A company allegedly engaging children under the age of 15 to deliver catalogues and flyers faces 2,425 criminal charges in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria over alleged breaches of child employment laws.
The state’s child employment regulator, Wage Inspectorate Victoria, alleges that between July and September 2022, Ive Distributions Pty Ltd breached the Child Employment Act 2003 on 2,425 occasions by employing children under the age of 15 without permits.
It is alleged the company hired over 400 children under 15 to deliver catalogues and flyers to homes in Victoria during that time.
The maximum penalty for employing a child without a permit is 100 penalty units ($18,429 for offences in the 2022-23 financial year).
The matter has been listed for mention in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 2 October 2023.
The Wage Inspectorate will make no further comment while the matter is before the court.
Employers and parents can learn about Victoria’s child employment laws at wageinspectorate.vic.gov.au, which includes free resources to make compliance easier including an e-learning module, animated video and translated resources. They can also call the Wage Inspectorate’s Helpline during business hours on 1800 287 287.
The Wage Inspectorate helped 15,000 Victorian businesses and workers last financial year, and another 425,000 people accessed the regulator’s educational tools and website resources.
In Victoria, a child can deliver newspapers and advertising material from the age of 11, provided the employer holds a child employment permit or license.
Victoria’s child employment permit system, which changed to a licensing system on 1 July 2023, helps protect kids under 15 from work that could harm their health or wellbeing. It helps ensure the employer understands workplace risks and has measures in place to keep young people safe.
It also ensures the employer knows about child employment laws relating to supervision, rest breaks and working hours.
For information about other child employment prosecutions, visit Wage Inspectorate Victoria news.
A prosecution is the Wage Inspectorate’s most serious compliance tool and decisions to take legal action are made in line with its Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
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