their child. If another person is the child’s supervisor, these exemptions do not apply.
The changes to Victoria Child Employment Act are be enforced by The Wage Inspectorate, who will receive increased powers on 1 July. Child safe standards must be complied with to ensure each child’s safety in the day-to-day operations of any organisation, helping to keep children safe from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse and neglect. The Wage Inspectorate can issue compliance notices as a way of achieving compliance with the Act and infringement notices where a breach has been detected. Fines for non-compliance can range from $1000 to $10,000 per incident.
NSW Child Employment laws:
There is no minimum age in NSW, but there are restrictions on the number of hours a child can work on a school day. You have to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman or SafeWork NSW to find your relevant terms and conditions. You should contact NSW Education if you intend to work during school terms. (Source: NSW Industrial Relations)
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