School holiday warning for Newman business operators employing children

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Newman business owners are urged to be cautious when employing children aged less than 15 years during school holidays.

The Labour Relations Division of the Department of Commerce is currently writing to Newman business operators and liaising with Newman Senior High School to ensure that employers, children and their parents are aware of the children in employment laws.

Generally, under the children in employment laws, it is unlawful to employ a child aged less than 15 years, but there are some exceptions.

For example, children aged 13 to 15 years may - with written permission from a parent - work in a shop, restaurant or retail outlet, but not earlier than 6am or later than 10pm.

It is also unlawful to employ children at times that occur during normal school hours.

Director of Compliance and Education Joseph Lee said that children in employment laws sought to provide children with the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of employment while ensuring their safety and wellbeing was not jeopardised.

“Under the Children and Community Services Act 2004, employers may be fined up to $120,000 if they are found to breaching these laws,” he said.

“The Department has previously successfully prosecuted over 30 employers for breaching the laws, including many in regional areas.

“Many of the employers previously prosecuted for employing children had simply not taken the time find out about the laws.

“The Department is keen to assist the Newman business community to understand the laws to avoid possible fines and, more importantly, not inadvertently place the wellbeing of the town’s children in jeopardy.”

Parents, children and employers are urged to visit the How old you have to be to work in WA page or contact the Department’s free and confidential Wageline service on 1300 655 266 to find out more about the children in employment laws. 

Labour Relations
Media release
07 Apr 2015

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