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Bright cafe charged with child employment breaches

Wage Inspectorate Victoria has filed 27 charges in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria against a cafe in Bright, alleging it contravened state laws that regulate the employment of children under 15 years.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022 at 3:53 am

It is alleged that Schultz & Associates Pty Ltd (trading as The Riverdeck Kitchen) contravened section 9(1) of the Child Employment Act 2003 by failing to obtain mandatory child employment permits when it allegedly employed two children under 15 years of age to work.

The charges relate to the alleged employment of children between April and August 2021. The maximum penalty for each offence is 100 penalty units ($16,522 for offences occurring before 30 June 2021 and $18,174 for offences after that date).

The matter has been listed for mention in the Magistrates’ Court in Melbourne on 10 May 2022.

The Wage Inspectorate will make no further comment while the matter is before the court.


In Victoria, employers need a permit before a child under 15 years of age can be employed, although there are some exemptions, such as for children employed in family businesses. Permits are free, and the online application process to receive one is fast and straightforward. Employers can apply online at

The permit system protects children from work that could harm their health, safety or wellbeing. It enables the Wage Inspectorate to ensure matters like hours of work, rest breaks, supervision and safety are properly considered before employment starts.

The latest court proceedings come on top of other recent action by the Wage Inspectorate to educate the community about child employment permit obligations and enforce the law.

The authority is currently running a regional hospitality campaign to educate fast-food, restaurant and café industry employers in Phillip Island, Drouin, Warragul, Wonthaggi and Inverloch about child employment obligations and to check compliance.

Other recent court outcomes include:

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.

Employers, parents and children can visit for information on child employment or call the Wage Inspectorate’s Helpline on 1800 287 287.