Be sure of the rules when employing young people

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Employee / workerEmployerYouth

Employers have been reminded to ensure they are aware of all the special rules that apply when employing young people during the school holidays.

Director of Labour Relations Private Sector Lorraine Field said today it was crucial that potential employers of young people understood the restrictions that are in place.

“The Christmas holidays are the perfect time for teenagers to earn some money,” Ms Field said.

“But employers looking for help over the busy period need to understand that special rules apply when employing young people and that they need to comply with their obligations under the Children and Community Services Act 2004.”

There are restrictions on the types of businesses that can employ children under 15 years of age in Western Australia.  Children aged 13 or 14 can work in shops and restaurants between 6am and 10pm, but only with a parent’s written permission.

Throughout 2017, Wageline at the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has carried out a proactive education and compliance campaign to ensure fast food employers know and understand the laws around employing children.

In the campaign’s first stage, more than 1000 employers in Perth and regional areas were provided with information packs and self-audit tools to assist store owners and managers to comply with their obligations.

Following the education component of the campaign, selected employers were required to provide employment records to Industrial Inspectors at the Department as evidence that children were not being employed in the business in breach of the laws.

Ms Field said the results of this compliance stage of the campaign were encouraging.

“95 per cent of employers in the fast food industry were complying with their legal obligations regarding the employment of children,” she said. “This is an excellent result, and it’s good to see the message is getting through.

“For teenagers, getting a job is a great step to independence but it is important that employers recognise that special rules apply.”

Ms Field said the Department has in the past prosecuted employers for allowing children under 15 to work after 10pm and employing children under 13.

“The special rules concerning the employment of children also extend to parents,” she said. “Parents of children under 15 years should be aware that their children can only work in certain businesses.

“Parents should be aware that they can also be fined if they permit their children to work in contravention of the employment laws.”

Further information on employment laws can be obtained on the Labour Relations website at

Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney 6251 2363 or 0408 927563 (media enquiries only).
Follow @WorkSafeWA on Twitter

Labour Relations
Media release
18 Dec 2017

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