Reviewing child employment, have your say

By Our Reporter
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Image used for representational purposes only // Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Victorians are urged to have their say and share their experiences of child employment as part of a review into the Child Employment Act 2003 (Vic).

In Victoria, six per cent of children under 15 years of age have a job, according to research commissioned by the Victorian Government, an official press release said.

One in 10 children are or have been employed while under the age of 15, and 3.5 per cent of Victorian businesses have employed children under 15.

Children under 15 can legally work in Victoria and their employment is regulated by the Act, which aims to protect children from any adverse effects of employment while recognising the benefits that children can gain from the experience.

In most situations, their employer will need to apply for a child employment permit. Applying for a permit is free, and in most cases is a straightforward process.

Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas on Tuesday 9 February called for Victorians to share their experiences of child employment as part of this review.

“The safety and wellbeing of children in the workplace is our number one priority—we’re carrying out this review to build our understanding of how people are affected by Victoria’s child employment laws”
— Tim Pallas

The aim is to identify any areas where Government can improve the legislation and make compliance simpler for people covered by the Act, while maintaining our strong protections for children.

Last financial year, the Victorian Government’s Wage Inspectorate assessed and issued 9,425 child employment permits and carried out more than 170 investigations.

In September 2020, an event organiser was prosecuted and fined $2000 for illegally employing 129 kids at an event that was part of the 2018 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Offsite Runway Program.

Pallas said, “The safety and wellbeing of children in the workplace is our number one priority—we’re carrying out this review to build our understanding of how people are affected by Victoria’s child employment laws.

“We hope to identify areas where we can make it simpler for people to meet their obligations, while maintaining our strong protections for children in the workplace.”

To take part or find out more, visit the Child Employment Act review page on Engage Victoria. Victorians can have their say by completing a survey or uploading a submission. Children can also take part by completing a ‘kids only’ survey.


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