All workplaces have risks, and these risks are magnified for kids under 15, which is why officers from the Wage Inspectorate will be visiting businesses in Mildura to educate and ensure compliance with child employment laws.
The campaign will see child employment officers inspect businesses and talk to employers about their obligations under the state’s child employment laws, including requirements relating to permits, hours of work, rest breaks and start and finish times.
In Victoria, employers need a permit before a child under 15 years of age can be employed, although there are some exemptions, such as for children employed in family businesses.
Research shows children in regional areas are more likely than their metropolitan counterparts to work (8 per cent regional, compared to 5 per cent metropolitan).
Recent research commissioned by the Wage Inspectorate shows that one in three Victorians mistakenly believe 14 and nine months is the age children can start working without restriction in Victoria. The misconception is more common in regional areas, with 40 per cent of people believing it to be true.
Officers will also be speaking with businesses about new child employment laws that take effect on 1 July, which strengthen protections and make hiring kids a simpler process.
Most notably, a licensing system will replace the existing permit system. A licence will enable a business to employ multiple children under one licence, rather than applying for a permit for each child they employ.
Quotes attributable to Jessica Downey, Director – Child Employment Compliance and Enforcement