Skip to content
Employment Relations, Industrial Relations

Child employment watchdog announces Surf Coast compliance blitz

Wage Inspectorate Victoria 2 mins read

Wage Inspectorate Victoria will be inspecting Surf Coast restaurants, cafes and takeaway businesses from Lorne to Torquay these summer school holidays to monitor compliance with the state’s child employment laws.

The child employment watchdog is concerned seasonal demand in the holiday hotspot may lead some businesses to overlook child employment laws in a rush to fill vacant positions, potentially placing inexperienced workers in harm’s way.

Employing kids under 15 over summer can be win-win, with businesses getting enthusiastic staff to help manage the peak season, and kids getting valuable experience and earning spending money. But the Wage Inspectorate warns that it needs to be done safely and legally or businesses may be subject to fines of more than $200,000.

In Victoria, children can work in retail and hospitality from the age of 13, but most businesses need a licence before employing anyone under 15. A business can employ multiple children under one licence, and must adhere to rules around supervision, work hours, and rest breaks.

The child employment licensing system helps protect kids by ensuring the employer understands workplace risks and has measures in place to keep young people safe, and that it knows about rules relating to supervision, rest breaks and working hours.

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).

Research also shows that 1 in 3 Victorians mistakenly believe 14 and 9 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.

Quotes attributable to Jessica Downey, Director – Child Employment Compliance and Enforcement

“The Wage Inspectorate has prosecuted 8 regional businesses over child employment laws over the last 12 months, but we’d much rather help businesses employ kids safely and legally than take more matters to court, so reach out to get the advice you need.”

Many kids get their first job over the school summer holidays, so it’s important that their first experience in the workplace is a positive one and that their employer has taken the time to make their workplace safe.”

“Kids on school holidays can be a great help to businesses and the experience can be invaluable for the kids. It’s win-win, as long as it is done safely.”

“Parents have a role to play too. If you have a child under 15 who has just secured their first job over summer, make sure the employer has a child employment licence. It’s a simple step you can take to ensure the employer has considered your child’s health and wellbeing.”

“The biggest risk with breaking child employment laws is that a child gets seriously hurt in the workplace. Our officers are out and about from Lorne to Torquay, making sure businesses employing kids under 15 are doing so safely.”

Contact details:

Anna Basil-Jones - 0428 627 002

More from this category

  • Education Training, Industrial Relations
  • 14/06/2024
  • 14:22
Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch

Calling for changes to anti-discrimination laws

June 14, 2024 Calling for changes to anti-discrimination laws The Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch is calling for proposed changes to both federal and NSW anti-discrimination laws to be implemented in line with reasonable community standards. At the same time, any changes should ensure the ability of religious schools to continue to build communities of faith central to their ethos and character. The IEUANSW/ACT Branchrepresents more than 32,000 teachers and support, professional and operational staff in non-government educational institutions, including independent schools. “Schools of faith can continue to thrive without the need to discriminate,” saidIEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary…

  • Contains:
  • Employment Relations, Industrial Relations
  • 14/06/2024
  • 13:23
Wage Inspectorate Victoria

Optus fined, hundreds of staff receive leave totalling $200,000, following regulator’s investigation

Optus – Australia’s second largest telco - has been ordered to pay $28,000, over 550 employees have received long service leave valued at $218,000, and 9 former employees have had their entitlements paid back after an investigation by Wage Inspectorate Victoria. The Wage Inspectorate found Optus’s enterprise agreement didn’t comply with the state’s long service leave laws. The issue was identified as part of a broad compliance campaign that focused on whether enterprise agreements aligned with Victoria’s Long Service Leave Act 2018. The Wage Inspectorate’s investigation led to: Optus providing an additional $218,000 worth of long service leave to approximately…

  • Building Construction, Industrial Relations
  • 14/06/2024
  • 06:15

Court Hearing for Sibelco Silicosis Cases

The Australian Workers Union stands in solidarity with three of its members, Kevin Weekes, Craig Robertson, and Alan Jenkins, as their cases against former employer Sibelco are heard in Wonthaggi court today (14th of June 2024). These men, among many others, have been diagnosed with silicosis, a debilitating lung disease caused by prolonged exposure to silica dust in their workplaces. Call for Action and Legal Support The stories of Kevin, Craig, and Alan highlight the urgent need for stronger safety regulations and comprehensive support for workers affected by silicosis. Their struggle for justice represents a broader call to action for…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.